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Google Fi texts will be more like iMessage thanks to RCS upgrade

Rich Communication Services is what lets you use read receipts in texts or see when someone else is typing.


Fi is Google's very own wireless phone plan.

John Kim/CNET

Google is bringing a serious update to its Google Fi network by adding Rich Communication Services to its Messages app.

RCS is a big advancement over standard SMS texting. It lets you use read receipts, see when someone else is typing, text over Wi-Fi and send higher-resolution pictures and video. These features have been available in Apple's iMessages for quite some time. In the past few months Google has been bringing RCS to Android phones on certain wireless carriers. Now the tech is coming to the Google Fi network.

Google says it's rolling out the RCS update starting Jan. 14 and "in the coming weeks."

The company says that phones "designed for Fi" will be automatically updated with RCS enabled. These include the Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Moto G6, LG V35 ThinQ and more. 

Google says RCS will also work with a larger list of Fi-compatible phones, but you'll have to download the Messages app and set it as your default messaging app. From there you'll be able to turn on RCS.

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