Tech Talk: RCS Messaging Explained

  1. Texasaggie1
    US Brand Ambassador Nov 23, 2019

    Texasaggie1 , Nov 23, 2019 :

    Hey what’s up y’all! US Brand Ambassadors Randy and Abhishek (@AbhishekS287) here, and today we want to talk about RCS! Since “the hack” was discovered a few weeks ago, RCS has been a hot topic ever since, and we thought it would be great to bring that discussion here. We are pretty excited about it, so let’s get started.

    What is RCS?
    Rich Communication Services, abbreviated as RCS, is a messaging protocol developed in 2008 to enhance and replace the classic SMS protocol that was introduced in 1992.

    Why we are excited about it? We are excited about it because of the improvements that it brings over the traditional SMS protocol. First of all, it's near real-time. Unlike SMS which is usually slower in deliverability, RCS works over IP servers, similar to how internet based chat apps work. Secondly, it supports sending files of larger sizes and uncompressed media up to a certain point. (Bye bye 300K max sms picture size). This is massive considering how media sharing forms the core of any communication app in the present world. Also, because it is IP based, clients can show information such as “message read” timestamps, typing indicators, and a lot more. The possibilities are endless and with widespread adoption on Android, it's only going to get bigger and better from here-on.

    Some people might argue that all those features have existed for years in other messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc. We agree, but all of those apps have to exist for both parties to work. RCS, on the other hand, is intended to seamlessly integrate underneath your carrier's traditional SMS protocol. It even works without Internet as it switches to SMS when there is no data connectivity. How cool is that!

    No really, what is RCS? Is it SMS on steroids, advanced text messaging, platform-independent chat, yet another chat app, all of it, some of it, or none of it? Well, we will know about it in the future as RCS starts getting more mature. In the meantime, if you ever wished to have an iMessage equivalent on your Android, this is the closest it has ever been and will continue to grow beyond. But is this an iMessage killer? Let's discuss that and more about RCS below.

    How To Get it
    Android Authority has posted an article mentioning the steps to enable it on any Android device. It’s quick and easy, and should not take more than 5 minutes to get started. Right after “the hack” was discovered a few weeks ago, it appeared that Google found out about it and blocked it for almost a week. The great news is it no longer appears to be blocked and now it’s working for just about everybody.

    We used Android Authority’s Guide to make it work on our phones: How to enable RCS messaging on your phone

    Video Demo
    We threw together a quick video that demonstrates some of the cooler features of RCS. Check it out:

    No End-to-End Encryption?
    Currently, RCS messages are not end-to-end encrypted like WhatsApp or some other messaging apps. We would love to see this getting addressed in the future, however, with the current government regulations we are afraid if it would ever happen. The good news is that RCS is more secure than SMS and does use encryption, it’s just not a closed system in its current state. We would love to hear your thoughts on these issues.

    RCS an iMessage Killer?
    Currently, RCS is not ready to be an iMessage killer. It’s just not ubiquitous and robust enough. Will it be in a couple of years? Maybe! RCS needs to have the feature set of something like WhatsApp (end to end encryption most significantly) and it needs to “just work” on all or most Android devices. I (Randy) am not an iPhone fan at all, but in my opinion iMessage really is their greatest feature because it’s so easy.

    Also, dreaming big here, RCS needs to incorporate iMessage into its messaging. Not sure about legalities and all of that but we know it’s possible. At work, I (Randy) use Dialpad which is made by a few former Google employees. When I send texts on Dialpad to a customer on an iPhone, it tells me when they are typing. It would be awesome if RCS could do this too!

    What are your thoughts - is RCS ready to slay the iMessage giant? Let us know.

    The RCS roll-out has just started and is currently in its adoption stage. Once adopted at a larger scale, it would be interesting to see how developers and customers can utilize the advancements introduced by the RCS protocol to maximize the productivity and improve communication. Exciting times ahead, and we are definitely pumped up for it.

    So have you received the RCS update and enabled it on your phone yet? What are your overall first impressions of it? Feel free to share screenshots and your favorite RCS features as we discuss more.

  2. keithnyc
    Marshmallow Moderator Nov 23, 2019

    keithnyc , Nov 23, 2019 :
    Great job on this, guys. I resisted for awhile, but thanks to your article I'm now RCS enabled! Thanks
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019

  3. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Nov 23, 2019

    Starcommander , Nov 23, 2019 :
    Is it available with default oneplus application?

  4. Texasaggie1
    US Brand Ambassador Nov 23, 2019

    Texasaggie1 , via OnePlus Community App , Nov 23, 2019 :
    that's a great question. we have heard that it was working on the 6T on T-Mobile but that is all we have heard of. the default OnePlus application has the settings for chat features hidden as far as I can tell. but when you are on a T-Mobile device the settings do show. we would need somebody with a 6t to chime in and let us know.

  5. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Nov 23, 2019

    Starcommander , Nov 23, 2019 :
    Ohhh, I have normal 6T and kept on searching but no avail :(

    buntycubal and shantanunaresh like this.
  6. Texasaggie1
    US Brand Ambassador Nov 23, 2019

    Texasaggie1 , via OnePlus Community App , Nov 23, 2019 :
    did it ever work for you? I remember reading about people in the forums who are on T-Mobile phones that said RCS was working for them

    buntycubal and Sritejkadiveti like this.
  7. Texasaggie1
    US Brand Ambassador Nov 23, 2019

  8. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Nov 23, 2019

    Starcommander , Nov 23, 2019 :
    It worked for me with Google messages. I am using Vodafone and RCS was connected...
    But there is no such option with default messages application

    buntycubal likes this.
  9. Texasaggie1
    US Brand Ambassador Nov 23, 2019

    Texasaggie1 , via OnePlus Community App , Nov 23, 2019 :
    yes I think that is what will be normal for people who are on unlocked international phones. For the time being we will have to use Google messages to get RCs

  10. skgoyal2190
    Froyo Nov 25, 2019

    skgoyal2190 , Nov 25, 2019 :

    I am 7T user and I don't see enable chat feature, it says not available for my device.

    will that means, it will come later to 7T?

    Sebush likes this.
  11. meatandy
    Oreo Nov 25, 2019

    meatandy , Nov 25, 2019 :
    I'll wait for the OP8 to give it a try , Thanks for the informative explaination.

    buntycubal and cdnfarmer like this.
  12. Z1568547412324
    Donut Nov 25, 2019

    Z1568547412324 , via OnePlus 7 , Nov 25, 2019 :
    we know OnePlus brand all devices hack our information for hackers..... please solved this situation [e]1f621[/e][e]1f621[/e][e]1f621[/e][e]1f621[/e][e]1f621[/e][e]1f621[/e]

  13. R_Swanoop_R_
    Cupcake Nov 25, 2019

    R_Swanoop_R_ , via OnePlus 6 , Nov 25, 2019 :
    According to Android authority, Here’s how to enable RCS messaging on your Android phone.

    If you haven’t already, download Google’s Messages app.

    Once installed, open the Messages app.

    Tap the settings button (three vertical dots) on the top-right of the app.

    Tap Settings.

    Tap Chat features.

    If the Enable chat features toggle is turned off, turn it on by tapping it once.

    If the Enable chat features toggle is already on, you’re all set!

    Google will now officially support it

    John Macca likes this.
  14. MskSrini
    Froyo Nov 25, 2019

    MskSrini , via OnePlus 6T , Nov 25, 2019 :
    Instead of downloading the Google messaging app, it is possible for the OnePlus messaging app have this feature?

    It will be much more convenient for the app to have RCS if it is so much better than the normal sms rather than downloading an app.

  15. Fatih Aşkın
    Gingerbread Nov 25, 2019

  16. Mradul_Bhatt
    Froyo Nov 25, 2019

    Mradul_Bhatt , Nov 25, 2019 :
    cool but don't want to replace OP default msger with Google....pls integrate RCS in OP default msger.

  17. mahendragolla
    Froyo Nov 25, 2019

  18. Vansh99
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Nov 25, 2019

    Vansh99 , via OnePlus 7 Pro , Nov 25, 2019 :
    I've been using Google messages for over 2 years now, I got obsessed with texting via desktop. I know texting isn't big anywhere else but in US, it's the primary texting option...thanks to iPhone users using iMessage and being the majority.

    I was probably in the minority that used the "hack" on my phone the very first day it was talked about on r/UniversalProfile and r/Android. It worked great until I realized I know literally only 2 people that use RCS. One has Google messages RCS with Boost Mobile and another used the "hack" on his OnePlus 6T after I told him about it . Hopefully RCS expands and majority of the Android phones in 2020, regardless of their preinstalled default messaging app, are compatible with Google's RCS.

    Hopefully in future Apple will be nice enough and integrate RCS (maybe iOS 14? ._. ) that works with Google's RCS. Samsung messages is supposed to start working with Google's RCS soon, so that's a good sign considering how many Samsung users are out there and use Samsung Messages as default.

    Thing that makes me worry is what carriers will do. They're supposed to launch RCS integration between carriers sometime next year...which is going to be an app. I'm assuming the app will be preinstalled in majority of carrier devices. This will further ruin messaging for Android as most of the people buy phones from carriers. People using Google / Samsung messages may or may not work with carriers' messaging.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019

  19. lalitpnl16
    Froyo Nov 25, 2019

    lalitpnl16 , via OnePlus 6 , Nov 25, 2019 :
    the problem is, the second we start using another app instead of the default stick app, my normal messages are delayed. I had to unwillingly uninstall sms organizer because it was not working as an default app would work.

  20. AnasKhanAzmi007
    Eclair Nov 25, 2019