Do not be jealous of iMessage. Here is how you can use Google’s fancy Chat function on Android telephones


Google’s Messages app has rather a lot to supply, and it retains getting higher. 

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iPhone house owners aren’t shy about their love for iMessage. And if we’re being sincere, they’ve an excellent motive to boast about how Apple’s messaging platform places common textual content messaging to disgrace with enhanced options like group threads, inline replies, mentions, Wi-Fi messaging and full-res photograph or video sharing. Nonetheless, Android’s messaging abilities are catching up. 

Google’s Messages app, the default textual content messaging app on most Android telephones, has a chat function inbuilt to it that permits superior options, a lot of that are similar to what yow will discover in iMessage. And simply this week, Google introduced that the function is now obtainable globally, with the bonus rollout of testing end-to-end encrypted messaging for one-on-one messaging.

The boring technical identify for the service is RCS Messaging, however extra generally, and simpler to recollect, Google is referring to the options as Chat. In case you’re not utilizing it now, you are lacking out. A lot of the hottest iMessage options are built-in into Google Chat, which itself is baked into Google’s Messages app, together with the flexibility to ship and obtain messages out of your laptop

To be clear, to make use of the options you must use Google’s Messages app, not your cellphone model’s proprietary texting app. We’ll present you how you can make Messages your default textual content app if it is not already, which textual content options you get and how you can begin utilizing Google Chat messages in your Android cellphone.

Even Samsung is getting in on the act. It not too long ago introduced that its Messages app will quickly start utilizing the identical RCS know-how that is obtainable in Google’s Messages app. In case you personal a Samsung Galaxy cellphone, your finest guess is to make use of the Google Messages app for now, at the least till Samsung completes its rollout. We’ll replace this submit as we be taught extra. 

Let’s take a better have a look at what you will must do to activate the brand new function, in addition to a few of the extra nuanced facets of Chat. 

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Get began with Google’s Chat function

First, you will want an Android cellphone with Google’s Messages app put in and set because the default text-messaging app. The primary time you launch Messages, it can ask if you wish to set it as your default app. Simply observe the prompts and don’t fret, you will not lose your dialog historical past by switching. 

After setting Messages as your default messaging app, take a few minutes and arrange Messages for Net, which lets you ship and obtain textual content messages out of your laptop

The service is globally obtainable, so it should not matter which provider you utilize or what nation you reside in, so long as you will have the Messages app put in and are utilizing it, you will have entry to Chat. 

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You may want to make use of Google’s personal Messages app with a purpose to reap the benefits of Chat. 

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Flip Google’s Chat options on

After putting in Google’s Messages app and setting it as your default texting app, there are two other ways to allow Chat. You possibly can both watch for a immediate within the Messages app asking if you wish to see when your mates are typing, or you possibly can go into the Settings part of Messages and search for the swap to flip Chat on

Once you get the immediate, faucet Improve Now, then observe the prompts and enter your cellphone quantity if requested. Alternatively, you may as well open Messages and faucet the three-dot menu button (top-right nook of the app) and choose Settings > Chat Options

This similar settings web page can also be the place you possibly can go to show your learn receipts on or off, in addition to disable the typing indicator everytime you’re typing and management what occurs if Chat fails to ship a message. 


Be sure you customise Chat’s settings. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

In case you run into points with sending messages, you may as well view the present standing of your cellphone’s connection to the Chat service within the settings part of the app. So long as it says Related, your cellphone quantity is registered with Chat and may use the service everytime you’re speaking to a contact who additionally has Chat enabled.

That is an vital facet of Chat. Whoever you are speaking to may even must have the function enabled on their gadget to make use of the brand new chat options, although in fact all regular texting options nonetheless apply. 

You’ll take benefit sooner by getting your mates to make use of Google Messages. You possibly can information them by means of the setup course of (or ship them a hyperlink to this submit). 


The Messages app largely appears the identical.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Use the brand new Chat options in a dialog

After you activate chat options, the Messages app will proceed to work and look the identical, and you must hold utilizing it the identical approach you all the time have. The app is aware of while you’re speaking to somebody by means of textual content or one other contact with chat turned on. 

The best approach to inform if a dialog is utilizing old school textual content messaging or the brand new chat options is to have a look at the textual content field earlier than you begin typing. If the field says “Chat message” then the dialog may have typing indicators, learn receipts, and the remainder of the options that RCS Messaging affords. 

You possibly can even add reactions to messages. Simply long-press on a message till a bubble exhibits up, presenting you with a number of totally different choices, together with like, love, laughter or anger. 


It is fairly straightforward to see when you are going to ship a textual content, or use the brand new Chat options. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When chat options are in use, you will see delivered and browse receipts beneath every message you’ve got despatched, and you may ship full-resolution images and share recordsdata with fellow chat customers. You do not have to do something particular to ship a high-resolution picture, simply faucet on the photograph icon within the app and decide a photograph or video. You may see a loading circle on the picture because it’s uploaded and despatched, however in any other case the method appears and works the identical as sending a textual content message. 

As a result of Chat works over cell information or Wi-Fi, you possibly can put your cellphone in airplane mode and you may nonetheless have the ability to ship and obtain messages with different Chat customers utilizing solely a Wi-Fi connection. 

Switching telephones? Be sure you flip Chat off

Similar to Apple’s iMessage tries holding onto your cellphone quantity for those who neglect to disable it, so does Chat. Earlier than you take away the SIM card out of your cellphone, be certain to show off Chat. In case you neglect to show off chat options earlier than shifting your SIM card to a brand new cellphone, chat options might proceed to work for as much as eight days. That means, chances are you’ll not get messages despatched to your quantity by somebody utilizing chat. 


Take note it isn’t encrypted.

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Disable Chat by opening Settings > Chat options within the Messages app and slide the swap subsequent to Allow chat options to the Off place. I counsel ready a couple of minutes after turning it off to let Google’s servers course of the request, and guarantee your quantity does not get caught in limbo. 

How one can take a look at encrypted messages

When Chat first launched, the service did not encrypt any messages in any respect. However in November, Google introduced that it could start testing end-to-end encrypted messaging for conversations with different Chat customers. It does not apply to group conversations but. So as to use encrypted messaging, although, you will want to enroll in the Messages app beta. Observe the directions, set up the beta, replace the app, after which wait on your account to grow to be eligible to check. It is unclear if there might be a message to let you recognize a dialog is encrypted, however we’ll hold checking and replace this submit after we know extra. 

If Google’s Chat service nonetheless is not sufficient to maintain you on Android, switching to iPhone is simpler than you would possibly assume. Nonetheless, for those who’re fully proud of Android, now we have a roundup of the most effective apps in 2020, together with a handful of our favourite options in Android 11.

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