Google on Monday announced Rich Communication Services (RCS), a new messaging protocol designed to give users an improved, more feature-rich communication experience, is coming to Google Fi (formerly Project Fi). The new standard will eventually replace SMS messages.
When RCS becomes more widely available, users will get an experience akin to Apple’s iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other high-profile services.
“You’ll be able to see typing indicators and read receipts, share high-resolution videos, and message over Wi-Fi or data with others that have RCS enabled,” Google said.
In order to take advantage of the new protocol, you’ll need to download Google’s Messages application, as will the person you’re communicating with. According to Google, RCS for Google Fi with only work with a handful of Android phones, including Pixels phones, LG V35, LG G7, and a few others.
In addition to RCS support, Google Fi subscribers will also get improved 4G LTE coverage in 33 of the 200+ countries supported by Fi, including Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Project Fi users should see RCS capabilities come to Messages starting today, while 4G LTE coverage around the world will be available in the coming weeks.