By the end of the month, users in the UK and France will be able to access RCS chat services provided directly by Google, instead of waiting for their operator to support that service which in future would become universally available to all Android users.
How Google’s RCS chat service will work
RCS is the new generation text protocol that most carriers around the world have decided to adopt and it offers most of the features present in a modern messaging app, including read receipts, attachments of high quality and typing indicators, although at the moment there is no end-to-end encryption.
When the chat request appears in Google Messages, you will have to accept it to enable RCS services from Google. So if you see “Chat” in the app you will be in conversation with someone else who has support for this technology.
The service is not completely encrypted end-to-end, so your RCS provider can potentially see the content of your messages and deliver them to the government if requested. Google says it will delete them from its servers as soon as they are delivered to the recipient’s device unless the carrier is another operator.
The service will work with any other device that supports the universal RCS profile, regardless of whether Google or the carrier provides it, finally, there is no official timing for when Google will activate the service in other countries besides France and the UK.
If you install the SIM card in a smartphone that does not support RCS Chat, the system should quickly recognize that you cannot receive chat messages and automatically return to text messages.
Google will not charge users any fees, but may charge companies that wish to use the RCS chat to communicate with customers, and Google declares that it will not access messages for advertising or other services.