Google started rolling out an RCS (Rich Communication Service) messaging service in the US on Android phones. RCS will replace the 25-years old SMS (Short Message Service) service. The RCS will include several features that Apple’s iMessage offers.
Rich communication service includes advanced features such as sending multimedia files, documents and more. Users can also make video calls directly from the messaging app. RCS also removes the 160 character limit currently found in SMS. It works on mobile data or Wi-FI. Users can check out the read receipts of individual messages. The only downside of RCS service is that it doesn’t support an end to end encryption, so your messages will be read by anyone (government, FBI)
In order to use the RCS, users need to use Android Messages as their default texting app on your Android phone. Most Android phones already come with default Android messages but with Samsung phones that is not the case. Samsung users will need to download the Android Messages from Play Store and then switch to it as their default.
Google is rolling out RCS incrementally in phases. So it will take some time before the feature will be reached to you. Google is hoping that the full rollout will be completed by the end of the year.