Your Android phone has iMessage skills. How to use Google Chat’s texting features

Your texting recreation is about to get an enormous improve in Google’s Messages app. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

It’s no secret that Apple’s iMessage service is the glue that attracts iPhone owners to stay with Apple’s product lineup. Until lately, nevertheless, Android telephones had struggled to compete with Apple’s texting answer. That’s modified, due to the rollout of Google’s RCS Messaging, the corporate’s new text-messaging protocol, on the finish of 2019. 

The service is constructed into Google’s Messages app, and helps convey Google in keeping with Apple’s broad texting capabilities, like the flexibility to ship full-resolution pictures and little bubbles that allow you to know when somebody is typing. 

Even Samsung is getting in on the act. It lately introduced that its Messages app will quickly start utilizing the same RCS technology that’s available in Google’s Messages app. If you personal a Samsung Galaxy phone, your finest guess is to make use of the Google Messages app for now, at the least till Samsung completes its rollout. We’ll replace this publish as we study extra. 

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Google has tried its hand at many alternative messaging providers, lagging behind Facebook Messenger and Apple’s iMessage to realize any actual traction. With RCS Messaging so tightly intertwined with textual content messaging, Google might have lastly discovered itself a winner. RCS Messaging does not actually roll off the tongue, so throughout the Messages app, Google refers back to the service as Chat. 

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at what you will must do to activate the brand new function, in addition to a few of the extra nuanced features of RCS Messaging. 

Get began with Google’s Chat function

First, you will want an Android phone with Google’s Messages app put in and set because the default textual content messaging app. The first time you launch Messages, it is going to ask if you wish to set it as your default app. Just observe the prompts and don’t fret, you will not lose your dialog historical past by switching. 

After setting Messages as your default messaging app, take a few minutes and arrange Messages for Web, which lets you send and receive text messages from your computer

RCS messages will work within the US, UK, France or Mexico. There is not an official record of nations the place RCS help is energetic, however Android Police has received reports from customers in Italy, Portugal, and Singapore beginning to see Chat energetic. 

The immediate you will get asks if you wish to see when your pals are typing, nevertheless it does a lot greater than that. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Turn Google’s Chat options on

After putting in Google’s Messages app and setting it as your default texting app, there are two other ways to allow Chat. You can both look ahead to a immediate within the Messages app asking if you wish to see when your pals are typing, or you’ll be able to go into the Settings part of Messages and search for the change to show Chat on. 

When you get the immediate, faucet Upgrade Now then observe the prompts and enter your phone quantity if requested. You may open Messages and faucet on the three-dot menu button (top-right nook of the app) and choose Settings > Chat Features. If Chat Features is not within the settings part, then your account does not have entry to RCS fairly but. 

This identical settings web page can be the place you’ll be able to go to show your learn receipts on or off, in addition to disable the typing indicator everytime you’re typing and management what occurs if Chat fails to ship a message. 

Make positive you customise Chat’s settings. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you run into points with sending messages, you can too view the present standing of your phone’s connection to the Chat service within the settings app. As lengthy because it says Connected, your phone quantity is registered with Chat and may use the service everytime you’re speaking to a contact who additionally has Chat enabled.

That’s an vital side of Chat. Whoever you are speaking to may also must have the function enabled on their system to make use of the brand new chat options, although in fact all normal texting options nonetheless apply. 

You’ll be capable to take benefit sooner by getting your pals to make use of Google Messages. You can information them by means of the setup course of (or ship them a hyperlink to this publish). 

The Messages app largely appears to be like the identical.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Use the brand new Chat options in a dialog

After you activate chat options, the Messages app will proceed to work and look the identical, and you must maintain utilizing it the identical approach you at all times have. The app is aware of whenever you’re speaking to somebody by means of textual content or one other contact with chat turned on. 

The best option to inform if a dialog is utilizing old school textual content messaging or the brand new chat options is to take a look at the textual content field earlier than you begin typing. If the field says “Chat message” then the dialog can have typing indicators, learn receipts, and the remainder of the options that RCS Messaging gives. 

It’s fairly simple to see when you are going to ship a textual content, or use the brand new Chat options. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When chat options are in use, you will see delivered and skim receipts beneath every message you’ve got despatched, and you’ll ship full-resolution pictures and share recordsdata with fellow chat customers. You do not need to do something particular to ship a high-resolution picture, simply faucet on the photograph icon within the app and choose photograph or video. You’ll see a loading circle on the picture because it’s uploaded and despatched, however in any other case the method appears to be like and works the identical as sending a textual content message. 

Because Chat works over mobile knowledge or Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to put your phone in airplane mode and you may nonetheless be capable to ship and obtain messages with different Chat customers. 

Switching telephones? Make positive you flip Chat off

Yes, and in reality, you must achieve this earlier than you take away the SIM card out of your phone. If you neglect to show off chat options earlier than transferring your SIM card to a brand new phone, chat features could continue to work for up to eight days. Meaning, you could not get messages despatched to your quantity by somebody utilizing chat. 

RCS Messaging is not encrypted like Apple’s iMessage. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Note: Your messages aren’t encrypted

Google does not at the moment encrypt your conversations with fellow chat customers. The conversations are despatched securely out of your phone to Google’s server after which to the recipient’s phone, after which the messages are deleted from Google’s server, however these messages aren’t end-to-end encrypted. 

You can use apps like WhatsApp and Signal, or Apple’s iMessage when you want end-to-end encryption.

If you have got extra questions on RCS Messaging, we have answers. We even have a roundup of the best apps for Android users in 2020, or when you’ve been serious about leaping ship to the iPhone ($699 at Apple), you might be surprised at how easy it is

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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