All three major mobile carriers in the United States now have RCS ready to roll with Messages by Google by default for Android phones. Rich Communications Service (RCS) amplifies the abilities of text messaging – by default – for all Android users from this point forward. Google has been working for years to make RCS the default baseline experience for messaging between smartphones and tablets of all sorts – now, with Verizon onboard, that goal is basically a reality (in the USA, anyway).
Back in November of 2016, we suggested that Google’s RCS push will never work without Verizon. Now that Verizon has joined said push, Google – and the rest of the RCS global initiative – have very little left in the way of total world coverage. Except for Apple, of course.
Those users working with an Apple device still have iMessage to work with. Moving your number from Messages, as it appears on an iOS device, is still a sort of a task in and of itself. If you head back to our How to escape iMessage article from back in 2016, you might find your way out. If you want to get out, that is.
RCS still has a massive hurdle in adoption before it goes global, for all phones, when there’s still a force as giant as Apple with the iPhone that will not likely adopt said protocol. The divide between Android and Apple messages will likely remain for some time, unless officials at Apple have some sort of mind-changing revelation that changes their entire force-of-nature understanding of keeping customers in the fold.
If you use an Android Verizon phone, you can download the Messages by Google app right now. You’ll also get RCS capabilities by the end of the year if you’re using the standard Verizon Message+ app.