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June 30, 2018

T-Mobile rolls out better texting — but only to the Samsung Galaxy S7

by John_A

RCS will likely change the way we interact with text messages on our phone, bringing a number of great features — like read receipts, better group messaging, and more. Only one problem — unlike apps like Facebook Messenger, where you can simply download an app, carriers have to first support the feature. T-Mobile teased that it would soon start supporting RCS Universal Profile back in March. Now, however, it looks like that is finally happening — T-Mobile is adopting RCS Universal Profile for Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge phones, with wider adoption likely to come in the near future.

This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has dabbled in RCS as a standard. It has supported different versions of RCS since 2015 for in-network communications — but with other carriers adopting the RCS Universal Profile standard, which was developed by Google, users on T-Mobile couldn’t take advantage of the features while messaging other users on a different carrier.

It’s a little unfortunate that the feature is currently limited to only a few phones, but it’s better than nothing — and those two phones happen to be some pretty popular ones. We would expect T-Mobile to roll out RCS Universal Profile on a wider scale in the near future, though only time will tell what phones get it, and when they get it.

While T-Mobile and Sprint are further along than anyone else in the U.S., in a recent article from The Verge, it was highlighted that the likes of Verizon and AT&T are also onboard — though there’s no timetable as to how long it takes the companies to actually roll out support to their customers. Both Google and Microsoft have also adopted the standard — though there is obviously one major tech company missing: Apple. Considering the fact that Apple has iMessage, which iPhone users can use to get RCS Universal Profile-like features whenever they want, it’s currently unclear if we’ll see Apple adopt the new technology.

In any case, there’s no telling how long it will take carriers to roll out RCS Universal Profile to all customers, though many are likely in for quite a waiting period — especially those that use older phones.

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