Google's RCS texting arrives Monday to bring some iMessage features to Android

Read receipts and typing indicators are finally coming.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert

Google's next-gen text messaging service is launching Dec. 16.

Angela Lang/CNET

Google's Rich Communications Service (RCS) text messaging is arriving Monday, according to a Thursday tweet from Sanaz Ahari, director of product management for Google's communications services. The texting update will finally bring iMessage-like features to Android users.

"Hi everyone! RCS is now available to all users in US as of Monday," the tweet, spotted earlier by Pocket Lint, read. "Make sure to update both Messages and Carrier Services."

Google last month announced the service would be coming. It'll include chat over Wi-Fi, read receipts, typing indicators, sending and receiving high-resolution images and videos, group chat naming and adding or removing people from group chats.

"These are table stakes features," Ahari said in a November interview with CNET. "It's a very important step in the right direction."

In October, all four big US carriers also announced forming the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative, which will use RCS to make text messages as smart as iMessage. Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint said they hoped to accelerate adoption of the technology.

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