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Technology Stop being jealous of iMessage. What you need to know about Android's fancy texting update

16:15  12 november  2019
16:15  12 november  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint partner to make text messaging as smart as iMessage

  Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint partner to make text messaging as smart as iMessage The carriers are working together on a messaging standard called RCS.The service will be developed by the joint venture and will start with Android in 2020.

Android phones do many things well, but when it comes to texting , the iPhone has Google beat. It' s basically iMessage , but for Android . Google has an entire website dedicated to explaining the We ' re following the story and will update this FAQ as development arise. Until then, the only thing we can

Android phones do many things well, but when it comes to texting , the iPhone has Google beat. It' s basically iMessage , but for Android . Google has an entire website dedicated to explaining the We ' re following the story and will update this FAQ as development arise. Until then, the only thing we can

Android phones do many things well, but when it comes to texting, the iPhone has Google beat. Apple's iMessage app supports group messaging and read receipts, and has that addictive blue bubble that automatically texts other iPhone users over Wi-Fi, not just your cellular data connection. The fact that Android phone makers use different messaging apps by default keeps the act of texting from becoming as indispensable as iMessage is to iPhone users.

Apple's iMessage is the glue that keeps users stuck to the iPhone. Jason Cipriani/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Apple's iMessage is the glue that keeps users stuck to the iPhone. Jason Cipriani/CNET a remote control sitting on a table: Group messaging gets a whole lot better with RCS messaging. © Google

Group messaging gets a whole lot better with RCS messaging.

Stop being jealous of iMessage. What you need to know about Android's fancy texting update

  Stop being jealous of iMessage. What you need to know about Android's fancy texting update How something called RCS could change the way you text forever.Group messaging gets a whole lot better with RCS messaging.

Android Messages comes preinstalled on many phones, but if yours isn't among these, you 'll simply Step 4: Enable Additional RCS Features. If you need to , head into the "Advanced" section of the This article was produced during Gadget Hacks' special coverage on texting , instant messaging

Sending text messages by SMS is also the fallback when an iMessage doesn’t send for whatever reason. Typically transmitting an SMS text message is very reliable, but sometimes an iPhone won’t send a text message, and in such a situation you ’ll likely want to troubleshoot the problem.

Google wants to change all that, and is working with US carriers to make text messaging more powerful, more consistent across Android phones and more fun to use. It will take work, though, namely getting carriers to adopt a messaging protocol called RCS.

Here's a look at what RCS is and does, what it'll give you and when you might be able to start using it on your Android phone.

a woman holding a cell phone© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc.
Google's RCS wants to mimic iMessage's magic with Android Messages

What does RCS mean?

RCS is a type of messaging protocol that stands for Rich Communication Services. When it's widely available, it will replace SMS, the text messaging standard that's been used since the 1990's.

SMS messaging has evolved some over the years, expanding past the original 160 character limit and adding MMS (multimedia messaging) for sending pictures and videos. However, SMS is starting to show its age and limitations. RCS would allow texting on Android to be as flexible and powerful as text message platforms like WhatsApp and WeChat, for example.

iMessage vs. Google's new texting update: Can Android's messaging app take on Apple?

  iMessage vs. Google's new texting update: Can Android's messaging app take on Apple? Google finally launched RCS messaging, so Android users can see read receipts and typing indicators when texting, two features that used to be available only on iPhone.While the RCS-powered texting will give Android phones texting capabilities that are similar to Apple's iMessage feature, the two are not exactly the same. Here are the differences between Android RCS texting and Apple iMessage.

Google is trying a next texting strategy. Instead of trying to make Allo win, it’ s going to partner with carriers While iPhone users have had the simplicity of iMessage built in, Android users have been left to If you ’re going to launch a messaging app, you need a good strategy for achieving growth

Android Messages on the web, much like Android Messages on your phone, is a fairly spartan experience. Images, emojis, and stickers can be attached to your messages via the buttons at the bottom—the last triggers a switch to MMS, so MMS needs to be enabled on the recipient’ s phone too.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Group messaging gets a whole lot better with RCS messaging. Google© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Group messaging gets a whole lot better with RCS messaging. Google

How will RCS make texting better?

The biggest change is that RCS messaging will let you share high-resolution photos, videos, GIFs and texts over Wi-Fi as well as over your phone's data connection. You'll be able to see if contacts are available, when they're typing to you and when they've read a message. Group conversations will also see improvements.

It's basically iMessage, but for Android.

Google has an entire website dedicated to explaining the benefits of RCS messaging if you want to get into the finer details.

What other features will RCS have?

Once RCS messaging becomes more prominent, you'll be able to chat with businesses to place and track orders, make payments and get help with a product. Business chat is something that Apple's iMessage platform currently has, but bringing a similar feature to Android users is a welcome addition.

Google's Android version of iMessage is here. But there's a catch

  Google's Android version of iMessage is here. But there's a catch People with Android phones in the United States will now be able to opt into the new texting service that Google calls Chat. © SIN1980/ShutterstockThe Android version of iMessage is based on a wireless standard called Rich Communication Services (RCS), and is supposed to replace SMS texts. "Texting is largely based on the SMS standard which lacks a lot of modern features, like sharing high quality photos and media or being able to message over Wi-Fi," said Sanaz Ahari, Google's product management director. "We just felt like we had to address that user need.

Sometimes apps just need to be quit and restarted to solve problems, often related to memory management. If you 're using iMessage to send your text, verify that iMessage is turned on. Everything You Need to Know About Messages, the iPhone Texting App.

Everything You Need to Know About Messages, the iPhone Texting App. On the other hand, iMessage is an Apple-specific set of features and tools that are built on top of Messages. The advanced features used in Messages come from iMessage .

How RCS texting will work on Android phones

If you have a phone and use a wireless carrier that supports RCS (more on this in a minute) you should only need to open Google's Messages app and follow the prompts when asked if you want to use chat features.

After chat is enabled, you can continue to use the Messages app as you normally do, but whenever you're talking to someone who also has the feature turned on, you'll get the added features of RCS messaging.

Some device-makers, like Samsung, have integrated Google's RCS platform into its own default Messages app, and over time companies like LG could do the same. But right now, your best bet is to use Google's Messages app. Doing so will give you the added benefit of being able to send text messages from your computer, and you'll receive an alert whenever RCS messaging is available for your phone and carrier.

screen of a cell phone: If your carrier supports RCS, Google's Messages app will have settings for the chat feature. Jason Cipriani/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. If your carrier supports RCS, Google's Messages app will have settings for the chat feature. Jason Cipriani/CNET

I have Google's Messages installed but don't have RCS. Why?

This is where RCS gets messy. In order for RCS to work, your phone and your wireless carrier both have to support it. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as Google releasing an app, you installing it, and then gaining access to the new features.

RCS messaging on Android? Free me from my Google messaging mess first

  RCS messaging on Android? Free me from my Google messaging mess first Commentary: Google's new Messages app is a throwback locked to a single phone and laptop.Google's Pixel 4 XL phone

If you are running into problems with iMessage syncing correctly, you can follow these directions to fix syncing errors and issues. This is what you need to do to be able to send and receive iMessages between all of your Apple Drives me nuts, but I love texting and messaging from my computer!

Here' s what you need to know to find out if it' s the right mobile messaging app for you . Another ongoing issue I have with iMessage is that you can have multiple identifiers tied to your iMessage account, and depending which identifier someone uses could result in your getting a message late or

We've seen a number of announcements and partnerships from Google, Android device makers, and even carriers that RCS is finally going to roll out. But the truth is, only a small number of phones on an even smaller list of carriers currently support it.

Which carriers and phones work with RCS texting now?

Right now, there are a few phones and carriers that support it, but it's very hit or miss.  Verizon added RCS support for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and intended to support the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, but that's where the fun stopped.

In 2018, Google and Samsung announced a partnership to bring RCS messaging to more Android devices, but without carrier support, it doesn't mean much.

Adding to the confusion are companies like Verizon, whose Message+ text messaging app supports RCS, but doesn't use Google's Universal Profile. So, if you're a Verizon customer who uses Message+, you can use the RCS spinoff as long as you're chatting with another Verizon user who is also using Message+.

There are some carriers that support Google's RCS Universal Profile and you can use RCS on right now, such as Sprint and Google Fi. Outside of the US, Google enabled RCS for the UK and France in July of 2019.

If you aren't sure if your carrier supports it, GadgetHacks has a fantastic breakdown of carriers and their respective approaches to RCS across the globe.

Google's RCS texting is like iMessage for Android. Here's how you use it

  Google's RCS texting is like iMessage for Android. Here's how you use it A new feature called Google Chat is about to take your text message game to the next level.RCS Messaging adds features similar to Apple's iMessage to your Android phone, complete with the ability to send full-resolution photos and little bubbles that let you know when someone is typing. Google is taking its time with the rollout, but plans to give everyone access to the feature by the end of the year.

On Android phones, the messaging conundrum is no secret, and Google' s done nothing to help the Still, iPhone users love iMessage , and their reasons for amity are not surprising: its seamless Heralded as the Great Messaging Unifier, RCS builds on traditional SMS in the same texting app that

iMessage effects are pretty dramatic, so when they’re working they’re impossible to miss when they are exchanged between iOS devices. For the vast majority of users, the reason iMessage screen effects and bubble message effects are not working is because they have the Reduce Motion setting enabled.

When will I get RCS messaging on my Android phone?

Good question. Right now, it doesn't look like it will be anytime soon. Especially now that carriers in the US have decided they're going to build out their own messaging platform, with support for Google's Universal Profile, with roll-out taking place sometime in 2020. That means that you may ultimately see an improved messaging experience on your Android phone here in the US, but it could potentially be a fractured or inconsistent experience due to the wireless carriers' implementation.

We're following the story and will update this FAQ as development arise. Until then, the only thing we can do is wait.

screen of a cell phone: Samsung's Messages app supports RCS, as well. Angela Lang/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Samsung's Messages app supports RCS, as well. Angela Lang/CNET

What about RCS on my iPhone?

Apple has kept quiet about its intention for supporting RCS on the iPhone. But it's much more likely that Apple will keep using its own iMessage platform to make iPhone users feel like they're part of a rarified community.

How to use RCS right now regardless of your carrier, with a catch

Reddit users figured out a way to enable RCS on any Android phone, regardless of carrier. If anything, it proves that Google could turn on RCS messaging for all Android users without carrier approval. Google's unlikely to risk alienating its valuable business partners.

The process is somewhat technical, but the instructions are straight-forward. Keep in mind that you're accepting some risk by trying it out, and the program could stop working at any moment. That's the nature of the beast.

If you're tired of standard text messaging, check out these messaging apps that offer their own iMessage-like features. Then again, you could always jump ship to iPhone -- it's not as hard as you'd think.

a hand holding a cell phone: Hopefully, we see mass adoption of RCS messaging sooner than later. Andrew Hoyle/CNET© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Hopefully, we see mass adoption of RCS messaging sooner than later. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Google’s RCS messaging could rival iMessage, but for now it’s a security nightmare .
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