The Rich Communications Services, or RCS for short, continues to get better as part of the modern Advanced Messaging standard that aims to bring mobile messaging functionality to a higher level. While the service has yet to see a universal adoption worldwide, some carriers and app developers remain on track to adopt RCS in the near future. Most recently, Sprint entered into a partnership with Google to advance RCS. The Google Messenger app was also updated earlier this month with the addition of RCS support and other new features. Now the developer of Textra SMS has also announced that they will be adding RCS support to their SMS app by mid 2017 as part of the advanced messaging push. Textra SMS confirmed the arrival of RCS next year in response to a curious follower on Twitter who raised the RCS support inquiry to the developer.
For starters, RCS is designed to let users send higher quality photos with up to 10MB in size, location data, group chats, and video calls by default along with SMS. This means Android users will be able to communicate through group and video chats even with no help from third-party applications once RCS starts to roll out. Why should this matter to Textra users? The advanced messaging service will be integrated directly into the Textra SMS app to improve how users share information with each other. However, both you and the person you are communicating with must be on the same network and use a compatible app to receive and send RCS messages. So for example you are a subscriber of T-Mobile, you will not be able to use the carrier's RCS service with another carrier like Verizon. But the service allows you to fall back to SMS or MMS when sending messages to a recipient that does not support RCS.
While RCS promises to replace the primitive SMS and MMS standards as the primary messaging platform, it is still in its early stage of development that its specs have not even been released to the public yet. However, RCS is already live now on some services and carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, both of which offer RCS features through their stock messaging apps on a few devices.