There are only a few days left in 2023, so it’s time to prepare your congratulations for the following year. Congratulating on WhatsApp is very popular and the application usually crashes at the most inopportune moment: be more original and congratulate the new year with Google Messages.

Sending your well wishes for the coming year with a text message is, thanks to the magic of RCS, both classic and modern. It arrives like a traditional SMS, although technically it is more similar to sending a WhatsApp and has the same cost: none.

SMS or RCS

SMS is the text messages of a lifetime and also what we used to use a decade ago to wish our family and friends a happy year when we did it with a call. RCS is an evolution of text messaging that Google has been trying to make the new standard for years. After much prodding, Apple also decided to jump on the bandwagon to improve interoperability between iMessage and Android users.

The RCS standard is far from new and for years it was known as “the WhatsApp of operators”. The idea is basically to replicate the experience in apps like WhatsApp, Messenger or Telegram but in a standard way that doesn’t depend on a specific app. The path of RCS to reach our mobiles has been a small journey in the desert, with a somewhat slow implementation by operators that made Google decide to take matters into its own hands, activating it for all users.

Sending messages using RCS is free, as it is done over the Internet (we will therefore need Wi-Fi or a data plan). On the other hand, it is common for SMS to continue to be charged per message in many operators, in addition to being an outdated technology that limits the number of characters, is not encrypted and does not have modern messaging features such as typing indicators.

RcsonoA chat with RCS that will be free (left) and another with SMS text messages that we will have to pay for (depending on the plan)

To send an RCS message to someone, both you and the other person need to have RCS messages active. You’ll see if that’s the case when you start a new conversation in Google Messages. If yes, you’ll see RCS Chat; if not, it will read Texting, which is a lifelong SMS and will probably cost you money on your phone bill.

Still no RCS?

As we mentioned before, Google ended up getting tired of waiting for carriers to activate support for RCS messages, so it decided to skip them and implement it on its own. Nowadays there are users who have RCS active by their operator and others who have it by Google.

If you want to check if you have RCS active on your phone, you’ll need to open the Google Messages app (if you don’t have it installed, you can download it from Google Play) and tap on your profile picture to display the menu. In it, tap on Message Settings.

Chatsrcs

Go to the first section, General, and then tap on RCS Chat, which was formerly called Chat Features. If your phone is compatible (and this is usually the case), you can enable RCS messaging with Enable RCS Chats. Just below it indicates which number the activation applies to, in case you have a mobile phone with several SIM cards.

Write and schedule your message

Greeting the new year with Google Messages has the advantage that it will reach the other person as a text message, but you can write by adding all kinds of multimedia elements such as photos, stickers, videos, animated GIFs or emojis. Surely the congratulations stand out more than buried in a sea of WhatsApp messages.

Best of all, though, you can schedule the message, so you won’t have to compose while you’re choking on grapes. To do so, all you need to do is press and hold the button to send the message after composing it, so that the context menu is displayed.

Program

From this menu, choose Scheduled Send, and then you will be able to choose precisely when you want the message to be sent. Keep in mind that it is the mobile itself that takes care of the programming, so the mobile will need to be turned on and connected to the Internet for the sending to take place.

Tap Choose a time and date, and then you can choose precisely the day and time you want the message to be sent. Press Save and you can forget about it: your New Year’s greeting will arrive at its destination at the right time, even if you have prepared it a few days before.

Programar

After you schedule a message, you’ll be able to see it in the chat with that person in Google Messages in a drop-down section called Scheduled message. From there you can modify, delete or manually send it whenever you want.

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