Skip to main content

Google Fi is getting support for the next-gen messaging standard, RCS Chat

Google Fi users are about to get much better texting. Google announced that it’s rolling out RCS Chat to the Google Fi network, meaning users will get higher resolution images and videos, read receipts, typing indicators, and more.

Chat, which was largely developed by Google, has been rolling out in a limited way to Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile customers. Considering Google had such a big hand in its development, it’s a little strange to see the standard come to Fi after many other carriers. The standard should work on Pixel phones, Moto G6, LG V35, LG G7, and the Android One Moto X, although it can work on other Android phones as long as they use the Google Messages app. You will know if your phone supports it, too — those that have the Messages app will see a prompt alerting them to RCS’ features when it becomes available. Chat is a standardized version of Rich Communication Services, or RCS.

Another big feature to RCS is Business Messaging, which will allow for more interactive messaging with companies like airlines and stores.

While Chat does have a lot of advantages, there are also a few disadvantages. For starters, it’s not end-to-end encrypted like other messaging services, like Apple’s iMessage. That means that when Allo is phased out, Google won’t offer any encrypted messaging services to customers. RCS support is available to Fi customers starting Monday, January 14.

Ultimately, it’s hopeful that all carriers and manufacturers will support the Chat standard, but there are a few holdouts — like Apple. Rumors indicate Apple is “in discussions” to support Chat at some point, though we don’t expect the company to be in much of a rush given that it already has iMessage for iPhone-to-iPhone communication.

Apart from rolling out Chat support, Google is also offering better LTE speeds to Fi customers who roam. Those faster speeds will be available in 33 more countries, making it a really great option for those who travel a lot. Those countries include many parts of Europe, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and more. On Fi, users can roam while still paying the same $10-per-GB rate that they do in the U.S.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
Google Messages vs. Samsung Messages: Which app should you use?
Google messages versus samsung messages app icons side by side on Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Amid the rise of third-party messaging apps, texting remains a popular means of messaging in the U.S. If you own an Android phone, you've likely used or heard of Google Messages, which is positioned as the default text messaging app for Android. It is the culmination of Google's long history with multiple messaging platforms. Google has pursued smartphone companies to use its Dialer and Messages apps as their default since at least 2017 and now mandates them to use Google Messages as the default messaging app on all devices.

Meanwhile, if you have been a Samsung user in the past, you have likely also known and experienced the Samsung Messages app, which comes preinstalled on all Samsung phones and cannot be uninstalled. This is despite losing its spot as the default messaging app on Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

Read more
Forget ChatGPT — Siri and Google Assistant do these 4 things better
AI assistants compared with ChatGPT.

“Hey Google, Arbab!” I utter these lines to Google Assistant, which automatically takes me to my Twitter DMs with my friend Arbab. That chain of actions happens because I customized one such shortcut for Google Assistant on my phone. Putting the same prompt before ChatGPT, I get the predictably disappointing response: "I'm sorry, but as an AI language model, I do not have access to personal contact information such as phone numbers or email addresses.”

That’s just one of the dozen walls that you will run into if you seek to embrace ChatGPT while simultaneously ditching mainstream options like Google Assistant. One wonders why ChatGPT – considered by evangelists as the pinnacle of a consumer-facing AI in 2023 – fails miserably at something as fundamental as sending a message.

Read more
Your next Samsung phone might ditch Google Search for Bing
The screens on the Galaxy A54 and Galaxy S23 Ultra.

When you buy an Android phone, you expect Google Search to be installed out of the box as the default search engine. But that may not be the case when you buy your next Samsung phone. According to a report over the weekend, Samsung might abandon Google Search in favor of Bing as the default search engine for future Samsung Galaxy phones.

The possibility that Samsung is considering replacing Google Search with Bing on its smartphones sent Google into a "panic," according to the New York Times, Why? As the report explains, "An estimated $3 billion in annual revenue is at stake with the Samsung contract." If Samsung doesn't want to keep using Google for the default search engine on its phones, that's $3 billion per year Google will no longer get. And if Samsung decides it wants Bing instead of Google, who knows how many other companies will follow suit and do the same.
Why Samsung wants Bing over Google

Read more