28 Oct 2019
This trick enables RCS messaging on any Android phone
Despite pushing RCS messaging for months, Google has made little to no progress towards making the messaging standard a reality.
The internet giant sees the tech as the answer to iMessage but getting carriers in different parts of the world on board is taking a lot of time.
However, the good news is, there's also a workaround to enable RCS.
Let's see how.
First, here's a refresher on RCS and its advantages
RCS or Rich Communication Service can be described as a modern take on messaging, offering the ability to send texts with features like read-receipts, typing indicators, high-resolution photo/video attachments, and more.
It was introduced in 2007 but didn't get attention until last year, when Google announced the plan to work with leading carriers and bring 'Chat', an RCS-based protocol, into the Android Messages app.
Enabling RCS with any Android phone, carrier
While proper RCS activation relies on carrier support, the folks on Reddit reported that Google's implementation of the feature in Android Messages can be leveraged to enable RCS on any carrier and compatible Android phone.
The technique works with operators not just in the US but also in other parts of the world and only requires the latest Messages beta and Activity Launcher app.
So, here's what you have to do
First, install the Android messages beta and Activity Launcher app and open the latter.
Then, turn off Wi-Fi, tap on 'Recent Activities' in the Launcher and choose 'All Activities' from the menu to get a list of apps.
Here, pick Android Messages and head over to Set RCS Flags > ACS Url and click on this link (http://rcs-acs-prod-us.sandbox.google.com) to start setting-up RCS in Messages.
Then, you can enjoy richer texting
Once the steps are completed, you'll get the prompt to upgrade to richer texting features - from typing indicators and read receipts to group messaging - inside Android Messages.
However, do note that this is just a workaround, which means there's a good chance that Google might disable the capability without giving any notice.
For now, the company has not commented on the matter.
Repeat steps if that doesn't work
If the aforementioned steps don't work, clear the data for Carrier Services, force stop Android Messages, and repeat the whole process until the link given above works and initiates the RCS setup.