Google’s rollout of RCS chat for all Android users in the US begins today

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is announcing that today, a year and a half after it first unveiled RCS chat as Android’s primary texting platform, it is actually making RCS chat Android’s primary texting platform. That’s because it is rolling out availability to any Android user in the US who wants to use it, starting today.

RCS stands for “rich communication services,” and it’s the successor to SMS. Like other texting services, it supports read receipts, typing indicators, improved group chats, and high-quality images. Unlike several texting apps, like iMessage or Signal, it does not offer end-to-end encryption as an option. RCS is based on your phone number, so when you are texting with somebody who also has it, it should just turn on automatically in your…

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