Verizon brings next-gen RCS messaging to Pixel 3 and 3 XL, starting today

Update 1: 2018/12/06 2:19pm PST

Volunteers at the Universal Profile subreddit have confirmed in their own testing that RCS is working between Verizon, US Cellular, and Sprint subscribers, as well as some MVNOs based on

RCS has been a long time coming, but the last few carrier holdouts in the US are finally starting to push out support for the “enhanced messaging” standard. Earlier this year, T-Mobile rolled the feature out to the Galaxy S7, then the S8, and now Verizon is joining in on the fun a bit earlier than originally expected, pushing out RCS support to Google’s latest Pixel 3 and 3 XL starting this morning. Read MoreVerizon brings next-gen RCS messaging to Pixel 3 and 3 XL, starting today was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google to pull the plug on Hangouts in 2020

If you’re still using Google Hangouts, you should start looking for an alternative over the coming months. According to a source who’s familiar with the Hangouts internal roadmap, Google is planning on pulling to plug on the messaging platform sometime in 2020. The service hasn’t received any updates in more than a year and Google itself has already mentioned that Hangouts would be repurposed as an enterprise messaging service for its G Suite customers as Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet.
While Google doesn’t have a direct replacement for Hangouts, the planned shutdown of the platform isn’t surprising. For the past few years, Google has been leading the charge on RCS which is the replacement for MMS service that’s offered by nearly every service provider around the globe. Android Messages is likely what Google plans to use as its direct Hangouts replacement once the new Chat feature which will allow many of the same features that are built into Hangouts and allow you to send and receive messages on your phone and computer.

Hangouts was never the perfect chat service, but it did become the default platform for millions who relied heavily on Android and Gmail since the service was built into Gmail on the web. While I personally still use Hangouts as my main messaging platform to communicate with friends, family and co-workers, it may finally be time to find a replacement messaging service. Most other platforms have evolved way beyond what Hangouts has to offer, but it’ll be hard living with an alternative service which doesn’t allow you to search through years of archived messages or quickly find images which were sent to you and automatically stored in Google Photos.
Source: 9to5Google