Skip to main content

Verizon confirms RCS support is coming in early 2019

Verizon logo
Verizon logo (Image credit: Android Central)

SMS, the current standard we use for texting, is on its way out the door. RCS has been in the works for years now as its official replacement, and lately, a lot of puzzle pieces have been coming together to make this a reality. Most recently, Verizon confirmed that it'll finally support RCS in "early 2019."

This was announced by Verizon's Senior Vice President of Consumer Products at a GSMA event on November 15, and while Verizon does currently offer its own proprietary version of RCS, the change in 2019 will likely see it shift to the Universal Profile being pushed by Google that works across multiple carriers and OEMs.

It hasn't actually been confirmed by Verizon that it's supporting the Universal Profile, but GSMA told The Verge that it will, in fact, support Universal Profile 1.0. Verizon also didn't get any more specific aside from "early 2019" for its release, but according to a report form Fierce Wireless, we could see the change come as early as February.

When this conversion does happen, one of the biggest user-facing benefits will be support for Google's Chat platform that was announced in April. Chat is an evolution of the Android Messages app and will allow for typing indicators, read receipts, high-quality photos, and better group chat support. It's essentially Google's take on iMessage that should work on just about every Android phone.

We're likely still a ways out before we see the effects of this in the real world, but Verizon's new commitment to RCS is a huge step forward for the standard.

Google's RCS 'Chat' plans are actually kind of brilliant

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

  • So is there a secure end to end encryption arm to this like I message or signal etc? Or is Google able to look at all the messages and sell ads and steal your privacy?
  • Wow... abit paranoid there aren't ya? I don't think there is a chat service currently in operation that actually does this... Hell, this is the sort of thing you'd expect from Facebook and their Messenger, but they've specifically placed in several key areas that they do not do this, and so has Google... They don't look at your messages... And even if they did, why on EARTH would you think they would look at people's RCS messages when they could already see everything just by the simple fact that you have THEIR phone... I mean, they can peer into ANYTHING you do on an android device exactly like apple can with their iPhones... But that doesn't mean they DO... You haven't been texting a significant other about something like "I like babies" and then suddenly when you open your web browser you are seeing ads for baby diapers are ya? No? Didn't think so...
  • You can never be too paranoid about google and your data, just because you are fine running all your data through google's server doesn't mean everyone else it. If google can monetize something, they will, that is what advertising companies do.
  • Yep.
    "Don't be evil" is greatest BS sold to the public.
    Just look at latest revelation of Facebook smear campaign, hiring some company to attack those who exposed their knowledge of "data breach" and lot more.
    They are all about maximizing profit regardless of environmental and social costs (corporatocracy) - because we let them do it. It's time to put some heavy restraints on these monsters we fed for too long.
  • Check out Librem 5 phone - coming out next year Both hardware and software made out if scratch...
  • You are the type of person that google loves...
  • Seesh... such passionate ignorance...
  • Well this is what happened to my"significant other" when I sent her a msg on Allo. I sent her a picture of shoes from the web (hard to find)and next time she opened Instagram the very first Ad was the same shoes. I got pissed and went into permission settings and denied "storage" access for Instagram app. Never happened again.
  • I read this article and just think about how T-Mobile "implemented" this. As we all know that means next to nothing unless you have a T-Mobile Galaxy S7. It makes me think that Verizon will say that they have implemented it as well, but it really won't make a difference for 90% of their Android users.
  • Hell, the only thing I'm concerned about (this IS Verizon we're talking about) is since they don't include basic stuff they should (like spam rejection, VPN or hell, even Visual Voicemail) in the default plan, will they nickel and dime users with the "if you want your Android phone to chat like iMessage, it'll only be an addition $4.99/line on your bill!"
  • Not disagreeing with you about Verizon's greed, but, just for the record, they don't charge extra for visual voicemail. Maybe on really old plans, but I've had it for years and never paid extra.
  • You're right about that. I never had the option even on my LG G6 with a current plan. Reached out to their support and they told me they never activated it years ago when things changed. Flipped a switch on their end and it work. Thanks for the head's up!
  • You're welcome. Glad I could help. Since they never provisioned that, are you getting VoLTE with HD Voice, as well as Wi-Fi Calling? I remember that, when those rolled out, there were issues with automatic provisioning that required customer service to step in and manually do it.
  • Been waiting on this news for 2 days straight lol...
  • AT&T next they was also at the event on nj... I see 2019 big year for rcs and minimum 5g rollouts....
  • Welcome to early 2018. Uh... One network in Canada enabled RCS in 2017.
  • Sprint a US company also enables RCS on 2017
  • And when will project Fi support RCS? Google pushinf RCS and no word on Project Fi support makes little sense.
  • I wonder if it's because Fi is a MVNO. They may need to wait for T-Mobile and USCC to get fully on board.