Enhanced chat

On the 15 June 2019 Google will commence the roll out of an upgrade to their messaging app called Enhanced Chat. Enhanced Chat uses a technology called RCS (Rich Communications Services) via Google’s guest cloud service.

Enhanced Chat is only available on Android devices. iOS does not support this.

Enhanced Chat is an open protocol or standard (like SMS or MMS) that enables a set of enhanced features on messaging apps that implement it, such as the messages app. 

Here are some of the features of Enhanced Chat on messages:

  • See when others are typing
  • Confirmation that the other person has received or read your message
  • Sending messages over data or Wi-Fi (when Wi-Fi is on)
  • Support for Open Groups (a group that stays intact regardless of who adds/leaves)
  • Large multimedia sharing (up to 100MB); in contrast MMS is typically 1-2MB -- allowing you to send full resolution photos and high-quality videos.

Enhanced Chat is the next generation of SMS. Instead of a cellular connection, chat will rely on your data connection.

Many smartphones manufacturers are preloading Android Messages on their latest models. This means you have it available when you first use your phone.  If you don’t already have the messages app, go to the Play Store and install it.  If you already it, you should receive a prompt from Google asking for you to accept Google’s terms of service for Enhanced Chat. When you accept these terms, Enhanced Chat will work as long as all people in a conversation are Enhanced Chat enabled.

Yes, you will need to opt into chat features in the messages app in order to benefit from the enhanced messaging features (you can turn Enhanced Chat off in settings at any time).

Within messages settings, if chat features are enabled and it says ‘connected’, you can send and receive Enhanced Chat messages.

For chat features to work, all members of a group chat must have Enhanced Chat (or other devices and carriers who support the RCS Universal Profile) and have chat features enabled. If any members don’t have chat features enabled, the entire group chat will fall back to SMS/MMS.

Huawei and Honor will be the first to receive the updates during the first two weeks of June and Samsung devices will receive the update as part of maintenance releases throughout July and August.  We don’t have any more information currently

Enhanced chat usage won’t show specifically on your Three bill.  It uses data allowance or Wi-Fi so, where you would have previously seen the messages come out of your SMS allowance, you will now see it come out of your data allowance.

Messages sent over Enhanced Chat are typically between 2 to 4 kilobytes and cost the same as sending a message on other data-based messaging apps, like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger

If you run out of data allowance or have no Wi-Fi connection, you will be prompted with a display message to advise of this and it will ask if you want to send the message via SMS or MMS. You will have the option to say yes or no.

You can turn Enhanced Chat off by following these steps:

  • Open the Messages app
  • Tap the top-right menu button and choose Settings
  • Look for a “Chat features” at the top
  • Disable “Chat features”
  • If you do not see “Chat features” in Advanced settings your device is not Enhanced Chat enabled.

Did you find this page useful?

Any feedback you have helps us make your experience better.