Google’s Messages App and RCS Bring iMessage-Like Features to Android Phones

    Google’s been growing its Messages app on Android to higher compete in opposition to Apple’s iMessage for years, and on the identical time has been advocating for the RCS texting commonplace that powers this app to interchange SMS and MMS throughout the cellphone business. The firm has been significantly concentrating on Apple in a marketing campaign to deliver the usual to the iPhone to permit for interoperability between the 2 cellphone platforms, however that is wanting more and more unlikely.Apple CEO Tim Cook lately mentioned at Vox Media’s Code Conference that he does not “hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy on that at this point,” and in order for you seamless messaging with your loved ones, you need to “buy your mom an iPhone.” While RCS-powered texting is presently solely accessible on Android telephones, Google reported in May that there are actually half a billion individuals actively utilizing the usual in its Messages app. Google’s Messages app is now the default texting app for many Android telephones, and the RCS commonplace permits for options which might be much like Apple’s iMessage with out requiring a particular sort of cellphone or organising a third-party texting app. These embody typing indicators, encryption and higher-quality photograph and video sharing.RCS now has the help of the three main US carriers with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T committing to make Google’s Messages app the default on Android telephones offered by the carriers. But regardless of Google’s marketing campaign, the possibilities of Apple supporting RCS seem bleak. In the meantime, Google has improved its Messages app to accurately show response icons despatched by Apple’s telephones as an alternative of displaying a textual content describing who “Liked” your message. The iOS 16 Developer Beta seems to be supporting an identical translation for reactions despatched over SMS.

    While RCS is not but near turning into the true alternative to SMS, you need to nonetheless flip it on if in case you have an Android cellphone. Google’s Chat options make texting between suitable telephones a breeze, particularly in the event you aren’t positive whether or not your good friend or member of the family makes use of one other service akin to WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram or one other texting app. The Chat options in Google’s Messages app are to not be confused with the completely separate Google Chat app on iOS and Android, which replaces Google Hangouts.Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at the way to begin utilizing Google’s Chat options, and a number of the extra nuanced features of Chat.How to get began with Google’s Chat characteristic First, you will want an Android cellphone with Google’s Messages app put in and set because the default text-messaging app. The first time you launch Messages, it should ask if you wish to set it as your default app. Just comply with the prompts and don’t be concerned, 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 ship and obtain textual content messages out of your pc.  The service is globally accessible, so it should not matter which provider you utilize or what nation you reside in, so long as you’ve the Messages app put in and are utilizing it, you will have entry to Chat. 

    Turning on Chat takes just some faucets and also you’re all set. 
    Sarah Tew/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 watch for a immediate within the Messages app asking if you wish to see when your mates are typing — a immediate that has proven up virtually immediately for me on the previous couple of Android telephones I’ve arrange, or you’ll be able to go into the Settings part of Messages choose Chat options and slide the swap subsequent to Enable chat options to the On place.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. If you run into points with sending messages, you may also view the present standing of your cellphone’s connection to the Chat service within the settings part of the app. As lengthy because it says Connected, your cellphone quantity is registered with Chat and will use the service everytime you’re speaking to a contact who additionally has Chat enabled. That’s an necessary facet of Chat. Whoever you are speaking to will even must have the characteristic enabled on their machine to make use of the brand new chat options, although after all all ordinary texting options nonetheless apply. 

    You’ll be capable of take benefit sooner by getting your mates to make use of Google Messages. You can information them by the setup course of (or ship them a hyperlink to this publish).  See that darkish blue bubble? That tells you you are utilizing Chat. 
    Sarah Tew/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 need to preserve utilizing it the identical manner you at all times have. The app is aware of while you’re speaking to somebody by textual content or one other contact with chat turned on.  The best technique to inform if a dialog is utilizing old school textual content messaging or the brand new chat options is to have 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. Another technique to shortly determine the kind of messages you are sending is by the colour of the textual content bubble. An everyday textual content dialog can have a light-weight blue bubble, whereas a chat message shall be a darker shade of blue. A enjoyable characteristic accessible in chat is including reactions to messages. Just long-press on a message till a bubble exhibits up, presenting you with a number of totally different choices, together with like, love, laughter or anger. 

    When chat options are in use, you will see delivered and browse receipts beneath every message you have despatched, and you’ll ship full-resolution images 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 a 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 cell knowledge or Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to put your cellphone in airplane mode and you may nonetheless be capable of ship and obtain messages with different Chat customers utilizing solely a Wi-Fi connection.  One-on-one conversations are encrypted, however group messages aren’t. 
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    Switching telephones? Make positive you flip Chat off Just like Apple’s iMessage tries holding onto your cellphone quantity in the event you neglect to disable it, so does Chat. Before you take away the SIM card out of your cellphone, be sure to show off Chat. If you neglect to show it off earlier than transferring your SIM card to a brand new cellphone, chat options may proceed to work for as much as eight days. Meaning, you could not get messages despatched to your quantity by another person who’s utilizing chat.  Disable Chat by opening Settings > Chat options within the Messages app and slide the swap subsequent to Enable chat options to the Off place. I recommend ready a couple of minutes after turning it off to let Google’s servers course of the request, and guarantee your quantity does not get caught in limbo. How to inform if a chat is encryptedRight now, solely conversations between you and one other particular person utilizing chat are encrypted. Encryption for group chats continues to be within the works. There is not something particular it is advisable do to begin utilizing the one-to-one encryption characteristic, however it’s doable to test it is working correctly. 

    When beginning a dialog with one other Chat consumer, you will see a banner in your display screen with a lock icon and a affirmation that you simply’re “Chatting with [name/number].” Furthermore, the ship icon, which appears to be like like a paper airplane, can have a small lock icon on it. The timestamps included in your dialog will even embody a lock icon. That lock is a fast and straightforward technique to see {that a} explicit message or dialog is encrypted.

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