T-Mobile is launching some new functionality for its smartphone users today, and surprisingly CEO and President John Legere hasn’t gone on the warpath against rival carriers when making the announcement. Instead, Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray took to the company blog to announce that T-Mobile has become the first U.S. carrier to support Rich Communications Services (RCS).
The boys and gals in magenta call their service T-Mobile Advanced Messaging and it greatly enhances SMS and MMS messages that we’ve all grown accustomed to over the years. Instead of looking to the past with SMS and MMS, however, Advanced Messaging takes some cues from modern messaging services like Facebook Messenger, Skype, Snapchat, and even Apple’s iMessage. As a result, you’ll be privy to “near” real-time chat, group messaging support, and the ability to see when the other party is typing.
Other functionality thrown into the mix include read receipts (they notify you of not only when a message has been delivered, but also when it has been read) and the ability to send high resolution photos and videos up to 10MB in size. And best of all, “T-Mobile Advanced Messaging is built to work across all devices, makers and operating systems—and wireless operators.” We’ll drink to that!
The Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime will be the first T-Mobile smartphone to support RCS and Advanced Messaging
Of course, since T-Mobile is the first and only U.S. carrier to support RCS, you won’t be able to take advantage of that last perk until AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint add support (if they decide to add it at all).
While Advanced Messaging will work across all devices, device software best be updated to take advantage of RCS. Software updates will be coming in shortly to add RCS support to last year’s Galaxy S5 and this year’s Galaxy S6, while the all new Galaxy Grand Prime is the first T-Mobile device to support the standard straight out of the box.
“Nearly a dozen more hot devices will come with Advanced Messaging this year alone,” added Ray. “In the future, we expect it will be a standard feature on new smartphones sold.”