Sprint has apparently started a slow rollout of Rich Communication Services, or RCS, for select devices. RCS, for the uninitiated, is an upgraded SMS standard for improved text and multimedia sharing. The nearest RCS comparison would be iMessage, Apple’s proprietary messaging app between iDevices.
The newest version of Google Messenger has now been found to display the option to enable “Enhanced Messaging,” but only for a number of Sprint smartphones. Google announced RCS early November with Sprint as the first partner carrier, gunning 2017 as the starting point for all Android devices under Sprint to be released with RCS as standard.
RCS On Google Messenger
First sightings of the new enhanced messaging option were first reported on the Android subreddit. According to some users who fortunately came across the option, the app was able to send a 104 MB video under a couple of minutes sans issues.
In comparison, the outdated SMS technology can only send a maximum of 160 characters, otherwise text messages that span the limit are split into separate blocks. SMS also doesn’t support large file transfers. These limitations are only a few, but they clearly are the reason why internet messaging services such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp are lapsing SMS in terms of relevance in recent years.
Only a number of Reddit users have so far seen the option on their smartphones, and a lot of users in the Android subreddit are still failing to spot the option on their smartphones. This suggests that Sprint might either be administering public test runs or is simply rolling the feature out at a snail’s pace.
The feature is currently appearing on a number of Sprint devices: Moto G4 Play, LG V20, LG G4, and Nexus 5X.
Advantages Of RCS
RCS is obviously the next leap in messaging technology, as it can perform a number of tasks impossible to do via SMS. RCS can facilitate file sharing, as previously mentioned, and it can allow users to read message receipts even in group chats. Users can even see an animation indicating that other end of the conversation is in the process of responding, a minimal feature, sure, but one that makes messaging more dynamic.
Only Google’s self-branded Pixel phones have been previously reported to enable RCS messaging.
For those who have Android smartphones under Sprint, have you checked or updated your Google Messenger app yet? Are you seeing the new enhanced messaging option? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!
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