How to enable RCS messaging on Android right now?

RCS messaging or rich communication services, is the next generation for SMS. It adds a variety of features to the age-old and boring SMS services. Though Google is pretty keen on making the service available to the users, it seems carriers aren’t so interested. However, there is a trick that could help you to enable RCS messaging on Android right now without waiting for your carrier to give you access.

enable RCS messaging on Android

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RCS messaging: what is it?

It’s been a while since Google announced plans to push RCS adoption in order to move users from the outdated SMS technology. However, carriers are not expected to adopt this new age messaging technology until some time next year.

RCS messaging is much better than the current SMS. It supports far more features, similar to Apple’s iMessage and other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, that allow you to see when your friend is typing, carry chats across multiple devices, offer better group chats, support better file/media sharing, and much more.

Google has already added RCS support in the Android messages app. However, it is the responsibility of each carrier to enable it on their network. The RCS messaging is already available for those on Google Fi, but the rest of the Android users are at the mercy of their carrier.

However, if you want, you can enable RCS messaging on Android now. A tutorial on Reddit shows how you can enable RCS messaging on any smartphone regardless of the carrier.

Prerequisites for RCS messaging

Enabling RCS messaging is pretty straightforward and simple, but there are a few prerequisites that you need to fulfill. You must have the latest beta version of Google’s Messages app. If you don’t have it, you can opt-in to the beta from here. Another prerequisite is the third-party Activity Launcher app. A point worth noting is that the RCS messaging apparently does not support dual-SIM phones.

The process to enable RCS messaging could take around 3-5 minutes, or more if you come across any issue (troubleshooting tips detailed below). Once you have the latest version of both the apps installed, turn off the WiFi and follow the steps (detailed below) to enable RCS messaging on your Android phone.

Before you start the setup process, you should know that it could take three more tries to finally get RCS service. So, if you don’t get success in the first try, then continue trying. Also, after you enabled the RCS service, it may happen that it disappears with the future update, considering it’s part of the beta and the fact that it is very well hidden. It is possible that Google will block the service in the next build.

How to enable RCS messaging on Android

The following are the steps to enable RCS messaging on Android:

First, turn off WiFi as it might interfere with the setup process.

Second, launch the Activity Launcher app, and from the drop-down menu, select “All Activities.”

Third, tap “Messages” and then scroll down to tap “Set RCS Flags.”

Fourth, now scroll down to “ACS Url” and from the drop-down menu select “http://rcs-acs-prod-us.sandbox.google.com.”

Fifth, from the “OTP Pattern” drop-down menu, select “Your\sMessenger\sverification\scode\sis\sG-(\d{6}).”

Sixth, tap “Apply.”

Seventh, force close the Messages app, and then open the app again.

Eighth, you will now see a pop-up asking you to “Upgrade Now” so that you can see what your friends are typing. Tap on “Upgrade Now” and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup.

The process could take some time. Once completed, you can check if RCS is working or not by tapping the three dots in the top-right. Next, select Settings, Chat features and then Status. If the RCS is working, in the status field you will see “Connected.” You can now select whether or not you want to send read receipts or use other RCS features.

Troubleshooting tips

If you see a warning message in the Status screen (Settings > Chat features > Status), it could mean that your phone number isn’t verified. Don’t worry if you are getting this error as you can easily fix it. Before you move to fix this error, make sure that you followed the above steps accurately. If you are getting the error even now, then try the below fixes:

  • Force close the Messages app and then re-open it.
  • Reboot your Android phone.
  • Install the “Carrier Services” (if you don’t already have one).
  • Clear app data for “Carrier Services.” To do this, go to Settings and search “All Apps.” Find the Carrier Services and clear all app data.
  • In the Messages app, go to Settings > Chat Features > Status. Now tap “Verify” and enter your phone number manually.

The above fixes are based on the feedback from users who tried getting RCS service. Hopefully one of these tricks will fix the error for you as well.

You can refer to this video for help on enabling RCS messaging:



About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com