T-Mobile says Pixel 3a and Pixel 3 won’t support RCS messaging


This is a big week for T-Mobile, because after years of urging customers to bring unlocked Pixel phones onto its network, T-Mo is officially launching Google Pixel phones. Unfortunately, there’s a little bad news for Pixel owners that’s come out with the launch.

Google’s new Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL won’t support RCS messaging on T-Mobile, T-Mo’s official support account has confirmed on Twitter. The tweet only says “the new Pixel devices” won’t support RCS, but Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL aren’t included in T-Mobile’s list of phones that support RCS either.

A T-Mobile spokesperson gave TmoNews the following statement on the matter:

“For wireless provider grade performance, T-Mobile’s advanced messaging RCS capabilities are built into the core of the network rather than individual apps or devices, and the Pixels currently do not support this network-level authentication.”

RCS messaging is a big improvement over standard text messaging, offering features like delivered and read receipts, typing indicators, support for larger file transfers, and more. Google offers RCS support in its Messages app, but T-Mobile will apparently not implement its RCS Universal Profile 1.0 support on the Pixel phones. Only a handful of T-Mo phones do currently have RCS support, like the Galaxy S7, S8 and S9 series of phones, the Note 8 and Note 9, and the OnePlus 6T.

Have you used RCS on one of the T-Mobile phones that support it?

Source: T-Mobile Help (Twitter)

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  • Hurlamania

    Yes S9

  • alfonzso

    RCS is better than SMS, but far from perfect. Android needs an iMessage competitor but unfortunately RCS ain’t it. Still no privacy.

    • I_Comment

      That won’t work with iPhones so it’s a worse solution. RCS eventually will.

      • Louie

        Just for the record, Hangouts did/will work on iOS.

    • Louie

      It had one, called Hangouts and was better than anything out there since you could easily switch from phone to tablet to computer.

  • John Doe

    “T-Mobile’s advanced messaging RCS capabilities are built into the core of the network rather than individual apps or devices, and the Pixels currently do not support this network-level authentication.”

    We are talking about Universal Profile not advanced messaging…hence the term “universal”. The Pixel supports universal profile that is why Verizon has it activated.

    • Joe Martinson

      And Google Fi, which happens to use the T-Mobile Network.

      • Realest Ever

        That’s what has me confused, how can you Google Fi support it but T-Mobile does not. I call bs

  • I’m gonna call BS on this one.

  • carcomptoy

    I only wish I could turn off RCS. My family is entirely a Galaxy S and Note family, and the whole messaging experience is disjointed and haphazard. It’s the most frustrating thing dealing with inconsistent messaging when it’s 2019 and you’re all using flagship devices.

    • Deibid

      It’s 2019nand you’re still using sms? Get with the rest of the civilised world and stick to whatsapp

      • UniBroW

        Stop trying to plug WhatsApp, it’s garbage

        • Deibid

          Ignorant American… Typical. Whatsapp is not garage. It is reliable, efficient, useful, and used worldwide. Sms is garbage and sad that Americans don’t know better.

        • UniBroW

          SMS is garbage but so is WhatsApp, why is whatsapp better then telegram, signal, etc?

        • Deibid

          Telegram is a copy of whatsapp. It’s not necessarily better or worse, but it only has a fraction of users. Whatsapp is used worldwide and over 1 billion users. Telegram is probably 1/10th.

        • UniBroW

          Ah, I didn’t realize you could login on multiple devices with WhatsApp.

          So your argument isn’t that people should use something better than sms, it’s that people should just use WhatsApp because reasons. If user base was the sole reason to use one over the other we’d all still be using sms because everyone has that

        • Deibid

          Whatsapp is indeed more secure because you can’t have multiple sessions. Just becuase everyone has it doesn’t means it’s the best.

          Everyone has phone capabilities, but again, most people use whatsapp to call international mobiles becuase it’s free, and sounds better.

          You just keep proving how US users are complete ignorant when it comes to this issue.

        • Andrew

          You’re incredibly rude and terrible and making an argument.

        • Deibid

          Ahhh, the truth hurts doesn’t it!

        • marque2

          We are talking texting. TMobile is free to Canada Mexico and most of Europe and the calls from the regular phone app sound fine.

          I understand why you use WhatsApp – it is because your European carrier is stupid and charges you for calls. Why not Skype for that if that is your real problem? And we all thought you were talking about texting.

        • marque2

          Who said anything about a carport?

    • dl_crash

      Easy, stop using the built in SMS app. Use textra or Messages by google. no more broken RCS.

  • Alex Pilaia

    Will non Tmo phones have RCS support? I have an unlocked 1+6.

    • riverhorse

      I don’t have this phone. That being said, the answer is no- you need TMo firmware.
      You may want to search in 1+6 subforum at both androidforums dot com and xda for ideally a standalone patch,
      second choice a third party modded rom, last choice the generic TMo firmware with instructions on how to switch back to original firmware if needed.

      • riverhorse

        Yo, Steverinos, what up docs?

  • timmyjoe42

    Deal breaker.

    • steveb944

      Seriously? What are you using currently?

      • timmyjoe42

        I’m using the OnePlus 6T, but I’d like to buy phones for my kids that will support RCS in the future instead of having them be crippled with low quality videos and images in text messages.

        • steveb944

          Messages is working just fine via MMS. Plus this is only proprietary RCS, T-Mobile has a locked system. You’ll get bad quality with 99% of users. For all we know T-Mobile will drop this RCS and adopt a future standard.

          According to my iPhone using friend even WhatsApp drops quality, so there’s not many options.

  • Deibid

    When will USA get with the program and ditch the antiquated and unreliable sms? The rest of the civilised world uses whatsapp

    • Jason Caprio

      I use Facebook Messenger 90% of the time when messaging family/friends. It’s very reliable!

      • Eric A

        Just FYI, Facebook owns Whatsapp

        • marque2

          Another good reason not to get What’s app or Instagram.

    • marque2

      To be fair we use MMS.

      As far as WhatsApp is concerned – I don’t want to mess with who uses WhatsApp and who uses Kick, Hangouts, etc. Everyone has MMS. It just requires a phone number and Viola I can send a text message.

      There are also problems with reception. I often have voice but not data, especially when connected to band 12 while at work. Texting works over voice – WhatsApp and others work over data.

    • steveb944

      Everyone that communicates overseas has WhatsApp, unfortunately not everyone has overseas communication needs.