Verizon is making RCS available to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ this week. After launching similar RCS service for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL last year, these are the only other devices to support the future of text messaging on Big Red’s network.
An update should rollout shortly to the Galaxy S9 (G960USQU5CSE6) and S9+ (G965USQU5CSE6) to get both phones ready. Once you have it, the Samsung Messages app will prompt you to opt-in to Advanced Messaging or “Chat.”
This Advanced Messaging feature does a lot of what RCS Chat does on Pixel 3 devices. You’ll get read receipts, typing indicators, the ability to sender bigger media, chat over WiFi, file sharing, and better group chats.
Unfortunately, because RCS is a sh*t technology that has too many variables for it to work as intended, the RCS Advanced Messaging on the Galaxy S9 and S9+ doesn’t even work with Verizon’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. I’m not kidding with this.
Verizon’s Advanced Messaging (RCS), as far as we know, doesn’t run on Google’s Jibe technology for RCS, which the Pixel 3 uses. Because of the different platforms, for now, you can only RCS message between the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+ on Verizon. Verizon says that other phones will receive this new Advanced Messaging, but they haven’t announced any yet.
Oh, that also means that Verizon’s RCS won’t work between carriers, which is the whole point of RCS.
RCS is dumb.
NOTE: To be clear, RCS in theory, is not dumb. The problem with RCS is that Google began pushing it as a magical messaging unifier that all carriers and partners would get behind. That was foolish. That might never happen. Because as Google has its own RCS platform (Jibe), not everyone wants to use it (T-Mobile and Verizon). Currently, all of these separate RCS platforms don’t work together, so the cross-carrier, between-all-phones dream of advanced messaging is no where near happening. And we’re 3+ years into this with only select devices even attempting to introduce RCS, most of which can’t even talk to one another. Verizon pushing their own version of RCS to the S9 is the perfect example of how dumb of an idea this all is unless Google can find a way to truly unify it all.