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Google RCS is Android’s version of Apple’s iMessage and it’s rolling out now – Here’s how to turn it on

Finally.

google pixel 4 display
Image: Fortune

RCS messaging is finally a thing on Android phones. Google released a blog post to confirm this major update, as well as how someone can update its Messages app. If you are using another messaging app, the RCS protocol will be enabled by the end of the year.

Last year, Google and Samsung said they were going to start utilizing RCS messaging to compete with Apple.

Apple has been using RCS messaging for a while now, so it’s nice to see other companies adopting this overall better format.

Google is beginning to upgrade Android phones with RCS messaging

What is RCS? Think of it as an enhanced version of SMS, which is the older mobile texting protocol. RCS allows users to send texts through data or Wi-Fi and includes improved functionality for sending multimedia content.

If you are an Android user on your, for example, new Google Pixel 4, sending high-resolution photos and videos will no longer be an issue. In that aforementioned blog post, Sanaz Aharai, the company’s Product Management Director, wrote about the new RCS messaging protocol and what Android users can now do with it.

You’ll get better group chats, with the ability to name groups, add and remove people to and from groups, and see if people haven’t seen the latest messages.

To see if your phone can use RCS, and activate it, is simple. It only takes a few seconds, but once you’re done, you will be RCS enabled:

  1. Tap on Google Messaging or download it from the Play Store
  2. Once you are in there, tap on the three dots in the right-hand corner
  3. Select Settings
  4. In the Settings Menu, select Chat Features
  5. Enter your phone number
  6. Wait a few seconds…and voila!

The RCS protocol has been active for Android users in the UK and Mexico, and for people in the US, it will be widely available by the end of the year.

What do you think? Glad to see Google adding RCS messaging to its mobile platform? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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