Google Messenger update brings RCS support for some

If you’re a fan of and are using Google’s Messenger application for your SMS needs, there’s an update that’s currently rolling out right now which introduces a sizeable set of new features, changes and improvements, not the least of which is a brand-new icon that stares you right in the face the next time you o to open the app after updating. Apart from the new icon, entering into an SMS thread, users should notice that the chat boxes have a slightly more rounded.

 

But perhaps the bigger news is that some users are seeing RCS support which seems to be because of a switch flipped on the server side by Google.

WHAT’S NEW

  • Messenger has been completely redesigned to make conversations easier, faster, and more fun.
  • Simple design, quick photo sharing, and top contacts one tap away
  • Enhanced features that let you send messages over Wi-Fi or your data network, see when friends are typing, and more (some carriers only)
  • Unread messages indicator on your Messenger’s home screen icon (some Android phones only)
  • Android N compatibility

Do more with Messenger

Rich Communication Service (RCS) is a messaging protocol intended to replace the decrepit SMS and MMS protocols, adding support for things like emoji, location sharing, file transmission, and more. RCS was first supposed to arrive on Allo as people were expecting it to arrive with SMS support as well. It did, sort of come with a partial SMS support but.. meh. So since that didn’t really pan out, Messenger is the  very first Google app to support RCS.

To notify users that RCS has been enabled for them, Google is displaying a small popup at the bottom as you can see above, allowing the “enhanced messaging features” to be turned on. Battery Optimizations for the app need to be turned off however to enable this feature since the messenger app will now need to stay connected to the internet in the background. This brings you three toggles named, one of which is the aforementioned and poorly named enhanced features. The second and third are  “Send read receipts” and “Show typing indicators” respectively.

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RCS, as you may know now, introduces the ability for other users to see when you’ve read their messages, another thing that’s been popular and common in many chat apps like Hangouts, Groupme and others. Alongside the enhanced messaging features, the Messenger app also now includes read counts that show on the icon for Messenger on the home screen, although this will only work for some Android phones.

RCS requires carriers to enable it on their end too and in the US, so far, AT&T, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, and Sprint have done so while Verizon users are out of luck for now. A couple of other improvements that have been made include one tap access to contacts and the ability to share photos more quickly. There is no time frame on the rollout and Google doesn’t seem to have announced it, so users will simply have to wait patiently for it to show up.

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Have you received the 2.0 update yet? If yes, did you get the RCS notification? Let me know in the comments below.

Source : Android Police

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