RCS Messaging is the latest update to messaging on Android devices. It provides new RCS features as an upgrade to SMS and MMS messaging, without the need for a separate app.

Want to know more about messaging using RCS Messaging? Read on for answers to our most frequently-asked questions.

What is RCS Messaging?

RCS (Rich Communication Services) Messaging enhances the messages you send from your normal Messages app, like Google Messages or Samsung Messages, with things you can’t do when sending standard SMS or MMS messages. Here are examples of some of the new features:

  • Send longer texts - you're not limited to 160 characters.
  • Typing indicators – see when your contact is typing in a conversation.
  • Read receipts – know when your message has been read.
  • Large group chats – create group chats with up to 100 participants who also have RCS Messaging enabled.
  • High-quality media sharing – share pictures and videos in high quality.
  • RCS Messaging over wifi – send messages even when you don't have a mobile network connection.
  • Transfer large files – send larger attachments.

Do I need to download a separate app to use RCS Messaging?

No, RCS Messaging enhances what you can do in your normal messaging app, like Google Messages or Samsung Messages. Any two people who have RCS Messaging enabled on their devices can exchange RCS messages, even if they’re using different Messages apps to do it. Google Messages works on all Android devices with Android 5.0 (known as Lollipop) or above. If your Messages app is compatible, you can use it as normal – just make sure you have RCS features enabled in settings.

Which devices support RCS Messaging?

RCS Messaging is available on any Android device with Android 6.0 and newer software updates if you are using the Google Messaging Client. 

I don’t have the right app, how do I get RCS Messaging on my device?

You can get RCS Messaging by downloading Google Messages from the Play Store.

What if I don't want to use RCS Messaging?

If you want to disable RCS Messaging on your device, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Messages app
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Chat settings
  4. Disable Chat features by tapping the toggle. You can re-enable from here at any time.

Does it cost anything to use RCS Messaging?

It won’t cost you anything to use RCS Messaging but, unlike SMS and MMS messages, RCS Messaging uses your data connection. So if you use RCS Messaging when you’re not connected to wifi, the data will come out of your allowance, if you have one, or you’ll be charged for the data you use.

How can I tell if I’m using RCS Messaging?

Follow the instructions below to see if RCS Messaging is enabled on your device or for a particular conversation.

Your messaging app will send messages via RCS Messaging whenever it can, you’ll see next to the “send” button, it will show as “SMS” or “RCS”.

And you can also check whether or not a message was sent via RCS Messaging, after you’ve sent it. If data or wifi is not available to enable RCS Messages, it will revert to SMS/MMS and charges may be incurred.

How to check whether RCS Messaging is enabled on your device
  1. Open the Messages app
  2. Open the Settings menu
  3. If you see RCS features or RCS settings then you can enable RCS Messaging

How to check whether a message was sent using RCS Messaging

Long press a sent message and then select Info from the top menu to see whether it was sent as an RCS message or an SMS.

Who can I send RCS Messaging messages to?

Once you have RCS Messaging set up in your Samsung Messages app, you’re ready to chat. Send RCS messages to other Samsung RCS Messaging users on O2 or Vodafone. We’re working with Google to ensure that you’ll also be able to chat with people using the Google Messaging app as soon as possible.

What happens if I send a message to a contact who doesn't have RCS Messaging?

Before you send a message, your Messages app will check whether your contact can receive RCS Messaging. If they can’t, your message will be sent as a standard SMS or MMS, unless you disable this in the Messages settings.

How can I tell if a particular message will be delivered using RCS Messaging?

Open a conversation with another user who also has RCS features. If the box that you type in says ‘Chat message’, then RCS Messages are enabled on your device. If the edit box says, ‘Text message’, your phone is not able to send RCS Messaging to that user.

What happens if I change my sim?

If you get a new sim, but keep your phone number, you’ll still be able to use RCS Messaging automatically.

Will RCS Messaging work if I don't have a data connection?

If there is no data connection for your phone, for example if you’ve turned data off or if you’re in an area with low data connectivity, you won’t be able to use RCS Messaging. The Messages app will automatically switch to using SMS/MMS as long as you have a network connection and you haven’t disabled this in the Messages settings.

Can I use RCS Messaging over wifi?

You can send RCS Messaging when your device is connected to a wifi network, however you may experience issues if you're not in an area with mobile network coverage. Even when it’s connected to wifi, your device still needs to use its network connection every now and again to keep your service up and running. If the Messages app is unable to make this connection, RCS Messaging may be unavailable, even if you’re on wifi.

Can I block someone from sending me RCS Messaging?

Yes, you can block someone so that you no longer receive any calls or messages from them.

First open the conversation with the contact you want to block, open the settings menu and you’ll see a ‘block’ option.

How can I remove a RCS Messaging conversation from my list?

You can archive the conversation by swiping to the left or right, or delete it by long pressing the conversation and selecting Delete at the top of the screen.

What if a RCS Messaging message isn’t delivered?

If an RCS Messaging message can't be delivered and you don't get a delivery confirmation, you are given the option to resend your RCS Message as an SMS or MMS if you want to.

What if I don't want to see read receipts or typing indicators?

RCS Messaging features are easy to manage. Just follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Chat features or Chat settings.

You’ll then be able to configure your settings.

Can I use RCS Messaging abroad?

Yes, you can use RCS Messaging when you’re roaming aboard.

Charges can vary depending on where in the world you’re travelling to, so be sure to check our roaming rates to avoid unexpected data charges.

How can I set up a group conversation using RCS Messaging?

To start a group message, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the messaging icon
  2. Enter the names or numbers of the users you want to include in your group chat 
  3. Name the group (optional). To name the group, use the > button on the top right to display a text box where you can enter the name
  4. Use the > button or click start group chat to start the conversation.

I’m receiving messages from companies that I don’t want, how do I unsubscribe?

If you no longer want to receive marketing messages from a business, you should follow their process to update your marketing preferences with them and unsubscribe.

Can I get in touch with companies directly?

We’re working with many companies to make it easier for you to get in touch with them through RCS Messages. In the future, you’ll be able to search for companies from inside Chat to start conversations with them.

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