Google Messages will soon let users enable RCS for all phone numbers on multi-SIM devices. RCS, aka Rich Communication Services, is currently only available for one phone number, even if you actively use multiple SIMs. The latest beta version of the messaging app has strings related to this upcoming change. In fact, the feature is already live for some beta users, likely part of an early test.
RCS will soon be available for all numbers on Google Messages
While Google has aggressively pushed to make RCS a universal modern messaging standard on mobile devices, its Messages app has always limited RCS to just one phone number. “RCS chats are available for your default or preferred call SIM at this time and may be available for other SIMs later,” an official support page states. It appears that “later” isn’t too far away now.
The folks over at 9to5Google recently tore apart the APK files for the latest beta version of the Google Messages app (v20240102_00_RC01) to look for changes and found a few new strings. All of those strings were related to an upcoming feature for managing multi-SIM RCS on Messages. “Send and receive RCS chats on SIM %1$d when you verify your number,” the description for one of the strings reads.
The strings indicate Google will add a single toggle to turn off RCS for all numbers along with individual toggles. For organizations, there will be a banner if RCS is disabled at the admin level. “Your IT administrator turned off RCS chats for all SIMs,” the banner reads. All in all, the company is preparing Messages for multi-SIM RCS support, which could boost RCS adoption globally.
A recent Reddit thread suggests the new feature is already available for some Google Messages users in the beta channel. The multi-SIM controls show up at the current location (Messages settings > General > RCS chats). As the strings suggested, there will be checkboxes to enable/disable RCS for each number. A toggle at the top will do that for all numbers at once. When setting up RCS on a new number, you will have to first verify it.
Google may have begun limited testing of the new feature
Commenting under the thread, a Redditor confirmed that RCS is now working for both SIMs on their device. However, it appears to be limited testing. We checked on multiple devices running the latest version of Google Messages beta but the feature wasn’t available on any of them. Hopefully, it won’t be long before Google widely rolls out multi-SIM RCS support on Messages. You can try your luck by joining the beta program here.
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