Tuesday, 17 December 2019

RCS messaging and How to activate it

RCS messaging stands for Rich Communication Services. It is a standard that was formed in order to replace the outdated SMS and MMS standards.


There are a lot of limitations in SMS and MMS standards, such that they have a limit on the data sizes that can be sent. The 160 character limit on SMS and the compression that is applied to files sent via MMS. This does not seem user friendly since the size of files being sent between users have increased since a decade.

RCS does away with the file size limit of SMS and MMS, but uses the data connection provided by your network provider to send files instead of the network links used by SMS or MMS. This sounds similar to the  services provided by instant messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Telegram, iMessage, etc. This is true as these apps were created to tackle the problem of being limited by SMS and MMS. However, RCS does not support end-to-end encryption as of yet, however, the message is encrypted in transit.

Google's Product Management Director responsible for Google Messaging Sanaz Ahari commented that Google is committed to find a solution to protect the privacy of the users of the app. Which might point to end-to-end encryption being implemented in the future.

However unlike Whatsapp, Telegram, etc, iMessage is the default communication app in the iOS platform. Thus, iPhone users do not face the same limitation in the default messaging app as that of Android users.

RCS concept was devised in 2007. The GSMA adopted this concept and started to devise it into a standard via a committee. Finally in 2016, the RCS Universal Profile was released. However, since the smartphone manufacturers required to change the code of their default messaging app, it was not implemented yet. 

The RCS standard gained impetus when Google introduced RCS in their Google Messenger app via Jibe Cloud platform. Jibe Mobile was acquired by Google in order to develop RCS and integrate it into their messaging app. This update was first pushed in UK and France.

Google has already released the RCS implementation of their messaging app globally, and it works in India. Google has released the support however, 

To enable it, follow the steps below:

1) Enroll in Messages Beta and update your messages app through play store.

2) Download any Activity Launcher. The one in the picture is recommended. Uninstall it once the RCS messaging is set up.

3) Clear the data of 'Carrier Services' and force stop 'Android Messages.' Edit: If you don't have 'Carrier Services' you can download it from the Play Store.

4) Open Activity Launcher

5) Look for 'Messages'

6) Tap it, then scroll until you find 'Set RCS Flags'

7) After pressing it select 'ACS Url' and in the menu select 
'http://rcs-acs-prod-us.sandbox.google.com/.'

8) Select OTP Pattern, and in the menu click, 
YourlsMessenger\sverification\scode\sis\sG-(\d {6}). 

Edit: This appears to not be staying for some. If it isnt there after pressing apply and returning to the menu, move to the next step the RCS messaging still works.

9) Click Apply Edit: sometimes clicking apply won't take you anywhere. Just go back and check the messages app.


10) Click on the notification to proceed with activating RCS messaging. If it isnt visible, click on the icon to the left of the search icon.

11) If the loading takes a long time, click on the three dots to the top right. and go to settings, Chat features.

12) Click on Retry and enter your mobile number. The RCS feature will be enabled.

You are now ready to use RCS messaging to chat with friends.

Whatsapp Button works on Mobile Device only

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