How to use RCS on any Android | enable RCS or Chat feature on Google Messages

A replacement for SMS or text messages is currently being pushed aggressively by major carriers in the US and Google. Although this replacement is not new, this new messaging tool called Rich Communication Services (RCS) is way more functional than SMS. RCS supports features such as typing indicators, group messaging, animated stickers, and read receipts. In case you are not aware, these features are absent in your regular texting app. So, if you want to get the best from what current, third party messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and Whatsapp has to offer, you can go ahead and use RCS on your Android device. At this time, RCS has only been proven to work on Google Messages app so that’s the one that you want to use for texting. 

How to use RCS on any Android | enable RCS or Chat feature on Google Messages

Enabling RCS or Chat feature on Google Messages is easy. By using RCS, you can get a lot of extra functionalities on top of the regular texting function that you can get on your regular SMS app. RCS also supports better group chats, file attachments or media sharing. You can also send or receive photos in their original file size, which means that you won’t lose any quality at all due to compression. 

There are a few requirements that you must have on your phone before you can begin the process to enable RCS. 

  • Make sure that your phone runs the latest available software update.
  • Install the beta version of Google Messages app.
  • Install Activity Launcher. This is a third party app that should allow you to modify flags within the Messages app.

Steps to enable RCS or Chat feature on Google Messages

Below are the steps to use RCS on your Android device:

  1. Turn off wifi (some phones may not continue with the setup when this is on).
  2. Open Activity Launcher app.
  3. Once Activity Launcher is running, tap the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, then select All activities.
  4. Scroll down to and tap Messages.
  5. In the Messages sub-list, scroll to and tap Set RCS Flags.
  6. In the screen that opens, tap the drop-down menu below ACS Url and tap the option named “http://rcs-acs-prod-us.sandbox.google.com.”
  7. Tap the drop-down menu for OTP Pattern and set it to “Your\sMessenger\sverification\scode\sis\sG-(\d{6}).”
  8. Tap Apply at the bottom of the list.
  9. Force stop the Messages app. In this demonstration, we use a Samsung Galaxy device so the steps are: Settings > Apps > All apps > Messages > Force stop. Make sure that you force stop the Google Messages app and NOT the Samsung Messages app.
  10. Open Messages app again.
  11. A banner on the bottom of  screen should prompt you to set p RCS or Chat for Messages. Make sure to tap Upgrade Now.
  12. The entire process should take a few minutes so just wait for it.

How to check if RCS is enabled

Depending on your carrier, the request to enable RCS may be quick or can take sometime. You should know though if Chat is now enabled as there will now be things like typing indicators when you try to send and receive messages with other compatible conversations with RCS. 

ANother way to check is this:

  1. Open Messages app.
  2. Tap More options at the upper right (three dots).
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap General.
  5. Tap Chat features.
  6. Check the status. It should say Connected.

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