All three major US carriers now support RCS.
Following in the footsteps of AT&T and T-Mobile, Verizon has now also joined the RCS and Google Messages bandwagon in the US. This means that Verizon will start preinstalling the Google Messages app as the default messaging client on all the Android devices it sells on its network.
AT&T and T-Mobile have already made similar commitments. Verizon has also confirmed that it will support RCS messages interoperability with other major US carriers, thereby greatly improving the messaging experience for Android users.
Verizon Android Phones to Ship With Google Messages
Google has been trying to get Verizon and other US carriers to support RCS for a long time. While Verizon already supported RCS messaging, it only did so via its Verizon Messages+ app. Its implementation was also not interoperable, meaning the other party was also required to install the Verizon Message+ app.
Verizon finally getting onboard with Google to support RCS interoperability and shipping Android devices with Android Messages as the default messaging client is definitely good news. However, the carrier will only start doing so from the beginning of next year, so there are still quite a few months left for the changes to come into effect.
RCS interoperability is important as it will ensure that RCS messages sent from one Android phone will show up properly on another Android phone that’s on a different network altogether.
End-to-End Encryption for Group Chats Coming Soon for RCS
Google has been making regular improvements to its Google Messages app and RCS to offer an improved messaging experience to Android users. To bolster security, the company is also rolling out end-to-end encryption for “peer-to-peer” RCS chats. Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP of Android, Chrome OS, and the Play Store, confirmed to The Verge that Google is also working on bringing end-to-end encryption for group chats.
Interestingly, the Verizon Message+ app will continue to exist. In fact, Google says that it will work on a way to sync RCS messages between Verizon’s Message+ and Google Messages app.
You can read more about RCS Messaging and how to use it on your Android device here. In a nutshell, RCS is being labeled as the successor of SMS. It will let you send messages without any character limits and offer other advanced features like typing indicators, read receipts, group chats, the ability to send high-resolution photos and videos, and more.
As per GSMA, RCS currently has over 444 monthly active users in over 60 countries worldwide. With Verizon also jumping on the RCS bandwagon, the number is bound to go up as more and more Android users in the US switch to the Google Messages app and RCS for their chats.
Don’t want to deal with a message right away? You can snooze SMS messages in the Google app and be reminded of them later.
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