News: RCS Is Finally Here... If You Have the Right App, Phone & Carrier

RCS Is Finally Here... If You Have the Right App, Phone & Carrier

The next generation in mobile communications has officially arrived. A new "Universal Profile" was just published to help carriers and OEMs enable Rich Communication Services (RCS) on any of their smartphones, and the standard hopes to replace SMS with a feature-rich, iMessage-like experience on all phones.

RCS could offer a vast improvement for the texting experience on Android devices (and possibly even your PC), but even though the new standard now has a Universal Profile, it isn't being used universally—yet.

Google and Sprint are fully on board with the new RCS Universal Profile, which means that software, services, and phones offered by the two companies will be fully compatible with the standard. But the problem is, we're still missing major players like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and of course, Apple.

Until all major carriers and OEMs get on board, RCS won't be of much practical use, unless you and everybody you know are using Android phones on Sprint. But that's what the newly-published Universal Profile is hoping to solve, by offering an industry standard to unify the platform.

Whether or not the rest of the mobile industry will get on board remains to be seen, but the timer has officially started now that the Universal Profile is out. In an ideal scenario, all of the major players would adopt the standard, and we would finally have a rich texting experience on Android without having to install third-party apps like WhatsApp or Hangouts.

If you'd like to learn more about RCS, the Universal Profile, and what it means for Android users, we explained the entire concept in a lot more detail at the following link.

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Cover photo and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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