According to Google, “Chat features are already available for some of you in Messages, and today we’re starting to broadly roll them out in the U.S. If you already have Messages, you’ll also be prompted to enable chat features in the coming weeks. If you don’t have Messages, you can download it on the Play Store. We expect this service to be broadly available in the U.S. by the end of year.”
For those who are unfamiliar, RCS is essentially the evolution of SMS. The problem with SMS is that it is limited in terms of what it can do, which is why messaging apps like WhatsApp are extremely popular where it allows users to not just send text messages, but they can also send photos, videos, and more.
It is also in a way an attempt to make SMS more like Apple’s iMessage, except that instead of it being exclusive to iOS devices, it will be available for all smartphones. That being said, RCS has yet to become a global standard, but we imagine that it eventually will be. Google notes that RCS had been enabled earlier this year in the UK, France, and Mexico, making the US the latest market for RCS to be enabled in.