Google Chat Features

What is Chat Features?

Chat features provide an upgraded, rich messaging experience. Chat features:

  • Show you when someone is typing
  • Offer read receipts (show when someone has read or received your message, as well as showing your contact when you read their message)
  • Send messages over mobile data and Wi-Fi
  • Lets you share files and high-resolution photos

When using chat features, your messages are sent using the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol over Wi-Fi and mobile data. Chat features will be turned on only when all the participants in a conversation have chat features. Either your RCS service provider (e.g., mobile carrier) or Jibe Mobile from Google can provide chat features. This article describes chat features by Google.

Google Chat Features

Turn on chat features in Messages

If chat features are turned on, you can:

  • Send messages over Wi-Fi and mobile data, instead of SMS or MMS
  • Add people to group conversations
  • Find out when others are typing
  • Let others know you’ve read their messages
  • Share high-quality photos

To use these options, everyone in the Messages conversation must turn on chat features.

Chat features are only available for certain devices, service providers, and carriers, including Jibe Mobile from Google. For more info, contact your carrier.

Learn how your data is handled in chat features offered by Jibe Mobile from Google.

Turn on chat features for the first time

When chat features are on, you can send messages over Wi-Fi and use other features.

If your carrier and device aren’t automatically set up for chat features, you may be offered chat features through Jibe Mobile by Google. In that case, the Messages app will prompt you to open and agree to the Jibe Terms of Service. You might be asked to provide your phone number.

Important: You may occasionally receive a text from Jibe Mobile from Google to verify your phone number. Chat features are available for your default or preferred call SIM at this time and may be available for other SIMs later. Manage your default call SIM in your System settings. To learn how to use dual SIM settings, contact your device manufacturer

If your carrier supports chat features but your device isn’t automatically set up for chat features, you may get a notification to “Do more with Messages.” If you get this notification:

Messages Logo Round
and then
  1. On your device, open Messages .
  2. Tap Get Started  Next.
  3. To keep Messages connected, tap Yes.

If you can’t turn on chat features, learn how to troubleshoot.

Turn chat features on or off

Important: When you remove your SIM card from your device, you must turn off chat features in Settings to stop sending and receiving chat messages. Otherwise, chat features may continue to work for up to 8 days.

Messages Logo Round
and then
  1. On your device, open Messages .
  2. At the top right, tap More   Settings.
  3. Tap Chat features.
  4. Toggle “Enable chat features” on or off.

Tip: You can also turn chat features off in the Messages deactivation web portal. If you’ve used your phone number with a previous phone and don’t receive text messages on your new phone, visit the deactivation web portal to turn off chat features on your old phone. If you lose or break your phone but still have your phone number, you can turn off chat features in the deactivation web portal.

Understand chat status

and then

To find your status, go to SettingsChat features. The possible statuses are:

  • Connected: Chat features are ready to use with other people who have them turned on.
  • Setting up: Messages is verifying your phone number. If verification takes more than a few minutes, next to the status, tap Retry.
  • Disconnected: Chat features are temporarily unavailable. Check that you’re connected to the internet.

Learn more about how to fix issues if you can’t turn on chat features.