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Google Messenger 2.0 brings RCS enhanced messaging features like send text over data/Wi-Fi, read receipts, typing indicators

Google's latest update to its SMS text messaging app, Messenger, has added support for RCS. If you are not familiar with the term, it stands for Rich Communication Sercvices.

Google Messenger RCS
This feature, is an GSM Association initiative, will provide users with options to send SMS messages over any network including Data and Wi-Fi. This is similar to Instant Messaging, and will allow users to see whether the contact is typing, allows ysers to send media, and more.

If this sounds similar to what Apple's iMessage does, you are correct, that is what it is like. But unlike Apple's messsaging app, RCS is a cross platform service which will work on Android, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile. Digging through a reddit thread, we have come to know that RCS is currently available for a few users in the U.S, especially on the Sprint Network. Some users with a Nexus 6p, Nexus 5X, Samsung Galaxy S6 have reported that they have RCS working on their devices. Another user mentioned that he was able to install the Google Messenger app, on his Pixel C tablet, from the Play Store, and that SMS was disabled in the app, to which another user suggested that this will work on the tablet, once RCS is rolled out.

Android Police reports that some users with Pixel and Mexus 6P devices are getting a notification, which asks them to enable RCS. The article mentions that the app requires battery optimisization to be disabled for it, so it can be connected in the background. These three settings (Enable enhanced features, Send read receipts, and Show typing indicators) appear once you do so. (we tested it on our Redmi Note 3 running on Android 6.0.1, and a Nexus 6 running on Stock Nougat 7.0 and it does not work).

GSMA's official website mentions Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio,  and Vodafone (not sure if it is Vodafone India though), among telecom services who have partnered for RCS.

RCS GSMA

And RCS' wikipedia page mentions that Reliance Jio has already activated it, and that the Jio4GVoice app uses it. We are not certain about this though. Many OEMS like Alcatel, ASUS, General Mobile, HTC, Intex Technologies, Lava International Ltd., LG Electronics, Lenovo/Motorola, Samsung Electronics and ZTE have partered for RCS along with  Google Android and Microsoft Windows 10 Mobile. RCS should be available on the telecom provider's network, after which all users with an app which supports it, will be able to use the feature.

In the meantime, you can download Google Messenger 2.0 from the Play Store.

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