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Problems due to RCS

Read this if some or all of your messages are not getting forwarded by PhoneLeash.

Quick tip

If you have a Samsung phone, install Google Messages from Play Store and make it the default messaging app. Without this, PhoneLeash will be unable to forward RCS (or Chat) messages. If you absolutely must use Samsung Messages just disable RCS entirely, see below on how.

After you install PhoneLeash and finish setup, please reboot.

What is RCS

RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. Think of this as iMessage for Android devices. Before RCS, Android devices were limited to simple SMS (texts) and MMS (picture messages) and that was mostly it. With RCS, you can see when the other person is typing ("typing indicator"), when messages sent by you have been delivered, and read. You can even get read receipts.

So all this sounds pretty cool, but there is a problem with how Google and Samsung are rolling it out, and it affects every third-party app that handles SMS and MMS, including PhoneLeash. These apps can simply not "see" RCS messages. In developer speak, there are no public APIs to allow apps to get triggered when there is RCS traffic. It's not clear when this will change, and as RCS is getting rolled out rapidly this problem will grow.

How do you know if you have RCS enabled?

Even if you have RCS active, not all of your messages will be RCS. It needs the other phone to also support RCS, and might also depend on the quality of your mobile data connection. iPhones don't support RCS, for example so messages from iPhones will reach your Android as normal SMS or MMS. It can get pretty confusing!

Disabling RCS

Disabling RCS is not a bad idea, you will not lose anything useful in your messaging experience.

In Google Messages, under Settings / Chat features you can disable Chat.

Samsung Messages does not offer an on/off button, but you can install Google Messages, turn off Chat, and then uninstall Google Messages.

Note: PhoneLeash supports RCS / Chat messages only if you use the Google Messages app. If you need to stay with Samsung Messages, disable RCS messages as above.

Finally, you can also disable Chat using the form made by Google just for this.