Google’s RCS-Powered Messages App Could Have All the iMessage Features You Need

    Google’s championed the RCS texting commonplace for years as a substitute to SMS and MMS. While it is presently solely obtainable on Android telephones, Google reported in May that there at the moment are half a billion individuals actively utilizing its RCS-powered Chat options. These options, that are just like lots of the finest parts of Apple’s iMessage, 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, and since then Google has repeatedly referred to as for Apple to think about supporting the usual in a model of iOS. The possibilities of Apple supporting RCS seem bleak, however within the meantime Google has improved its Messages app to appropriately show response icons as an alternative of studying who “Liked” your message. The iOS 16 Developer Beta seems to be supporting an analogous translation for reactions despatched over SMS.

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    While RCS is not but near changing into the true substitute to SMS, it’s best 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 for those who aren’t positive whether or not your good friend or member of the family makes use of one other service equivalent to WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram or one other texting app. The Chat options in Google’s Messages app are to not be confused with the solely separate Google Chat app on iOS and Android, which replaces Google Hangouts.Let’s take a better have a look at the way to begin utilizing Google’s Chat options, and among the extra nuanced facets 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 observe 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 laptop.  The service is globally obtainable, so it should not matter which provider you employ or what nation you reside in, so long as you have got the Messages app put in and are utilizing it, you will have entry to Chat.  Turning on Chat takes only a few 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 alternative 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 — a immediate that has proven up nearly immediately for me on the previous few Android telephones I’ve arrange, or you possibly can go into the Settings part of Messages choose Chat options and slide the swap subsequent to Enable chat options to the On place.This similar settings web page can also be the place you possibly can 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 vital facet of Chat. Whoever you are speaking to may also must have the characteristic enabled on their machine to make use of the brand new chat options, although after all all normal texting options nonetheless apply.  You’ll have the ability to take benefit sooner by getting your pals to make use of Google Messages. You can information them by the setup course of (or ship them a hyperlink to this put up).  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 it’s best to preserve utilizing it the identical manner you at all times have. The app is aware of once you’re speaking to somebody by textual content or one other contact with chat turned on.  The best strategy 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 could have typing indicators, learn receipts, and the remainder of the options that RCS Messaging presents. Another strategy to shortly establish the kind of messages you are sending is by the colour of the textual content bubble. A daily textual content dialog could have a light-weight blue bubble, whereas a chat message will likely be a darker shade of blue. A enjoyable characteristic obtainable in chat is including reactions to messages. Just long-press on a message till a bubble reveals up, presenting you with a couple of totally different choices, together with like, love, laughter or anger.  When chat options are in use, you will see delivered and skim receipts beneath every message you have despatched, and you’ll ship full-resolution pictures and share information with fellow chat customers. You do not should do something particular to ship a high-resolution picture, simply faucet on the photograph icon within the app and decide 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 cellular information or Wi-Fi, you possibly can put your cellphone in airplane mode and you may nonetheless have the ability to 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 for those who neglect to disable it, so does Chat. Before you take away the SIM card out of your cellphone, ensure that to show off Chat. If you neglect to show it off earlier than shifting your SIM card to a brand new cellphone, chat options may proceed to work for as much as eight days. Meaning, chances are you’ll 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 remains to be within the works. There is not something particular it’s worthwhile to do to start out utilizing the one-to-one encryption characteristic, however it’s doable to verify it is working correctly. When beginning a dialog with one other Chat person, you will see a banner in your display 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, could have a small lock icon on it. The timestamps included in your dialog may also embody a lock icon. That lock is a fast and simple strategy to see {that a} specific message or dialog is encrypted.

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