Google Fi, the search giant’s virtual mobile network that was recently renamed from the former Project Fi branding, will be bringing support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) and will be expanding its 4G LTE coverage to more markets this year. The Mountain View giant listed the new features coming for Fi in 2019 through a blog post.
For those not in the know, RCS can be best described as the next generation of SMS. It brings with it the ability to share more interactive content and features abilities that cannot be found in traditional SMS and MMS. Google has been talking up RCS for a few years, but more recently has been pushing to bring RCS to more devices through Android Messages. This, in turn, will also benefit the firm, as its messaging efforts haven’t been exactly fruitful.
Starting today, Google Fi users on supported devices will receive support for RCS through the upgraded Android Messages app. However, it should be noted that an obvious omission is the iPhone, as the ability is enabled through the Messages app on Android devices. RCS enables typing indicators, read receipts, high-resolution image and video sharing, and messages over data or Wi-Fi. These features are similar to what exist in IP messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage and the like. Google is also working with partners such as Samsung to improve experiences within partner messaging apps.
In addition to RCS, Google has also announced that the firm is expanding 4G LTE coverage to an additional 33 countries. Phones designed for Fi such as the Pixel line of devices, a couple of LG and Motorola handsets, and recently expanded Fi friendly phones from Huawei, Samsung, Apple, and more will be able to enjoy faster LTE data speeds in the newly added countries as part of their automatic data coverage plan.
Those countries include:
Will you benefit from the features that Google is bringing to Fi users this year? Let us know in the comments!