Anyone who has used one of the popular instant messaging apps like What’s App or Facebook messenger will know how much more advanced they are are than the humble old SMS message, well that’s about to change on the Telstra network for recent Samsung devices.

Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a new messaging standard Telstra is enabling for the first time in Australia.

It will work on Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8 and S8+ devices and that will roll out over the weeks ahead, and it’s an urgent cry for relevance in a world where SMS is declining in favour of instant messaging.

It’s also a very late catch up to Apple’s own iMessage.

Simple things like knowing the other person in the conversation is typing, sharing rich media like location or links.

Perhaps the biggest leap forward is Voicemail. Once activated you no longer need to call to get your messages – instead they are delivered as audio in a text message.

Simple and easy.

Jeremy Howe, Telstra’s Head of Product Innovation is unsurprisingly excited about the update “Today’s announcement signifies the next step in the introduction of data-driven mobile capabilities and a great demonstration of how we’re building the network for the future. Telstra has pioneered the integration of next generation voice and video calling capabilities like 4G and Wi-Fi Calling on smartphones in Australia, being the first to roll out these technologies to customers.

“With RCS now established, we’re continuing to evolve the network to bring more exciting voice, video and messaging features to our customers that will integrate directly into handsets, tablets and computing devices in the future.”

We haven’t tested it yet, but assume for it to work well, it required RCS at both ends of the chat so compatible devices on the Telstra network only