Google rolls out RCS support for Rogers customers in Canada

t mobile rcs google rollout messenger
Google is picking up the pace on its RCS rollout with support for Rogers customers in Canada. Rich Communication Services is the evolution of SMS, and while 49 carriers worldwide have supported it since its launch in 2007, Google’s Universal RCS platform launched just last month with Sprint in the United States.

Many of those carriers run an older version of RCS that’s only partially compatible with Google’s Universal platform, but the search giant’s aim is to unify the service to offer a “consistent” service that works with non-Android phones as well.

So what exactly is RCS? It’s text messaging modernized to be on par with IP-based messaging systems like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and Google’s Allo. RCS implementation in SMS clients means apps can recognize and display when someone is typing and transmit videos and images up to 100 times larger than multimedia text messaging (MMS). It also features read receipts, high-resolution photo-sharing, and robust group messaging, such as the ability to name them, as well as add members or leave groups.

Google’s only app that supports RCS at the moment is Google Messenger — the default texting application on some Android phones. Sprint is the first carrier to support Google’s Universal RCS platform, and Sprint will also preinstall Messenger on Android phones starting in 2017.

For Rogers, the second and latest carrier to support the Universal RCS platform, you’ll also need to use Google Messenger to make use of the new service.

“We’re beginning to roll out the enhanced messaging experience today, and it will be available to all Rogers customers soon,” writes Amir Sarhangi, Google’s head of RCS.

Sarhangi also says Rogers will “preload Messenger as the standard messaging app for new Android devices” in 2017.

The trick is to get carriers like T-Mobile to move away from its own RCS platform and switch to Google’s. The search giant says RCS will launch with more partners in the coming months.

Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Wearables

The Google Pixel Watch could finally launch sometime this year

From its Pixel smartphones to Google Home, the Google brand is quickly becoming synonymous with high-quality consumer hardware. Eventually, according to rumors, Google may branch out a little further by creating its first smartwatch.
Mobile

You can now get Google Fi SIM cards straight from Best Buy

Google's wireless service known as Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi. The company also announced the service is now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about…
Mobile

The Moto G4 Plus is finally getting the update to Android Oreo

We've reached out to every major Android hardware manufacturer and asked them when they will update their devices to the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, Android 8.0 Oreo.
Android

Google Maps AR mode previewed, now in testing with small group of users

Google Maps AR mode is expected to launch to the public soon, as it has been rolled out to a small group of users for testing. The Wall Street Journal previewed the augmented reality feature.
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.