Next-Gen Texting Experience Rolling Out to Sprint Android Users

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Sprint users with Android devices are in for a texting upgrade.

Google on Friday announced that it's teaming up with Sprint to launch Rich Communications Services messaging to the carrier's customers using Android devices, starting today. RCS promises features like group chat, high-resolution photo sharing, read receipts, and advanced calling.

This move makes Sprint the first carrier to support the new messaging experience.

Sprint customers can check out the new features inside the Google-developed Messenger app for Android devices. Those using select LG and Nexus phones from Sprint don't have to do anything to get the update: it will be pushed to handsets automatically. Subscribers using other Android devices can download Messenger from the Play Store.

Next year, all new Android devices from Sprint will come with Messenger for Android preloaded as the default texting app.

"We're excited to see this first launch of RCS come to life, providing a better carrier messaging experience for millions of people in the US," Google's Head of Rich Communication Services, Amir Sarhangi, wrote in a blog post. "We look forward to launching RCS with more partners in the coming months."

At this point, more than 58 carriers and manufacturers covering 4.7 billion people around the world have committed to supporting a "single, standard implementation of RCS," Sarhangi added. Besides Sprint, that list includes América Móvil, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Globe Telecom, KPN, Millicom, MTN, Orange, PLAY, Smart Communications, Telenor Group, TeliaSonera, Telstra, TIM, Turkcell, VimpelCom, and Vodafone.

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