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Google's RCS Chat features now rolling out to phones in the UK and France

Google Mesages on a Pixel 3
Google Mesages on a Pixel 3 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's RCS Chat features are now live in the UK and France.
  • They enable read receipts, typing indicators, messaging over Wi-Fi, and more.
  • We don't know which countries Google will offer this to next.

On June 17, Google announced a big shift for its RCS Chat messaging plans. Rather than waiting on carriers to slowly add support for the messaging standard, Google is now taking matters into its own hands and enabling RCS for people on its own.

Google said that it would initially make its Chat features available for everyone in the United Kingdom and France, and just as the company promised, it's now starting to roll out to users in the two countries.

9to5Google initially reported on the news, saying that Chat is "available immediately" for Pixel devices. However, we've been able to confirm that it's also working on the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.

You can check to see if Chat features are available by opening Messages, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, and then tap Settings. Next tap "Chat features", and if it's up and running, you'll see a message at the top letting you know that it's connected.

From there, you can control which Chat features you do or don't want to use — including read receipts, typing indicators, and auto-downloading files. With Chat enabled, you can also send and receive messages over Wi- Fi/data — just like WhatsApp, iMessage, or any other popular messaging service.

It's reassuring to see that Google is making good on its word, but there's still a lot of work to be done. Google hasn't said where it'll enable Chat features next or how long it'll take to come to countries outside of the UK and France, so now it's a matter of waiting.

If you do happen to live in the UK or France, let us know if you have Chat and how you're liking it.

Pay close attention to the RCS football as Google tees it up again

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

16 Comments
  • "Not available on your device" Galaxy S10 on O2 in the UK.
  • Same for me on Sosh (Orange) Sony Xperia 1 in France.
  • Working for me, P30 Pro Vodafone, UK
  • Vodafone supported RCS for a long time.
    Not sure if that was universal profile by Google or it's own Vodafone implementation.
    Anyone received RCS on noon Vodafone network?
  • Got the update. Now I just need to jump in the DeLorean and head back to 2008 when everyone/anyone I know still uses the Messaging app
  • Not available on your device. Nokia 8.1 (which is an Android One handset) on Plusnet (EE).
  • How come this couldn't have happened years ago? Why rely on the carriers to handle this when your own platform experience is at risk by putting it in their hands? I can't wait till it comes to the US.
  • Just updated on Huawei Mate 20 pro on EE!
  • Working for my Galaxy Note 9 unlocked (with 3 UK)
  • I got it
    (Galaxy J5 2017 on Virgin)
  • Not available on this device.
    P30 Pro on EE
  • For those saying it's not available, it's a slow rollout so you will get it enabled but only when it's enabled for you on the Servers.
  • TMobile needs to flip the switch. Chat features unavailable for this device. Your carrier does not currently support this feature.
  • Working for me Pixel 3 on EE uk
  • Not yet working for me. Hope it does soon. I'm on the OnePlus 6T SIM-free on Three UK.
  • Took 3 weeks but working now on my OnePlus 6T. Just started today. Now just gotta get others using it.