Google launches the SMS successor “RCS” on Android

Classic SMS has increasingly lost its importance over the past decade. Most smartphone owners now use messengers such as WhatsApp and iMessage. Nevertheless, there is now a successor to SMS.

Google has activated the SMS successor standard Rich Communications Services (RCS) for its Messages app. The open standard, which has already been available since 2012, is intended to offer all the conveniences known from messengers, but has not yet been able to establish itself. It is now available on virtually every Android device worldwide.

The advantages of the SMS successor

The RCS standard offers decisive advantages over messengers of all stripes, such as interoperability: users can communicate with one another regardless of the RCS apps used. In addition, the contacts remain on the devices and are not uploaded to the Internet server for comparison.

And there are also clear advantages over SMS. For example, end-to-end encryption – with which Google is still in the implementation phase for Messages – or the fact that there is no text length limit.

RCS works like other messengers on Android

In addition, everything that is otherwise known from messengers is possible: phone calls with or without video, sending photos, films or voice messages, status information such as “received” or “read” as well as group chats. In addition, the data can of course also be transmitted via WLAN if available. However, not every Android device necessarily supports the standard.

RCS usually has to be activated

There is only certainty when you try to activate RCS in the Google Messages app. This works in the settings when you go to “Activate chat functions“. But it can also be the case that when you open the Messages app, you are greeted with the information that it is already active.

In order for a conversation to take place, the chat partner must also have successfully activated RCS. If this is not the case, communication falls back on SMS messages. Messages isn’t the only RCS app. Many smartphone manufacturers also offer RCS functionality in the pre-installed standard app for messages.


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