As we eagerly wait for Google's Rich Communication Services (RCS) chat to be rolled out in more countries, Google has confirmed that the messaging option has been fully rolled out to Android users in both the UK and France this weekend. The platform replaces the short message service (SMS). RCS expands the 160 character limit that is found with SMS, supports group messages and issues a "read-receipt" when a message sent is read by the recipient. It will also show if someone you are chatting with is typing you a message.
Taking to Twitter, Hiroshi Lockheimer, a senior vice president at Google, on July 27 confirmed that the company has completed its rollout of RCS to the United Kingdom and France after starting a few weeks prior.
We'd love work with our US carrier partners on RCS. Trying!!!! PS: RCS now fully rolled out in UK and FR. Next wave of countries soon.— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) July 27, 2019
Around a month ago, RCS started working on Pixel devices through the Google Messaging app in the above-mentioned countries, and recently it has started to expand to other Android smartphones. Locheimer’s tweet was a reply to an article criticising US carriers for their lack of effort when it comes to rolling out universally compatible RCS messaging for Android users. Locheimer also mentioned that Google’s own RCS rollout will continue with more countries “soon”. However, it is unclear if the United States in next on the list. 9to5 Google called it a "solid start", saying that the experience has a “feeling of cohesion that can’t really be mimicked by a third-party app.”