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Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ get RCS support on Verizon, but there’s a catch

The rollout of RCS messaging has been dreadfully slow to date, and also fairly unpredictable. This week, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ on Verizon Wireless are getting RCS support.

Verizon rolled out RCS to the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL last year as the carrier’s first devices with the functionality. Now, the carrier has rolled out RCS to the Galaxy S9 and S9+, as long as users are on a Verizon postpaid account. To join in on the RCS action, users will need to go to the “Chat Settings” section of their messaging app and opt-in to the functionality.

Interestingly, Android Police explains that the S9 on Verizon uses the carrier’s servers for RCS. By contrast, the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL both use Google’s Jibe servers. The massive downside of this is that it means the version of RCS that these phones are using only works with other Verizon devices.

Despite using the Universal Profile, RCS won’t work between carriers on these devices. It won’t even work with Pixel 3 devices running on Verizon as Droid-Life points out rather passionately. Not yet, at least. According to one Redditor, “Verizon’s interconnect with Google Jibe is already being worked on but will not be available at launch.”

That, unfortunately, means that Galaxy S9 users are still going to get a lot of SMS/MMS while Verizon and other carriers roll out RCS at the pace of a snail. Still, any expansion is welcome at this point, as RCS has barely made a drop in the bucket in the US market.

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