iMessage and default messaging services are a huge deal in the United States where WhatsApp and similar alternatives are not as big a deal as the default messaging clients that come preinstalled on the phone. How big of a deal can it be? Well, it’s big enough for people to want to have their Android devices appear as iPhones when texting.
With that in mind, Google has been working on and actually rolling out a competitor to iMessage for Android devices but the rollout has been extremely slow.
I’m not sure if this will work for all Android phones but it did work on my Galaxy S8 Duos and now I can send messages using data (only if the other person receiving the message has also turned on RCS). I also have the ability to send voice notes, I can see someone’s typing status (if they are on RCS as well), read receipts and send pictures and videos using data and not the traditional MMS, making the messages app more like an instant messaging application e.g WhatsApp.
Here’s how I did it:
- Turn off WiFi – use mobile data
- Install Google Messages
- Join the beta (scroll down on the install page in Google Play and you’ll find the option)
- Leave the Google PlayStore and come back and update the Google Messages application
- Restart your phone
- Clear data for the following applications in the following applications – Carrier services (may not be installed – if not install from Google Play) and Messages and Google Messages
- Go to PlayStore and download Activity Launcher
- Open Activity Launcher and scroll down and click on Messages – scroll down and click on Set RCS Flags.
- Change ACS Url to http://rcs-acs-prod-us.sandbox.google.com
- Change OTP Pattern to the one available option
- Click Apply
- Go back to App settings > Google Messages > Force Stop
- Open Google Messages
- You’ll get a prompt to Upgrade to RCS. Click on it
Once you’ve activated the feature if you go into your Google Messages application > Settings > General > Chat Features, you’ll be able to access a number of RCS chat settings that you can tweak.
P.S: This article came about as a result of a tip from Simba Madara who commented on one of our articles suggesting we try this out. Thanks, Simba!
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