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, mostly European countries report that they're able to use RCS features in the Messages app. That might indicate that we'll soon see RCS functionality in even more parts of the world.
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.
Google has put in place new security measures across Gmail, Chat, and Meet that will protect users from forgers, spammers, and rabble-rousers looking to disrupt their communications. Most of these changes will take effect for G Suite users first, though consumer Google accounts do have at least one takeaway as well.
Early last year, we got word that Facebook was considering cross-platform chats between WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, running on a unified, encrypted backend. After the first small steps towards compatibility in the form of Messenger Rooms in WhatsApp, we now see this cross-app integration taking shape. According to WABetaInfo, a few hints have appeared in Facebook Messenger that reveal how the company is working on a way to contact WhatsApp users through the app.
Last year, when Google first started rolling out its first-party RCS chat system, the company promised an easier way for folks to "deregister" their phone numbers in the event they switch platforms. Like iMessage, the system required a phone number-based registration, and that could mean missed messages if you forgot to disable the feature before changing to an unsupported device. Today that's no longer a problem: You can now deregister your phone number and disable chat with an easy form that's basically identical to Apple's system.