Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Google rolls out RCS messaging on Android, but can it save texting?

Text messaging on Android is about to graduate into the current decade. Google has confirmed RCS messaging standard is finally arriving on Android devices in the United States.

Rich communication services is the successor to SMS and aims to make the standard cellular texting experience more like the data-based apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage.

That’ll mean high quality images and videos, read receipts, indicators to show other parties are typing, and no splitting longer texts into multiple messages that arrive minutes apart.

You know, all that stuff that have people avoiding text messages like the plague, unless you’re embroiled in group messages or chats with elderly relatives who’ve only just got texting figured out.

RCS messaging is still based upon your phone number and those users in compatible territories should get an invitation to turn “enable chat features” within the Android Messages app. It will require you and your texting pals’ mobile carriers to have adopted the feature in order for everything to work as planned.

Google announced that RCS would replace the default texting experience on Android around 18 months ago, but only now is it rolling out on Android phones in the United States. There’s no word on when it’ll come to the UK yet, but hopefully it won’t be too far behind.

Related: Best Android phones

There’s a serious downside that comes to all of that IM-like convenience though, there’s no end-to-end encryption available, which will be a massive turn-off for those used to using the likes of WhatsApp, Signal and Facebook Messenger.

Google has promised that messages will be deleted as soon as all parties have read the message, but from delivery to read status, the carriers will have access to the contents.

Would you go back to using text messages more often if it offered the same features as your favourite instant messaging app? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.