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.

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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.

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