T-Mobile is rolling out new text messaging features designed to bring regular old SMS up to speed with advanced services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage. The carrier announced a host of new features on Wednesday, though it could be a while before they reach most smartphones.
Moving forward, T-Mobile phones will get read receipts and an alert that lets you know when someone else is typing over regular SMS thanks to Rich Communication Services (RCS). The service, which is being branded as T-Mobile Advanced Messaging, also includes real-time chat, rich 1-on-1 and group chats with the option to share high-resolution photos, videos and other files up to 10MB in size. You won’t have to pay extra for T-Mobile Advanced Messaging. It will simply replace your regular SMS whenever possible.
The first T-Mobile phone to get RCS is Samsung’s Galaxy Grand Prime, which is available from the carrier starting Wednesday. It’s also headed to the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S6 later this year through a software update. The company adds that over a dozen other devices will get T-Mobile Advanced Messaging before the end of the year.
It sounds like both devices need to have RCS enabled for it to work, meaning at first it will be pretty limited. T-Mobile’s new feature is based off a standard that works for any carrier, so hopefully the other big networks will get onboard as well.