Support for chat shows up for some users in Android Messages

Last month news surfaced that Google was working to expand the features available through their Android Messages app. The improvements appear to include things like support for a web interface on a computer that syncs with Android Messages, support for chat over data networks, less reliance on carriers, and more enhancements that come with RCS like larger file sizes supported. According to some users on Reddit, the toggle for Chat on data is now showing up on some devices, possibly a sign that Google is very close to being ready to roll-out the updates to support more advanced RCS features both through the app and on Project Fi. Previously the existence was only known through teardowns of the code.

Thus far the biggest beneficiaries of the new Chat on data feature appear to be users who have Pixel phones, both generations, who are using Project Fi for their carrier. That makes some sense since Google has a greater level of control over what the network can support. Carrier support for alternatives to SMS, like RCS, has been one of the biggest challenges for Google in trying to deploy technology that could rival Apple’s iMessage.

Other users are reporting the Chat option is starting to show up in their settings, but the extent seems to vary quite a bit. One of the biggest variables appears to be whether Android Messages is set as the default messaging app. Several users are reporting that as soon as they switch Android Messages to be the default app, the chat feature settings disappear while others have the settings grayed out.

The changes appear to be showing up in the app’s interface once Messages is updated to version 2.9.051. At least on my own device using Sprint, I find the chat options are all available with Messages set as the default messaging app.

via: memoranda11 (Reddit)


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.


  • carly

    I’ve downloaded and redownload the app, it has updated and I still can’t get the chat features and I have the brand-new lg G7 thinq