O2 announces free messaging upgrade for millions of Android phones tomorrow – look out for alert to take advantage | The Sun

O2 is making a big change that will affect all Android users on the network.

The firm has already started sending texts to customers about the upgrade, which starts from tomorrow (October 10).

Everyone will have to accept a terms and conditions alert from Google otherwise they will miss out.

O2 is switching the technology that handles Android messaging, known as RCS (Rich Communication Services).

It works a bit like iMessage on iPhone, allowing Android handset holders to share things like photos, videos, voice notes and your location within the main messaging app.

This can save you money by sending messages from your data network instead of touching your allowance or charging you for an MMS.

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One of the advantages it has over WhatsApp is that it falls back to SMS or MMS whenever you have no data connection.

Customers should notice "minimal disruption", the firm said.

But RCS messaging may be unavailable for up to five days.

O2 says it is switching to a Google service called Jibe which is already used by other UK mobile networks.

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"We’re doing this is because Google have plans for their RCS service to make it even better than it is currently, and with all UK networks using a single shared platform, the service can be developed at speed which will give customers a better service, sooner," Virgin Media O2 said.

"If you don’t accept the Google T&C’s for RCS, then sadly you’ll be unable to continue sending RCS messages."

The switch will start from October 10 until October 31 for those with the Google Messages app.

Anyone with the Samsung Messages app will start to be moved from November 6 until November 23.

Virgin Media O2 has assured customers that the text message they sent out is legitimate.

It reads: "We're moving our Rich Communication Service (RCS) to Google from 10 Oct 23.

"All you need to do is accept Google's T&Cs when they're presented to you.

"Once your migration starts, RCS messaging will be unavailable on your device for up to 5 days.

"During this time, you can still send and receive SMS and MMS."

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