Although you are at the strength of the RCS push, Google Fi does not yet support the new messaging protocol. It would have made too much sense if Google created the MVNO was one of the first to support the feature Google has been running on other OEMs and carriers for years, but unfortunately they have not. Well, late than never – Google has finally announced support for RCS Universal Profile on Fi.
As of January 14, 2019, all phones intended for Google Fi will be able to access RCS messages. Using the Messages app, users can enjoy iMessage-like text messages when communicating with other devices whose carriers also support RCS Universal Profile (also known as "chat"). Currently, it means in the US, Sprint, US Cellular and some T-Mobile phones, but the list of supported carriers continues to grow every day.
Currently, there is nothing you need to do if you are on a Designed for Fi phone like the Google Pixel series or one of the Android One phones they have sold over the past year. Just stay one conversation with someone via the Messages app (formerly Android messages) and if they are on a compatible phone and network, the text field at the bottom of the message thread says "Chat Message" instead of "Text Message" ̵1; meaning you will enjoy all improvements to RCS Universal Profile in your messages with that person.
Other phones that have recently been made compatible with Fi may or may not work with RCS. For example, if you bring your own Android device and it runs 6.0 Marshmallow or higher, it should work with the new standard as long as you text with the Messages app. iPhones on the other hand will not work with RCS at any time soon, no matter which carrier they are on.
Google also announced that Android Auto and WearOS will support RCS messages so that the same enhancements can be enjoyed on any complementary device you use.
RCS provides many changes to common text messages. For example, you can now get read-in receipts when the recipient shows your message and sees an indicator when they start writing. You can transfer files much larger (up to 105 MB) and create a group chat with up to 100 members. You can send messages via Wi-Fi as well as mobile data, share your location to help someone find you and much more. RCS is the future of the text message, and it is a good day to hear another operator adding support. With Google Fi enhanced support for more phones and Bill Protection, the RCS is just another reason why you should make the switch.
What do you think about Google Fi adding support for RCS messages? Are you excited about RCS messages in general? Let us know in the comments below.
To learn more about RCS messages and how it changes the message, check the link below.