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Pixel 4 gets RCS messaging support on Google Fi

RCS messaging is the next evolution of SMS, now available on your Pixel 4 phones.

Published onNovember 6, 2019

Google Pixel 4 XL home screen standing on rock 15

There’s good news for all you Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL users. Google has confirmed that the two flagships phones now support RCS Messaging on Google Fi. The information was confirmed in a tweet by Google’s Senior Director of Product & Design, Sanaz Ahari.

quick update – we rolled out DSDS support for Pixel 4. Pixel 4, Fi users should have RCS support now.
— Sanaz (@sanazahari) November 4, 2019

A Google product manager for RCS also recommended that Pixel 4 owners use Android Messages version 5.0+ with Carrier Services version 30+ for a better RCS experience.

Please use Android Messages version 5.0+ with Carrier Services version 30+ for a better RCS experience on your Pixel 4 device.
— Raj Duraisamy (@realRajD) November 5, 2019

When it comes to RCS, or Rich Communication Services, on Pixel 4, a lot will depend upon carrier support. While the phones now have software support for RCS, cross-network messaging is still a mess. Google Fi, however, partners with Sprint (which supports RCS), hence it only makes sense that Pixel 4 phones with Fi SIMs support the functionality.

What is RCS messaging and why is it important?
Google Messages logo on smartphone laying on table (4)

RCS gives Android users a more feature-rich messaging experience, similar to what Apple offers with iMessages. If you cannot enable RCS on your Android smartphone, this nifty trick might be able to help you regardless of carrier support.

As for the reference of Dual-SIM, Dual Standby (DSDS) in the first tweet mentioned above, we already knew the feature exists on the Pixel 4 phones. It allows the devices to make and receive calls/SMS from both the eSIM and the physical SIM simultaneously.

Google had also previously confirmed that DSDS on Pixel 4 enables enhanced network connectivity on Google Fi. We’re not sure how DSDS will play out in the context of RCS messaging on the phones. Not all dual-SIM phones support RCS. However, RCS messaging did go live for some dual-SIM phones back in April.

What’s for sure right now is that if your Google Pixel 4 has a Google Fi SIM, you should be able to use RCS messaging.

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