Although T-Mobile has offered its own in-network implementation of RCS messaging since 2015, it wasn't until this summer that the carrier joined Sprint in deploying an inter-carrier solution — GSMA's Universal Profile 1.0. At the time of roll out, though, the magenta carrier only updated subscribers with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Now, it's expanding by pushing the update to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ along with October bug fixes.
As a refresher, RCS, which stands for Rich Communication Services, enhances texting on Android with things like read receipts, audio messaging, location sharing, and live sketching. With this update, users will also now get the ability to send files up to 100MB and start group chats with up to 100 people. T-Mobile's still got a bit of catching up to do though — the most recent version of the RCS Universal profile is 2.2, released May 2018.
Screen cap courtesy of u/disorientedagent on Reddit.
What's more, it's early days yet in terms of support, and the few subscribers on Reddit and T-Mobile forums that are seeing any RCS Universal Profile features at all are primarily seeing them in communications between the select Samsung devices. Plus, MetroPCS (which runs on T-Mobile's network) is still the only other carrier that is able to support all RCS Universal Profile features in message conversations with T-Mobile subscribers.
In response to a question about which messaging apps are supported, a T-Mobile representative told Android Police that the GSMA Universal Profile 1.0 update enables new features within the device's native messaging app — not just Android Messages. The carrier spokesperson also stated that it is "ready to interconnect with other wireless providers as soon as they're ready to support it and interconnect with T-Mobile."
Are you able to use universal RCS on your Samsung device through T-Mobile? Let us know in the comments.
T-Mobile confirmed details regarding the RCS Universal Profile update. Those details have been added above.
The RCS Universal Profile 1.0 update has now hit the Samsung Galaxy S8 Active. Hopefully, updates for more devices beyond these first Samsung handsets won't take quite as long to materialize, but I wouldn't hold my breath.