Google's RCS-based messaging initiative has reached one major milestone today as it announces preparations for another. As of today, Google's RCS is available worldwide (with a handful of seemingly permanent exceptions), and end-to-end encryption will start rolling out for beta testers this month.
After Google deployed RCS (Rich Communication Services) in the U.S. without the help of the four three big carriers, the company seems to be set to repeat that effort internationally. People in multiple countries across the world report that they're able to use RCS features in the Messages app powered by Google's Jib servers. That might indicate that we'll soon see universal and worldwide RCS support from Google, regardless of country or carrier.
Google Chat may not be popular among general consumers, but it does have more use in enterprise settings, especially since G Suite admins picked up the ability to migrate to it from Hangouts earlier this year. It's a small quality of live improvement, but for teams using Google Chat, you can now set your status to away directly from Gmail.
Ever since Google announced back in 2017 that Hangouts would be split into the Chat and Meet apps, consumers have been curious about when to expect major changes. We started seeing the first signs of the transition earlier this year, and now Google is letting Hangouts holdovers know what to expect going forward — including the plans for Google Fi and Google Voice customers.
Google's rollout of RCS chat via Jibe in its Messages app has just about enveloped the world — we haven't covered every new country, but we've seen a steady trickle of reports from new markets as it slowly makes its way around the globe. But while chat is useful, sometimes it doesn't quite work as it should, and though fallback mechanisms are in place, they can take a bit to kick in. So here's a recently spotted tip that lets you quickly and easily force any RCS/chat message in-progress in the Messages app to immediately fall back to SMS.
A month ago, Google announced that it would turn Gmail for G Suite into a hub encompassing all of Google's productivity platforms, with access to videoconferencing, chats, Docs, and more collaboration tools. The company is now ready to roll out this experience to the web and Android. It's expected to hit all domains with Chat preferred enabled by September 15.
The long-awaited transition from Google Hangouts to Google Chat began earlier this year for G Suite users, but signs that the change has also started for general Google accounts have also been spotted. Some folks are seeing Hangouts messages from plain old non-G Suite accounts appearing in Google Chat.