Phone

Samsung and Google bringing wider RCS support to Galaxy phones

Update: Samsung’s Messages app won’t automatically start supporting RCS in markets where Google rolls out RCS. As the company pointed out to us, it has communicated to carrier partners that it will support them in their own RCS plans by connecting to their accredited RCS solution of choice. Samsung’s partnership with Google only entails Samsung Messages client support for Google’s RCS service only where it’s provided and requested/agreed to by the carriers.

Original story follows:

Although Samsung had announced third-party app support for the Galaxy Z Flip’s Flex Mode during the launch event, the feature only recently arrived on the foldable phone. As a part of that announcement, the South Korean firm also announced that it is enabling RCS support on more smartphones, in partnership with Google.

Yes, it’s a little confusing. Samsung phones have been supporting RCS messaging features for over two years. So what has changed now? Well, RCS messages were earlier supported on Galaxy phones only if the carrier supported it. Now, Google and Samsung have expanded their partnership to bring RCS messaging to phones even if the carrier doesn’t have support for the rich messaging protocol.

The South Korean smartphone brand seems to be tapping into Google’s Chat service (Google’s own RCS branding) to bring RCS messaging to its stock Messages app on Galaxy phones. If Google has rolled out RCS in a particular country or region, Samsung’s Messages app would automatically start supporting RCS messages there.

If you don’t know already, RCS is poised to replace SMS in the coming years. It brings support for chatting over mobile data or Wi-Fi, similar to IM apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. RCS also brings features like high-resolution images and videos, read receipts, feature-rich group chats, group chat naming, typing indicators, and the ability to add or remove people from a group chat.

Samsung has still noted that the RCS capabilities of its Messages app vary by carrier, device, and market. A few users have started getting the new feature on their Galaxy smartphones over the past few days, just after Samsung’s announcement. The South Korean firm has also collaborated with Microsoft to bring RCS integration to Windows 10’s Your Phone app.

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