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Can I use Google/Android chat (RCS)?

1pMobile fully supports Google/Android chat.

What is Google/Android Chat - Rich Communication Services (RCS)?

RCS allows you to send emojis, images, videos, web pages and use group messaging from a phone's built-in messaging app. Messages are sent by a data connection rather than an MMS.

When you see this feature in your phone message app, it'll be called chat messaging, or chat features. Think of it as a text message, but better. Using regular texts, you can only send words, while with RCS you can use your data connection to send emojis, images, videos, copies of web pages and even use group messages, all from your main messaging app.

How can I get it?

Your messaging app might already support it, so it's worth checking the listing on the Play Store or directly with the developer of the app you're using if you don't use the default one. If you don't have a compatible app, Google's Messages app might be suitable. Once you have a compatible app, you might need to turn chat messaging on in the settings of the app.

Who can I message?

Anyone else who's also using chat features. If you try to message someone who's not got chat features turned on, then you'll send a regular text message or MMS picture message instead. Your app will show you what kind of message you're sending at the time.

How much will it cost?

These messages go through your data connection, so aren't charged individually. For most people, the data that RCS uses won't be noticeable - it's comparable to other messaging apps, and won't cost much at all - and should be free if connected to WiFi. It's difficult to give an exact figure, though, because it depends on the messages sent and how someone uses it - bigger photos will use more data, for example.

Chat messaging requires a data connection. In the UK, it will cost the same as other mobile internet usage, and outside of the UK, the usual roaming rates will apply.

How does it work in the background?

Every so often, the service will ping our network to keep your messages up to date, much like other messaging apps. We would recommend monitoring your phone for data usage to make sure you're happy with your spend, and using your phone's built-in data management features to make sure it works as you need it to.

Lastly, In situations where members try and send an RCS message and it doesn't quite make it through, your phone will try and send it as a regular text message or MMS picture message - if it does, then it will come from credit at our PAYG rate. You can control if you want this to happen in your messaging app once you have chat messaging turned on.

Will my phone be compatible?

You will need to turn on relevant settings on their compatible handset to use the service. Most Android phones running Android 8 or later have the option. If your chat app is not a compatible messaging app you should be directed to download a compatible messaging app from the Google Play Store.

What about my old messages?

If you switch on RCS your phone/app will tell you that 1pMobile provides these services, and you can carry on your conversations where you left off. All your regular text message threads will still be available too.

I can't see how to turn it on. What should I do?

When we launch, we'll be rolling it out in waves, so not everyone will have it enabled at the same time. This is so that we can test it and make sure it's working properly so that any unlikely issues can be fixed before they affect every member. If your phone and messaging app are compatible, you'll be on the list and will have chat messaging enabled soon. Make sure you've updated your phone, check in your messaging app's settings, and give your phone a quick reboot if it's not showing up and should be.

It's not working for some of my contacts. Why?

Both people need to have chat messaging turned on for this to work. If they don't, then your messages will send as regular text messages or MMS picture messages. Your friend might have it turned off, or they might not have a compatible phone or app yet.