+ Thursday January 23rd, 2020

Rich Communication Service support has been a long time coming, and recently we reported that Google had tired of waiting for carriers to do their part, and was rolling out its own support directly.

It’s unclear which party is responsible here in Australia – it must’ve been Telstra or Google – but the answer to that doesn’t really matter: RCS Messaging is now working on a much wider range of handsets on Telstra today, after showing a few hints that it was coming late last week (when handsets suddenly registered for RCS “Chat Features” in Google Messages, but didn’t actually work).

Well, today, that last piece of the puzzle is now in place – not only does Google Messages register for “Chat Features” in Australia, but those features also actually work:

Screenshot_20191216_145632.jpg

As you can see above, a test message sent to a fellow Telstra customer shows “Delivered” in place of the usual “Sent” indication. When that person reads the message, it will then show “Read”. When they start replying, you’ll see the animated ellipsis (…) indicating they’re typing, and then the message will appear.

RCS is more than just some simple presence indicators though; RCS enables sharing of GIFs, longer videos, longer content and more. It doesn’t use the carrier’s network per se, as RCS uses an “over the top” communication protocol, meaning you can use it over WiFi or whatever other data connection your phone is on at the time.

Another handy feature is that voicemail messages will be delivered as rich messages, so you can play them back as audio files directly in your messages app, instead of having to dial 101 and listen:

This is the visual voicemail feature I’ve long wanted in Android land, and to say I’m happy with that is an understatement of the highest order. We’ve heard that some users have had this feature for quite a while, but many are saying they’ve only noticed it in the last couple of days.

Most simply, RCS makes SMS messaging work kind of like Apple’s iMessage (though it’s important to note it’s not compatible with iMessage, so you can’t start iMessaging your Apple mates just yet).

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If you’re on Telstra and haven’t tried the feature out yet, it’s worth opening Google Messages (or installing it if you don’t use it) and seeing whether you can enable the service on your handset. We’ve heard from users that it’s working on Google’s Pixel range, Samsung handsets, Nokia and Moto phones as well as our office Huawei P30 Pro.

It’s not clear if the feature is enabled for other carriers yet – if you’re on Optus or Vodafone, please let us know if you’re able to access Chat Features in Google Messages too! We’ve heard some Optus users seem to have RCS enabled (but we’ve not been able to replicate that ourselves).

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Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Delight
Guest
Delight

Hey I found a solution. I use a Google pixel 4xl. I tried to verify my phone and it kept failing.. I restarted my phone, force_stopped my messages app and still not changed.
So I went into messages settings, then clicked on ADVANCED settings, and clicked on PHONE NUMBER, them I added my phone number.

After this, I went on to verify my phone in “chat features” settings and it worked

jimmy cychowski
Ausdroid Reader

I have the Connected green in chat setting i did the hack of applying this, I have a Pixel 4 XL, a friend has a Pixel 4 XL on Telstra, same green Connected icon on chat settings, unfortunately just normal sms oare sent, no typing indication or read receipts etc, so like a few other people have said it must be network dependent 🤨🤔

jimmy cychowski
Ausdroid Reader

I have the Connected green in chat setting i did the hack of applying this, I have a Pixel 4 XL, a friend has a Pixel 4 XL on Telstra, same green Connected icon on chat settings, unfortunately just normal sms oare sent, no typing indication or read receipts etc, so like a few other people have said it must be network dependent 🤨🤔

D Walker
Ausdroid Reader

Telstra haven’t interconnected their RCS with the rest of the world yet. That’s why you can’t send each other Chat messages

Wardell
Guest
Wardell

I have a monthly Telstra plan with a Galaxy S10 5G. Cant seem to get past Status: Setting up… Trying to verify your phone number… If the retry button is enabled does that mean the verification process has failed? Do I need to input my number with or without the leading 0?

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

I had the same problem until I cleared the Messages cache, force closed it, and rebooted my phone. Leave out the leading zero.

Wardell
Guest
Wardell

I’ve tried that a few times but it hasn’t worked, do you also have carrier services installed?

Alan Johnson
Guest
Alan Johnson

Wasn’t working on Optus earlier this morning, but can confirm as of 15:00 today, it’s now enabled. Galaxy S9+ on Optus

Alan Johnson
Guest
Alan Johnson

Hmmmm. Just went off again. Guess it’s still a no on Optus.

steve
Guest
steve

Im currently Using a s10+ on OPTUS with the RCS hack enabled, having my messages app currently “Connected”. I have tried to message my co worker who is using a Pixel on the Telstra network and it sent as a regular SMS. So I dont think the universal profile is activated as of yet, but rather carrier end.

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

Still unavailable for my OnePlus 6 on Telstra prepaid.

Yasheen Sewnarain
Guest
Yasheen Sewnarain

I’ve had the voicemail work for a fair few months but chat is not yet enabled on my pixel 4 on Optus. When I go to chat features on the message settings it says ‘not available on your service’

Tom Thorpe
Guest
Tom Thorpe

Working great on my OnePlus 6 on Telstra.

Bruce
Guest
Bruce

Strange . . not on mine yet.

Robert C
Guest
Robert C

Did the hack,stopped working but it’s now enabled on my OnePlus 7 pro GM 1910,Will check my mate 10 pro later on

PukeyLuke
Guest
PukeyLuke

My sister has a a Pixel 3XL on Boost and I have a 4XL on Telstra, I sent her a message the other day and I noticed that it said she was reading it, at the time I thought it was strange as I had no idea about this feature. But this article now explains why I was being updated on my sister’s activities related to the SMS I sent her. BTW I didn’t activate it in settings it just started working.

Dingo
Guest
Dingo

Who cares? I mean, WhatsApp and Viber have been a thing for a while now.

Peachy
Guest
Peachy

Not working on Vodafone :(. Pixel 4

Michael
Guest
Michael

I’ve been able to see Connected statuses for more than a month in Boost.

Reiner
Guest
Reiner

For all other carriers, you can try to enable rcs using the method listed here: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-manually-enable-rcs-on-android-right-now-update-1839416118

Works for me on oppo and optus.

Stryker
Guest
Stryker

Appeared to work for me – thanks!

Ray Wells
Ausdroid Reader

Worked for me on Pixel 4 XL.

Thanks a lot. 🙂

AMP
Guest
AMP

Working on Optus on my s10+

Adrian
Guest
Adrian

Hi Guys,

I noticed that you need to add your number without the leading 0.

E.g. 432 xxx xxx

Adrian
Guest
Adrian

Hi Guys,

I noticed that you need to add you mobile number for verification without the leading 0. E.g 432xxxxxx

Cheers,

Adrian

ManBearPig
Guest
ManBearPig

Ive been getting my voicemail messages as recordings in messages for months

SamK23
Guest
SamK23

I’m on Aldi and getting stuck in the set up process on my Nokia 8.1

My wife has an S9 on Telstra and is working fine.

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

Not enabled on Optus

Wve
Guest
Wve

Visual voicemail feature has been working for months on my note 10 on telstra, in fact telstra was supporting rcs on Samsung devices for a while now. It’s now been expanded to all Android phones

Tom Sekulic
Ausdroid Reader

I can confirm that RCS works on Boost mobile (Telstra) network, Samsung S8+ phone.

Ashleigh Grace
Guest
Ashleigh Grace

Telstra to Telstra rcs has been out since late 2017, and completely available and active to the public since then as well.

Nick P
Guest
Nick P

I’m on Telstra with a Moto G7 and I get the ‘unavailable for this device’ message.

A Guy
Guest
A Guy

Mine only works if I have the beta version of messages. Maybe because I tried the RCS hack a while ago?

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Working on Nokia 6 with Telstra.

Craig
Guest
Craig

After spending the last 2 months regretting changing from my Pixel 3 to a Note 10 because of missing RCS both on Telstra it fired up on Sunday. Hooray

Jamie S
Guest
Jamie S

I’ve had the RCS voicemail feature before on Telstra but this is the first time I’ve been able to use RCS messaging Telstra to Telstra on Google Messages from a Pixel 3a XL to Samsung Galaxy A70 using Google messaging app without needing to do the workaround to enable RCS. One weird thing I’ve noticed is that the dark theme in Android messaging app is missing on Android 10 but I guess that may have been removed due to systemwide dark theming which makes all apps dark.

Tebz G
Guest
Tebz G

When you say you don’t have to do the workaround, does that mean you reverted the workaround? The reason I ask is because I have a 3a that I enabled RCS via the workaround and am able to send and receive RCS messages to a (workaround enabled) huawei phone. However, another handset, a pixel 3xl which was always enabled can’t send or receive RCS messages to us.

Jamie S
Guest
Jamie S

Nope, I didn’t do the workaround on my Pixel 3a XL and it just started working after I convinced my Samsung A70 mate to try Google Mesaages

Victor
Guest
Victor

Working fine on a Pixel 3 (Optus)

Piers Porter
Ausdroid Reader

Not a peep from Optus on their forums on official RCS support. Perhaps we need to make more noise.

N
Guest
N

I’m using Woolworths prepaid (which uses Telstra) and have a Google pixel phone. Mine is stuck on setting up (trying to verify number). I contacted Woolworths and they said even though they use Telstra they are not implementing RCS. So it appears that this is carrier dependent?

Brent L.
Guest
Brent L.

I am on a Woolworths plan and I have RCS. Using textra SMS.. have you looked in setting? My messages say delivered etc..

D Walker
Ausdroid Reader

Actually no, Textra does not support RCS. They’re just SMS delivery reports on Textra

D Walker
Ausdroid Reader

If it is working on Woolies mobile it’s most likely Google’s RCS rollout direct through the messages app. It’s a staged rollout so that could be why only a few people on other carriers have it enabled

Craig Ogier
Ausdroid Reader

RCS had been enabled for Pixel and Samsung devices for over a year. Only worked Telstra to Telstra as it hasn’t been enabled with other Aussie providers.

Jay
Guest
Jay

I have used the visual voicemail feature for months on Telstra. None of this is new and it was Telstra that enabled RCS before Google did. Seems to be a poorly researched article.

Adam J
Ausdroid Reader
Adam J

Are those screenshots on a Huawei device, Chris? Looks like it. I’m on a P30 Pro on Telstra and still get the “unavailable on your device” message.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I’m on Optus using a Pixel 4 XL with Android Messages and mine also says connected to chat features however I think Google is bypassing the carriers and enabling it themselves.

D Walker
Ausdroid Reader

Can you actually send a Chat Message? Look for Telstra contacts using Android phones..

It’s definitely news if someone has it on Optus. This means Google is rolling out their RCS and bypassing Carriers that have taken no action to bring RCS to their customers.

Craig
Guest
Craig

I use a Note 10+ on Vodafone and I don’t have the feature available. I have read and seen multiple post from Vodafone that they are not currently look into developing RCS for their network. Which sucks because as you have mentioned in other articles, this is definitely where ‘text messaging’ is heading towards.

Also a side note: Do you do any ‘Ask Ausdroid’ articles any more? I have one about getting Apple and Chromecast to co-habitat in the lounge room.

Some guy
Guest
Some guy

I had chat features enabled before (connected) but now it’s asking to set up/verify again. Guess I’ll try and see if it will show as ‘connected’ again.

Kirbysuperstar
Guest
Kirbysuperstar

Seems to be semi-active on ALDI Mobile, though it’s stuck on “Setting up – trying to verify your phone number..”.

Dan Campbell
Guest
Dan Campbell

Is this different to the Telstra to Telstra implementation that was working a number of months ago? I was able to message a friend with a Pixel on Telstra with RCS and the RCS features stopped as soon as they switched to Optus.

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