Don’t be jealous of iMessage. Here’s how to use Google’s fancy Chat feature on Android phones

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Google’s Messages app has rather a lot to supply, and it retains getting higher. 

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iPhone homeowners aren’t shy about their love for iMessage. And if we’re being sincere, they’ve an excellent cause to boast about how Apple’s messaging platform places common text messaging to disgrace with enhanced options like group threads, inline replies, mentions, Wi-Fi messaging and full-res picture or video sharing. Nevertheless, Android’s messaging abilities are catching up. 

Google’s Messages app, the default textual content messaging app on most Android phones, has a chat function in-built to it that allows superior options, lots of that are similar to what you will discover in iMessage. And just this week, Google introduced that the function is now obtainable globally, with the bonus rollout of testing end-to-end encrypted messaging for one-on-one messaging.

The boring technical title for the service is RCS Messaging, however extra generally, and simpler to recollect, Google is referring to the options as Chat. For those who’re not utilizing it now, you are lacking out. A lot of the hottest iMessage options are built-in into Google Chat, which itself is baked into Google’s Messages app, together with the power to send and receive messages from your computer

To be clear, to make use of the options it’s a must to use Google’s Messages app, not your telephone model’s proprietary texting app. We’ll present you the best way to make Messages your default textual content app if it is not already, which textual content options you get and the best way to begin utilizing Google Chat messages in your Android telephone.

Even Samsung is getting in on the act. It just lately introduced that its Messages app will quickly start utilizing the same RCS technology that’s available in Google’s Messages app. For those who personal a Samsung Galaxy phone, your greatest wager is to make use of the Google Messages app for now, not less than till Samsung completes its rollout. We’ll replace this put up as we study extra. 

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at what you will have to do to activate the brand new function, in addition to a number of the extra nuanced facets of Chat. 


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Get began with Google’s Chat function

First, you will want an Android telephone with Google’s Messages app put in and set because the default text-messaging app. The primary time you launch Messages, it can ask if you wish to set it as your default app. Simply observe the prompts and don’t fret, you will not lose your dialog historical past by switching. 

After setting Messages as your default messaging app, take a few minutes and arrange Messages for Internet, which lets you send and receive text messages from your computer

The service is globally obtainable, so it should not matter which provider you utilize or what nation you reside in, so long as you could have the Messages app put in and are utilizing it, you will have entry to Chat. 

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You will want to make use of Google’s personal Messages app with a view to benefit from Chat. 

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Flip Google’s Chat options on

After putting in Google’s Messages app and setting it as your default texting app, there are two other ways to allow Chat. You’ll be able to both watch for a immediate within the Messages app asking if you wish to see when your mates are typing, or you’ll be able to go into the Settings part of Messages and search for the change to flip Chat on

While you get the immediate, faucet Improve Now, then observe the prompts and enter your telephone quantity if requested. Alternatively, you may as well open Messages and faucet the three-dot menu button (top-right nook of the app) and choose Settings > Chat Options

This identical settings web page can be the place you’ll be able to go to show your learn receipts on or off, in addition to disable the typing indicator everytime you’re typing and management what occurs if Chat fails to ship a message. 


Be sure you customise Chat’s settings. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/PJDM

For those who run into points with sending messages, you may as well view the present standing of your telephone’s connection to the Chat service within the settings part of the app. So long as it says Related, your telephone quantity is registered with Chat and will use the service everytime you’re speaking to a contact who additionally has Chat enabled.

That is an vital side of Chat. Whoever you are speaking to may even have to have the function enabled on their machine to make use of the brand new chat options, although in fact all regular texting options nonetheless apply. 

You’ll take benefit sooner by getting your mates to make use of Google Messages. You’ll be able to information them by way of the setup course of (or ship them a hyperlink to this put up). 


The Messages app largely appears the identical.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/PJDM

Use the brand new Chat options in a dialog

After you activate chat options, the Messages app will proceed to work and look the identical, and you must maintain utilizing it the identical approach you all the time have. The app is aware of while you’re speaking to somebody by way of textual content or one other contact with chat turned on. 

The simplest method to inform if a dialog is utilizing old school textual content messaging or the brand new chat options is to have a look at the textual content field earlier than you begin typing. If the field says “Chat message” then the dialog could have typing indicators, learn receipts, and the remainder of the options that RCS Messaging affords. 

You’ll be able to even add reactions to messages. Simply long-press on a message till a bubble exhibits up, presenting you with just a few completely different choices, together with like, love, laughter or anger. 


It is fairly straightforward to see when you are going to ship a textual content, or use the brand new Chat options. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/PJDM

When chat options are in use, you will see delivered and skim receipts beneath every message you’ve got despatched, and you’ll ship full-resolution pictures and share information with fellow chat customers. You do not have to do something particular to ship a high-resolution picture, simply faucet on the picture icon within the app and decide a photograph or video. You will see a loading circle on the picture because it’s uploaded and despatched, however in any other case the method appears and works the identical as sending a textual content message. 

As a result of Chat works over cell information or Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to put your telephone in airplane mode and you will nonetheless be capable of ship and obtain messages with different Chat customers utilizing solely a Wi-Fi connection. 

Switching telephones? Be sure you flip Chat off

Similar to Apple’s iMessage tries holding onto your telephone quantity in the event you overlook to disable it, so does Chat. Earlier than you take away the SIM card out of your telephone, ensure that to show off Chat. For those who overlook to show off chat options earlier than shifting your SIM card to a brand new telephone, chat features could continue to work for up to eight days. That means, you might not get messages despatched to your quantity by somebody utilizing chat. 


Remember it isn’t encrypted.

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Disable Chat by opening Settings > Chat options within the Messages app and slide the change subsequent to Allow chat options to the Off place. I recommend ready a couple of minutes after turning it off to let Google’s servers course of the request, and guarantee your quantity does not get caught in limbo. 

How one can take a look at encrypted messages

When Chat first launched, the service did not encrypt any messages in any respect. However in November, Google introduced that it will start testing end-to-end encrypted messaging for conversations with different Chat customers. It does not apply to group conversations but. In an effort to use encrypted messaging, although, you will want to enroll in the Messages app beta. Follow the instructions, set up the beta, replace the app, after which wait in your account to develop into eligible to check. It is unclear if there might be a message to let a dialog is encrypted, however we’ll maintain checking and replace this put up once we know extra. 

If Google’s Chat service nonetheless is not sufficient to maintain you on Android, switching to iPhone is easier than you might think. Nevertheless, in the event you’re utterly proud of Android, now we have a roundup of the best apps in 2020, along with a handful of our favorite features in Android 11.

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Jason Cipriani