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Google is Blocking RCS on Rooted Android Devices

Accepted submission by upstart at 2024-03-01 14:58:37
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Google is blocking RCS on rooted Android devices [theverge.com]:

Google is blocking RCS on rooted Android devices Google is blocking RCS on rooted Android devices / Users with rooted phones have reported being unable to send or receive RCS messages on the platform, despite Google Messages showing the feature operational. Share this story

Google is cracking down on rooted Android devices, blocking multiple people from using the RCS message feature in Google Messages. Users with rooted phones — a process that unlocks privileged access to the Android operating system, like jailbreaking iPhones — have made several reports on the Google Messages support page [google.com], Reddit [reddit.com], andXDA’s web forum [xdaforums.com] over the last few months [reddit.com], finding they’re suddenly unable to send or receive RCS messages.

One example from Reddit user u/joefuf [reddit.com] shows that RCS messages would simply vanish after hitting the send button. Several reports also mention that Google Messages gave no indication that RCS chat was no longer working, and was still showing as connected and working in Google Messages.

In a statement sent to the Verge where we asked if Google is blocking rooted devices from using RCS, Google communications manager Ivy Hunt said the company is “ensuring that message-issuing/receiving devices are following the operating measures defined by the RCS standard” in a bid to prevent spam and abuse on Google Messages. In other words, yes, Google is blocking RCS on rooted devices.

“Google rotates through many solutions to ensure that Android users can communicate sufficiently — and devices that may not have access to one communication protocol will always have at least one other available,” said Hunt. “In this case, users that are not able to use RCS still have access to SMS & MMS messaging.”

There is some merit to Google’s concern: RCS messaging has faced challenges with tackling spam [androidpolice.com] forcing Google to disable its RCS ads feature in India [theverge.com] back in 2022, for example.

Some services like payment and banking apps, including Google Pay/Wallet, will stop working if they detect that users have rooted their device as a security measure, but these will typically provide a warning message [theverge.com] to explain the device is unsupported. For users who experienced RCS issues with Google Messages, no such warning is apparently provided.

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but-ai-can-scan-for-wrongthink dept.

What is RCS chat? The text-based messaging protocol explained [androidpolice.com]:

While all cell phones started with the short message service (SMS), which offers quick text communication, Apple has been the leader in providing a more interactive texting experience. If you aren't sure what RCS messaging is, you're probably familiar with it and aren't aware of the differences. If you have an iPhone [androidpolice.com], you're used to using Apple's iMessage, which is similar to RCS in that it offers many features that traditional text doesn't. However, Android users are probably familiar with RCS chat through third-party messaging apps.

Understanding RCS messaging isn't difficult when you realize what it includes. Since it's generally the more dynamic and secure way to communicate via text compared to SMS and multimedia messaging service (MMS), you'll want to know how to take advantage of it going forward.

RCS messaging in a nutshell

RCS stands for rich communication services. RCS messaging is a communication protocol developed by the GSM Association (GSMA) [gsma.com] that's been around since 2007 and was intended to replace SMS and MMS messages. Still, it hasn't caught on until recent years. RCS allows you to have a more complex messaging experience by including options like reactions to text messages, in-line video capabilities, and more.

Android users haven't had access to RCS on Android devices unless they downloaded a messaging service that provides it or if they have a Google Pixel phone like the Google Pixel 8 [androidpolice.com]. In 2024, Apple will add rich communication services (RCS) support to its iMessage [androidpolice.com], which will be a game-changer if one iPhone user is communicating with someone who doesn't have iMessage. With Apple adopting RCS, it might change Android and iOS intercommunication for good [androidpolice.com].

What are the main features of RCS chat?

You might be more familiar with RCS messaging than you think because it's a modern chat experience like what's available on other chatting services outside your Android messaging app.

RCS chat features are similar to iMessage. For instance, RCS chat provides read receipts and typing indicators. These features have been on iMessage for years. Other features RCS has in common with iMessage include:

  • Group chats (and they're typically better than straight MMS group chats, which have limited features)
  • Emoji reactions
  • Interactive emojis
  • Support for sending and receiving higher-resolution photos and videos
  • Location sharing
  • Better encryption (by default, client-to-server encryption unless it supports end-to-end encryption)
  • Other high-resolution media-sharing

For instance, you may be aware that some videos are too large to share with someone via MMS using your Android's standard messaging. With RCS, you can share such a file in the chat.

Messaging apps with features similar to RCS chat include WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, the Google Messages app, and Signal, though many other apps feature RCS messaging.

RelatedA handful of ways to text better on your Galaxy phone What is the difference between RCS and SMS?

To understand the difference between RCS and SMS, you must look at the functionality of RCS. RCS uses a Wi-Fi connection, LTE, or 5G to transmit data [androidpolice.com] (rather than traditional text messages sent only via a cellular data network, though iMessages can be sent over Wi-Fi). The transmission of RCS via these channels makes it possible to send and receive more complex messages, including messages without character limits, read receipts, typing indicators, in-depth group messaging, and high-quality videos and images.

Some RCS services also allow for end-to-end encryption, which is unavailable for SMS and MMS messages.

RelatedProtect your conversations from prying eyes How do I know if my phone supports RCS Chat?

Whether you have a Samsung phone like the Samsung Galaxy S24 [androidpolice.com] or an iPhone 15 Pro Max, you may not know whether your phone supports the RCS messaging protocol.

Most Android phones include RCS messaging through Google's Messages app. If you have a Google Pixel phone, this is your default Messages app, and you don't need to turn anything on. If you have a Samsung or another phone, your phone doesn't have RCS turned on by default.

You don't have RCS chat by default if you have an iPhone. iMessage is the standard app which doesn't yet support RCS. But, RCS chat is expected to hit Apple's iOS 18, which doesn't have an official release date. It should be coming in 2024 since Apple announced that it intends to include RCS on iMessage.

How do I enable RCS Chat on my smartphone?

To enable RCS chat on your phone [androidpolice.com], download an RCS chat app. If you have an iPhone but don't want to wait for RCS to hit iOS 18, download an RCS chat app called Beeper [apple.com] or use other apps with similar features, like WhatsApp.

Android users can download the Google Messages app from the Play Store. Google's Messages is one of the leading RCS chat apps and offers secure end-to-end encryption [google.com]. The app prompts you to turn on RCS [google.com] if it isn't already, but you can also check that it's on in the settings.

You can also turn it on in your Samsung Messages app's settings. To do this on a Galaxy phone, tap the three-dot icon in your Messages app, then tap Chat settings. This brings up a pop-up to turn on RCS chats from Google. To turn it on, tap Agree, and your Samsung Messages app defaults to RCS messaging unless it can't deliver, and then it sends an SMS or MMS.

Is RCS Chat the way of the future?

Because the GSM Association intended RCS messaging to replace SMS and MMS messaging, it seems reasonable that it might be on its way to taking over texting as the world knows it. However, it may be a while until this happens. But because you can integrate RCS into your messaging [androidpolice.com] experience and essentially upgrade texting capabilities, the sooner you start using it, the better you'll be able to communicate with high-quality media and other fun RCS features.

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy [androidpolice.com] and may receive occasional deal communications; you can unsubscribe anytime.

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Rumors only grow, and we don't yet know what they know

This 28,000mAh battery has a fully functional phone in it

Shouldn't the battery expert do better than its competition?

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 may launch by early July

The beloved photography feature is only coming back to the Pixel 7 and older

You may want to hide apps for several reasons, and it's fairly simple to do

Have you tried out Google Gemini? Yep, it's my main assistant on Android right now.25%, 300 votesYep, but I've already uninstalled it or swapped back to Assistant.17%, 205 votesNope, I'm not interested right now.35%, 417 votesNope, it's not on my Android phone.18%, 215 votesSomething else (leave a comment). 5%, 46 votesTotal Votes: 1183See MoreVoteView resultsDiscuss this poll [androidpolice.com]See More [androidpolice.com]See More [androidpolice.com] Copyright © 2024 www.androidpolice.com

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy [androidpolice.com] and may receive occasional deal communications; you can unsubscribe anytime.

Share [facebook.com]Share [twitter.com]Share [whatsapp.com]Share [linkedin.com]Share [reddit.com]Share [flipboard.com]Copy [javascript]Email [mailto]Share [facebook.com]Share [twitter.com]Share [linkedin.com]Share [reddit.com]Share [flipboard.com]Copy [javascript]Email [mailto]Link copied to clipboard

Rumors only grow, and we don't yet know what they know

This 28,000mAh battery has a fully functional phone in it

Shouldn't the battery expert do better than its competition?

The Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6 may launch by early July

The beloved photography feature is only coming back to the Pixel 7 and older

You may want to hide apps for several reasons, and it's fairly simple to do

Have you tried out Google Gemini? Yep, it's my main assistant on Android right now.25%, 300 votesYep, but I've already uninstalled it or swapped back to Assistant.17%, 205 votesNope, I'm not interested right now.35%, 417 votesNope, it's not on my Android phone.18%, 215 votesSomething else (leave a comment). 5%, 46 votesTotal Votes: 1183See MoreVoteView resultsDiscuss this poll [androidpolice.com]See More [androidpolice.com]See More [androidpolice.com] Copyright © 2024 www.androidpolice.com

Robocalls Finally Have the U.S. Government's Attention [time.com]:

nyone with a mobile phone knows the unpleasant sensation of answering a call from an unfamiliar number only to hear a pre-recorded marketing or scam pitch from a company you have no interest in patronizing. Around 33 million robocalls [nclc.org] are made each day to Americans, according to the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)—more than 50 billion [prnewswire.com] a year.

This is more than just an annoyance; in 2022, around 68 million Americans lost over $29 billion to scam callers, according to NCLC. These calls also make people less likely to answer their phone or trust valid phone calls they do receive, making the nation’s significant telecommunications infrastructure less valuable.

One of the most frustrating things about these calls, says Margot Saunders, senior counsel at NCLC, is that they are largely illegal. Government regulations say that a telemarketing call is only legal to a cell phone or residential line if the recipient of the call has provided “prior express written consent” to that call. (This is similar to rules of the National Do Not Call Registry [donotcall.gov], though consumers must opt in to that registry through the website of the Federal Trade Commission.) But often, the sellers and the telemarketers calling for them don’t have this consent.

The reason they’re getting away with continuing to make these calls is that the sellers, often big well-known companies, hire telemarketing firms to make the calls on their behalf. Often, these telemarketing firms buy consumer information—and, they argue, consent—from other companies, in a billion-dollar business called lead generation. Lead generators typically take one agreement from a consumer providing consent and sell that agreement to many different callers and sellers, who themselves resell it to many others. A consumer might have signed up to receive a call from one seller—say a car insurance quote—and then unwittingly clicked a box agreeing to be contacted by hundreds or thousands of companies loosely affiliated with the car insurance company.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, the government made it much harder for sellers to make calls to numbers obtained from the lead generation industry. In a 4-to-1 vote, the Federal Communications Commission approved regulations [fcc.gov] that explicitly say that telemarketing robocalls are allowed only if the actual seller, not just the telemarketing company, has gotten written consent from the specific consumer.

“Today we put an end to this loophole,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said, at the FCC meeting. “That means consumers get back the power to pick who they want to communicate with and when.”

The vote should help cut down on the number of robocalls made. Each illegal call, according to Congress, can lead to $500 in damages. “It will be much more difficult for sellers to try and escape responsibility,” Saunders says. The Electronic Privacy Information Center projected that the vote would eliminate the “great majority” of unwanted telemarketing calls and texts.

Of course, it could be a little while before anything changes. If companies continue to flaunt the rules, regulators may need consumers to turn them in and file lawsuits to hold those companies accountable. That’s not easy to do, says Saunders—you’d have to answer a robocall, find out who the seller is, and then file a lawsuit under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Many consumers may not have the time or the patience for that.

Still, the industry is preparing for a wave of new lawsuits under the Act. A defense attorney told Reuters [reuters.com] that he expected to see lawsuit filings double or even triple going forward.

National Do Not Call Registry [donotcall.gov]:

Register your phone number to report stop or block unwanted, annoying,telemarketing, spam calls, robocalls to the FTC


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