When Google rolled out the word “Chat” as the name for RCS messaging however many years ago, it was a very odd choice. Not because the word “chat” doesn’t relate to people having conversations, but because it was the name of a back-end service that wouldn’t be adopted for years and also was a generic term people already used when describing messaging. It also wasn’t the name of an app people would use, but simply a term as a reference for RCS. It was all very confusing.
For the entire recap on that initial “Chat” rollout, you should read this explainer I put together in 2018. I still feel as I did then about using the word “Chat” for RCS.
Anyways, the point of that background is because Google appears to be moving away from calling RCS “Chat” in its own Messages app. Over the past several days, they began rolling out a change to Google Messages that names the “Chat” section and its settings to “RCS chats,” as first spotted by 9to5Google.
You can see in the screenshot below that “RCS chats” has mostly replaced “Chat” everywhere. Not only is the section named it, all of the sub-settings are and even the “Learn more” link. Google still hasn’t updated official support docs with the new name, but I’d imagine it is coming.
What does this all mean for you? Nothing really. It’s the same nothing from when Google called it “Chat.” It should have always just been called RCS, because it was a backend service that didn’t need official branding. Or if anything, Google could have simply called it Advanced Messaging or something that explained what people were getting. Either way, the change likely won’t be presented to you and that’s fine. You’ll simply get to keep having those improved RCS chats with friends like you have only without the confusing name.
RCS is now just called RCS. That’s great. Also, Google should have made an iMessage clone.