The app of Android messages was just updated with support for Rich Communications Services (RCS) in Spain, a protocol inheriting SMS that expands its possibilities, and which in its day came to be promoted as the "WhatsApp of operators".
Google has reached a agreement with the MsMvil Group, Movistar, Orange and Vodafone, so that any Spanish Android mobile will be able to use RCS from now on. Until now only a few operators supported the function, and now it has become general.
Although the possibility of Google achieving a gap in the instant messenger segment is remote (Facebook dominates it with WhatsApp, Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger), new options are now open.
First of all, we must consider that Android Messages (the Google version) comes pre-installed on some mobiles to handle SMS, but not allBecause many brands (Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi …) install their own apps for messages in their personalization layer.
Of course, Android Messages can be downloaded from the official Play Store, the bad thing is that its operation is a bit confusing: by default it sends standard SMS or MMS with cost, and only when the so-called "chat functions" we send free messages in RCS via WiFi or mobile data rate.
Also, both parties must have active chat functions, which will generate problems: if we send a location or sticker by RSC it will be seen correctly in our chat, but the other person will receive a standard SMS.
For identify how each message is sent we have to look at the sending arrow of the box where the text is written. Indicate "SMS" or "MMS" if you use these traditional services, and do not show any text if you use the chat functions (RCS):
This detail could be conflicting, since many Spanish mobile rates still charge for SMS, and users may see unexpected charges on the bill if they do not pay attention to how they use Android Messages in the future.
What does RCS allow?
The "rich communication services", which is what the acronym RCS means, they take WhatsApp capabilities to conventional telephone networks, and in Android Messages they support the following:
- Send emojis, stickers and GIFs
- Send audios or voice memos.
- Share the location.
- Share contacts from the phonebook.
- Attach files.
- Chat from mobile, web and smartwatches Wear OS.
On the other hand, Android Messages includes a spam filter, increasingly necessary in the face of unwanted advertising.
The idea of RCS makes sense in the United States, where SMS is widely used because it is included in the rates. However, in Spain they have historically been charged separately (still in quite a few rates), so it never had a chance of success.
Quiz Android Messages gain popularity, but you have a lot of work ahead if you want to get closer to WhatsApp or Telegram.
How to enable and disable chat features
In principle, the Android Messaging chat functions should not be problematic, but it is always useful to know how return to the version of the app that only manages SMS. These are the steps:
- In principle, when entering Android Messages we will receive a notification indicating that "Chat features are ready", without being asked if we want them (but there is an access to the settings to disable them).
- If they are not activated or we want to disable them, at any time we can open the menu (3 points in the upper right area) from the app and find the following path:
Settings -> Chat Features -> Enable Chat Features
- From here it is possible disable chat features (i.e. RCS) and enable themIf you do not let us register, it could be a problem for the telecommunications operator:
- After these steps, the application will communicate again using only SMS, or MMS (multimedia messages) for photos and video.
In any case, It is positive that Android Messages supports RCS for all users in Spain, because it offers an additional alternative, something important when the privacy and security of WhatsApp are increasingly questioned.
Is WhatsApp or Skype better?
What do you think that all operators in Spain support RCS? Do you think they can compete with WhatsApp through this protocol?