Android Next-Gen Messaging explained

Learn about the new Rich Communication Services for Android Messages

Google has added Rich Communication Services (RCS) to Android Messages. RCS is the Next-Gen Messaging technology that improves messaging by offering a native, richer and universal experience across networks and Android devices.


On select Android devices, Next-Gen Messaging gives you chat messaging features in select conversations, including:

  • Group chats
  • Read & Delivered receipts
  • High-resolution photo and video sharing
  • Audio messaging
  • Share location

What you need

Next-Gen Messaging is available on:

  • A TELUS wireless monthly plan with data, or an active Wi-Fi connection
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop or higher
  • Android Messages 4.3 or higher
  • TELUS consumer or business/corporate accounts

Note: As more devices get Next-Gen Messaging capabilities in the coming months, please check for updates on our device tutorials.

Turn on Next-Gen Messaging

  1. Open Android Messages
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Chat features
  4. Tap or slide the Enable chat features toggle to On

Note: When Next-Gen Messaging is provisioned for the first time on a compatible device, you will be prompted to turn on chat features when opening Android Messages.

Using Next-Gen Messaging

When chat features are turned on, it will automatically be used if you are messaging another device with chat features enabled. This includes customers with compatible devices on Koodo, Public Mobile, Rogers, Freedom Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Tracfone, Google Fi & Verizon.

Next-Gen Messaging sends messages over Wi-Fi or cellular data when Wi-Fi is unavailable, rather than through traditional SMS. This means, if you do not have a data plan and are not connected to Wi-Fi, your messages will be sent as SMS, or you may incur pay-per-use data charges when using Next-Gen Messaging.

If you only want to use Next-Gen Messaging in a Wi-Fi connected area, please ensure you turn chat features off when leaving a Wi-Fi connected area to avoid unexpected data charges.

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