Google to US Android users: We're giving you RCS messaging – here's why it's better

Google is rolling out Rich Communication Services (RCS), the successor to SMS that will bring texting up to par with features available in chat apps like Apple iMessage and WhatsApp.

That means texting should get a whole lot better for users of the Android Messages app, which will now use RCS as the main chat protocol.

People using Messages, which Android users can install from Play Store, will be prompted to enable chat features in the coming weeks.

Google predicts the RCS version of Messages will be broadly available in the US by the end of the year.

The switch to RCS should help Android catch up with Apple's iOS on the messaging front by allowing users to see read-receipts and typing indicators, showing recipients have read a message and are keying in a reply.

That's a significant feature gap in a world that, thanks to Edward Snowden, knows the extent of government surveillance.

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