Rich Communication Service (RCS): A 6-Step Guide To Installation

What Is RCS?

Rich Communication Service or RCS is a new messaging protocol whose primary objective is to replace the decades-old SMS and MMS protocols. The goal of RCS is to establish a more cohesive messaging experience in today’s world of smartphones. It does so by bringing a major feature-rich overhaul to your primary SMS app.

If this was a bit too technical for you, here’s the easiest possible way to describe what RCS is: it is the younger, smarter and more tech-savvy brother of SMS and MMS.

RCS vs SMS

The concept of SMS was brought up in 1992 and popularised by 2002. Since then, texting has become the most popular form of digital interaction globally. Today, around 23 billion text messages are sent every day by approximately 2.5 billion people across the world. But a large portion of these users has shifted from using SMS and MMS to using Instant Messaging services like Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, and a plethora of other apps. This is due to all the limitations of using a three-decades-old system. The primary goal is to solve this exact problem: to modernise the design of SMS to the current world standards, making it much more similar to Instant Messaging services than to SMS. 

RCS Benefits

The convenience feature of having the messaging program pre-installed on every phone, making it available to anyone who possesses a modern smartphone, is its primary benefit over other Instant Messaging apps. The ease of use is unrivalled. When you consider the scenario with iMessage, you’ll see what I mean. RCS is designed to bring the same functionalities that instant messaging services like iMessage, WhatsApp and other popular apps provide. Here are a few of the features:

  • Read receipts and typing indicators
  • Exchanging high-quality images and videos
  • Exchanging documents
  • Exchanging voice notes
  • Proper Group messaging 
  • Message reactions
  • And many other minor upgrades from SMS, making it more interactive.
rcs messaging

How To Get RCS Messaging On My Android

When the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) originally proposed it in 2007, the objective was to totally replace SMS with a single, industry-agreed set of features and technical enablers dubbed Universal Profile, which was intended to facilitate product development and implementation. Apple has yet to join the alliance, despite the fact that most Smartphone makers and carriers have adopted the Universal Profile due to Google Messages being the default messaging software nowadays.

As of right now, you can enable it on all modern Android phones in the Google Messages app.

Steps to set up RCS Messaging Service:

Step 1:

Turn off WiFi and turn on Mobile Data from your quick settings.

Step 2:

Install/ Open Google Messages app depending on your device then set it as your default messaging app.

Step 3:

Tap on the three-dot menu and select the settings option.

Step 4:

Tap on the option labelled “Chat Features”, and you’ll be greeted by a new window.

Step 5:

On the new window, you should see an option labelled “Enable Chat Features”. Toggle that option, and you’ll be required to enter your phone number for your primary SIM Card.  

Step 6:

After that, you should see “Connected” beside the Status option, and you’re all set to enjoy all the features RCS enables over traditional text messaging. 

RCS is an excellent add-on to the already universally used SMS protocol. While some specialised functions may be missing, it offers precisely the appropriate amount of features to meet the needs of the vast majority of users. Not to mention the fact that the feature set is bound to improve with widespread adoption.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is RCS the same as iMessage?

RCS is the Android equivalent of iMessage.

Who invented RCS?

The GSMA has been working on RCS for a long time.


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    Naqib likes bread, a lot. Also dabbles in way too many sectors for them to fit in a bio. Occasionally seen to be ranting endlessly about technology and sports.

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Qazi Naqib Monzur

Naqib likes bread, a lot. Also dabbles in way too many sectors for them to fit in a bio. Occasionally seen to be ranting endlessly about technology and sports.

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