What you need to know
- Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer confirmed that RCS Chat will soon begin rolling out in some more countries.
- Google began rolling out RCS chat functionality for Android users in the UK and France last month.
- Lockheimer also suggested RCS Chat rollout in the US is yet to begin due to lack of support from carriers.
Google finally began enabling RCS Chat feature for users on its own last month. The feature was initially made available only for Pixel devices but the company's Senior Vice President Hiroshi Lockheimer has now confirmed in a tweet that RCS Chat has now been fully rolled out to users in the UK and France. He added that the company would "love" to work with U.S. carrier partners on RCS and that it was "trying" to get them to help the company roll out the feature in the states.
The Mountain View-based company is now gearing up to make RCS Chat available in a few more countries. Since Lockheimer did not list the countries in his tweet, it is unclear if the U.S. is among the countries that are slated to receive the feature in the next wave. Seeing how none of the country's major carriers are very keen on RCS technology, it will probably take some time before it arrives in the U.S.
Currently, universal RCS profile is only supported by Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and a few MVNOs in the U.S. Verizon Wireless supports the universal RCS profile only on select devices such as Google's Pixel and Samsung's Galaxy phones. The same goes for T-Mobile. AT&T is the only U.S. carrier that does not support RCS on any device yet.
Google's RCS Chat promises "better carrier messaging" and makes it possible for users to enjoy a messaging experience similar to Apple's iMessage. It supports nearly all features that you expect from a modern messaging service, including the ability to share photos and large files, group chats, read receipts, and more. However, unlike third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram, RCS Chat does not offer end-to-end encryption.
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