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O2 Social Media Team
Posts: 1,270
Registered: ‎27-11-2013

RCS Messaging on O2

[ Edited ]

Hey everyone,

Some of you may have spotted the recent news that Google was building RCS right into their own Messages app. Some of you may know exactly what RCS is, and some of you may not have a clue – but want it anyway. In any case, here’s a refresher…

What is RCS?
RCS is essentially an evolution of SMS. In the grand scheme of things, the SMS protocol today has barely changed since its inception in 1992 – it has the same character limit and same limitations. RCS has been designed to include functionality such as group messaging, sending/receiving voice & video messages, and even see read receipts or when someone is replying to your message. Think of RCS as a bit like WhatsApp, but with the ability to send rich media messages to someone that doesn’t have WhatsApp installed.

RCS vs iMessage vs WhatsApp
So you may be thinking, RCS sounds very similar to iMessage and WhatsApp – so what’s the difference? If you already use WhatsApp for the majority of your messaging, then you won’t notice a whole lot of change here in terms of functionality. And iMessage supports features that neither RCS or WhatsApp will – such as memoji – which are exclusive to Apple / iOS / iMessage.

The main things to note with RCS vs WhatsApp is that while messages sent via WhatsApp have end-to-end encryption, RCS does not. A positive for RCS however is that while this and WhatsApp both rely on mobile data to send messages, if you find yourself connected to a voice-only 2G network, RCS will fall back to the SMS standard and you’ll still be able to message folk – just without any fancy group messaging, pictures, voice or video clips etc.

When will you have more info on your network implementation of RCS?
RCS is a complex technology that requires careful and precise implementation, and it’s our duty to ensure that implementing such a feature will result in a positive and reliable experience for our customers.

That said, we have no precise ETA to share as we’ll only activate the service when we feel confident it’ll provide that experience, but we expect to be able to share further updates with you over the summer – which we’ll let you know about on this thread as and when we have more to share.

What about Google’s RCS?
If you have an Android device whose main messaging app is Google’s own ‘Messages’, then RCS is currently rolling out to you right now – though this could take days, weeks, or longer. If you use an alternative messaging app such as Samsung’s own Messages app, then RCS won’t work for you until we implement our own RCS service.

How do I get Google’s RCS?
As above, Google are currently rolling this functionality out to UK Android users. We have no influence on this roll out and have no further details on what the schedule looks like, and how long the roll-out will take, but we’re seeing more and more customers getting the option to enable it.

Here’s how to check if it has been rolled out to your device or not:

  1. Ensure your Google Messages app is up-to-date (make sure it’s this one you’re using)
  2. Open the app
  3. Tap the three dot icon at the top-right hand corner
  4. Go to ‘Settings’
  5. Tap on ‘Chat features’
  6. If the roll-out hasn’t reached you yet, you won’t have an option to enable this. If the roll-out has reached you though, you should have a toggle that’ll allow you to opt-in to Google’s RCS – you’ll need to agree to their privacy policy and T&C’s.


How do I know I’m sending an RCS and not an SMS?
If you’re using the Google Messages app and you’ve ensured the RCS Chat service is enabled (see above), then the text box where you type out a message will show you which is in use. If you see “Text message” then it will be sent as an SMS. If you see “Chat message” then it’ll be sent via RCS. If you’ve ensured Chat RCS is enabled on your end but you still see “Text message”, then this is most likely because the person you’re trying to message doesn’t have RCS enabled on their end – this could be because they’ve not activated it within Google Messages, or it could be because they’ve got an alternative messaging app set as their default.

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Posts: 121
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Registered: ‎11-04-2019

Re: RCS Messaging on O2

I've downloaded and tried to use Google Messages on my Samsung Galaxy S10 and it's said that my device isn't compatible with the RCS service so it doesn't work for all Android users. Must be only available to those who use boring vanilla Android Smiley Tongue I can wait for the O2 RCS service. I prefer Samsung Messages to Google's anyway. It looks a lot nicer.
Posts: 996
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Registered: ‎07-10-2012

Re: RCS Messaging on O2


@SamsungFanBoy wrote:
I've downloaded and tried to use Google Messages on my Samsung Galaxy S10 and it's said that my device isn't compatible with the RCS service so it doesn't work for all Android users. Must be only available to those who use boring vanilla Android Smiley Tongue I can wait for the O2 RCS service. I prefer Samsung Messages to Google's anyway. It looks a lot nicer.

Same here not working on my A50 so will delete it . 

Level 15: Gaining a Reputation
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Registered: ‎22-04-2017

Re: RCS Messaging on O2

Also can send MMS on it and emoji aswel I'm using Samsung stock messaging app
Posts: 121
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Registered: ‎11-04-2019

Re: RCS Messaging on O2

My friend has the Galaxy S8 on Vodafone and the RCS service is active on the Samsung Messages app! It shows which of your contacts has RCS as a blue dot next to the contact name. I am looking forward to O2 implementing the service.
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Re: RCS Messaging on O2

Can't wait for this
Posts: 7,185
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Registered: ‎11-04-2012

Re: RCS Messaging on O2

[ Edited ]

Love the flashy scrolling text in your signature, @Chris_K!

 

  • Re RCS - will this mean no more premium charge for sending an SMS that unintentionally gets converted to an MMS?

 

I tried the Google Messenger app a phone or two back (perhaps 4 years ago?), didn't like it and reverted to the default SMS app, "Messaging" - something to do with working while roaming back then, I think.

 

Anyway - I may try it again when O2 roll out RCS to those with OnePlus phones...

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O2 Social Media Team
Posts: 1,270
Registered: ‎27-11-2013

Re: RCS Messaging on O2


@pgn wrote:

 

  • Re RCS - will this mean no more premium charge for sending an SMS that unintentionally gets converted to an MMS?

Didn't expect all the hate for Google Messages... I switched to it on my Note 8 back when Samsung had the issue of their messenger app randomly sending your entire photo library to random contacts, and been using it ever since.

RE: premium charges, the same behaviours will still exist. When you're drafting a message and if you add something that would normally convert it to an MMS, it will still send as a normal MMS to others you're messaging that don't have RCS. If they do have RCS though and you unintentionally add rich media that'd have converted it to MMS in the past, then in that case there should be no charges. Before you start typing out your message though, the app you're using should have some kind of indication of how your message will be sent - whether as an SMS, MMS or RCS.

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Registered: ‎22-03-2013

Re: RCS Messaging on O2

[ Edited ]

@SamsungFanBoy wrote:
I've downloaded and tried to use Google Messages on my Samsung Galaxy S10 and it's said that my device isn't compatible with the RCS service so it doesn't work for all Android users. Must be only available to those who use boring vanilla Android Smiley Tongue I can wait for the O2 RCS service. I prefer Samsung Messages to Google's anyway. It looks a lot nicer.

It might be a while.  O2's support for RCS has been nothing but pathetic (same as EE and Three) which is why the UK was targetted by Google as 1 of the 2 countries where they're taking control back from the networks as their failure to deliver it has hurt adoption, and customer experience.

 

The Samsung Messaging app is compatible with the Google RCS service,  as Samsung updated it to comply with the Universal Profile and this works fine for the carrier implementation the likes of Vodafone UK have already implemented.  But, as you're saying, it will not support the international expansion that kicked off last week by Google.  If that's the case, as Samsung are now virtually the only OEM not shipping the Google Messages app in the firmware (noting you can easily download it from Google Play) as the default messaging app, you may be left out should Google be sole provider of the Chat service going forward where the mobile networks continue their woeful support of RCS/Universal Profile.

 

You may just have to wait for Google to offer you to update to enable Chat which should happen soon.  The only requirements for the software is Android Lollipop and the carrier support will be a non-issue with Google bringing it to unsupporter carriers anyway.

Google Pixel 3 XL, Android Q beta 4
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Registered: ‎22-03-2013

Re: RCS Messaging on O2

[ Edited ]

@SamsungFanBoy wrote:
My friend has the Galaxy S8 on Vodafone and the RCS service is active on the Samsung Messages app! It shows which of your contacts has RCS as a blue dot next to the contact name. I am looking forward to O2 implementing the service.

Samsung updated their messaging app to support the carrier implementation of RCS so it will work with anyone on a supported network where the receiver is using the same app, or the Google Messages app.

Google Pixel 3 XL, Android Q beta 4