For many of you, Google Messages is just a text messaging app. Some would rather uninstall the app because it comes with the phone by default or because it has ‘ugly’ looking themes. Before you uninstall it this time, wait!
Google has come up with RCS chat features. RCS simply stands for Rich Communication Services. RCS is the successor of SMS. The SMS standard was good but is slowly getting out of date because of evolution in data exchange services.
People share large size files and more specific things like location, images, videos, stickers and contacts. I should emphasize that RCS works online so it is way cheaper than SMS.
Before you get yourself registered into a group that wants to kill all bloggers who lie, I have to say this. This application is like any other chatting application but it offers RCS, MMS and SMS features which is a good thing, however, I should warn that this feature is still new and has a few bugs and issues for example;
- When someone sends you a message and you are offline, the timestamp will show that the message has just arrived when you get back online.
- In case you have chat features enabled and you want to text someone using SMS’s, you can easily get frustrated just looking for a way to change back to SMS texting.
- Because we are used to messaging applications showing SMS’s most of which are irrelevant ones sent from our carriers, you may not know that someone texted you if the notifications of SMS’s are mixed up with those of chats. If only they could separate them, I’d be glad.
Otherwise, I think this application is great and should be utilised. It has many upsides to it, and I think if Google invests more time and energy in making it better, it could turn out great. Here are few good reasons why Google Messages is worth a try;
- It does not require a VPN connection in a country like Uganda where every internet user is taxed for using social media apps.
- It unites Android users and encourages data exchange.
- It has fewer distractions compared to other chatting apps. There are no statuses for example like on WhatsApp.
- You could be sure that almost every android user has this application without installing and setting up so many things in future.
- It also works on the web.
Steps to enable RCS chat features in Google Messages
1. Install or update Google messages.
2. Open the application (Google messages).
3. Tap the three dots on the top right corner of your screen.
4. Tap the settings > chat features
5. Enable chat features
6. Verify your phone number:
This option is available so that you can choose which phone number you want to use for chatting.
7. After your number has been verified, wait a bit as Google sets everything up for you
Setting up your account will take a while but it’s very easy to do.
8. The status will change to Connected as soon as everything is set up.
The status will change from connecting to connected whenever you get online.
9. Chat with anyone who has RCS chat features enabled.
You can even create groups and chat with each other using mobile data only.
What to do if the above steps don’t work for you
If the app shows that chat features are unavailable in your region then you will have to be a bit patient and Google will notify you when your carrier supports RCS chat features. A pop up will appear on your screen when the chat features are available.
You do not have to be born in this century to use this application. Everything is straight forward. I encourage readers to teach the old-school kind of people who are reluctant to use other social media apps on how to use this app. An application like this one can keep the family chain together.
Thank you for reading. If you have any points to put across, leave a comment.
Author: Solomon Mugisha
A Software Engineering student and tech enthusiast, Solomon Mugisha is an avid writer with a strong passion for technology. If he ain’t programming something, is definitely writing it down which is why he is known for his catchphrase: “if you can’t write programs, write files”.