Android Messages: Enhanced features

Get ready for a more dynamic messaging experience! Google has added Rich Communication Services (RCS) to its Android Messages app. RCS gives you enhanced messaging features found on popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Some things to know about RCS:

  • It’s available on all devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher.
  • It’s Wi-Fi compatible.
  • SMS/MMS charges may apply.
  • Monthly data charges may apply for all messaging sent through the app.
  • Enhanced features only work between phones that have Enhanced features enabled.
  • Installing the app for the first time or updating the app will display a banner at the bottom of the screen letting you now that Enhanced features are available.
  • In April 2017, phones with Android Messages preloaded will have Enhanced features enabled.

What are the benefits of Rich Communication Services?

RCS is a more dynamic way of communicating via text messaging. It allows for enhanced features such as typing indicators, delivery receipts, read receipts and group messaging. It also allows those texting to easily share photos, files and locations.

Why can’t I see RCS features when communicating with friends who have an iPhone?

Currently, RCS features only work on messages sent to and from the Android Messages app.

Can I still send messages via SMS/MMS?

Yes. Unlike other apps like WhatsApp, Android Messages will automatically send your message via SMS text if you do not have data access. Keep in mind, sending messages via MMS requires data connectivity.

Are RCS features available on my device?

RCS features are available on all devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher. To get the most from this dynamic messaging experience make sure you have the latest version of Android Messages.

Why is my device now asking if I want to optimize my battery?

The Enhanced features being introduced are supported through the Google network. So, Android Messages will periodically sync with the network for a quicker response when the features are in use. However, you should not notice an increase in battery usage.

How much data will I need when using RCS features? 

Always keep in mind that some online activities require more data than others. To estimate your data usage check out our Fido Mobile Data Calculator.