Google’s RCS ‘Chat features’ menu appears on some Koodo, Telus devices

Android Messages app icon

Google’s Rich Communication Services (RCS) may be making its way to more Canadians, especially those with Koodo phones.

According to some reports received from MobileSyrup readers, RCS features are appearing for some on the Koodo network.

To clarify, RCS requires specific apps to work correctly, such as the Messages app or Samsung’s texting app, which comes preinstalled on its smartphones. So, some with the right app are seeing the feature populate.

After updating to Messages version 4.6.373 on my Pixel 2 XL, I was able to opt into RCS manually — labelled ‘Chat features’ in the app. However, within a few minutes, the feature was gone again. Instead, my Pixel 2 XL said ‘Your carrier does not currently support this feature.’ I’m with Koodo.

MobileSyrup reached out to both Telus and Google regarding the feature. A Telus spokesperson told MobileSyrup that it hasn’t launched RCS for either Telus or Koodo. At the time of writing, Google had not responded to MobileSyrup’s request for comment.

It’s possible that Google launched RCS without the carriers, similar to how it did in the U.K. and France in June.

To check if you have RCS, open the Messages app and tap the three dot button in the top right corner to open the overflow menu. Then, tap ‘Settings.’ At the top of the Settings menu should be a ‘Chat features’ option. In the Chat features menu, your phone will either say that your carrier isn’t supported, or it will have all the features listed and let you toggle them on.

However, it appears that most users who enable the Chat features this way lose them promptly after. When a device officially receives RCS support, Messages will present a pop-up informing the user about RCS and its features. If you get notified of RCS in this way, you likely won’t lose support afterwards. At this point, we’ve not seen an official RCS pop-up on any Koodo or Telus Android devices at MobileSyrup.

It’s worth noting that RCS is currently supported by Rogers, Fido, Bell (on select devices) and Freedom Mobile.

Update 07/02/2019 at 14:44: Added clarification around the Chat features in Settings and the official RCS pop-up.