The RCS hack for Android is starting to break

RCS messaging
RCS messaging (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A hack that allowed you to enable RCS on the latest Google Messages beta popped up last week.
  • It seems to have stopped working for some.
  • OnePlus, Pixel, Xiaomi, and Samsung phones seem to be affected, while others are still able to access the new chat experience.

Google's slowly rolling out its attempt at mimicking the iMessage experience for Android, but with stunted success, mainly due to carriers dragging their heels. The company has tried bypassing them altogether in some places, but as we explained before, both the device and the carrier need to support RCS in order for it to work as intended.

If you don't live in Europe and still wanted to try RCS' richer texting experience, a new workaround using the Message beta for Android popped up last week that allowed you to do just that. Good things don't last forever, though, and it seems to be the case here. Reddit reports from various Android users show the new 'Chat features' section that shows up after enabling RCS is now unable to establish a connection or is informing them that their device is not supported.

That means the bevvy of features the new standard was supposed to bring with it — realtime delivery and read receipts, being able to see when other people are typing, and the ability to attach large video files and high-quality photos — are no longer available, and users are back to the vanilla SMS experience of yore.

It's not all bad news, though, and it doesn't seem like Google itself has turned off a switch somewhere. While some OnePlus, Pixel, Xiaomi, and Samsung phones are experiencing issues with the RCS workaround, others say they are continuing to use the service without any issues.

At the end of the day, though, what all this means is that Android users have to keep waiting on carriers, Google, and device makers to experience something that iPhone users have already had for years.

Google 'Chat': Everything you need to know

Muhammad Jarir Kanji