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What does a blue dot next to text and contacts mean?

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SMS messaging has come a long way, and regardless of whether you’re on team Green or team Blue bubble, there are certain features that almost go unnoticed on both platforms. 

In this article, we’re talking about the blue dot you might’ve seen on some of your texts and contacts on Android, what it means and what information can it provide. 

Also read: The number you’ve dialled has calling restrictions: 6 Fixes

Android’s blue dot explained

Android messaging has had RCS or Rich Communication Support for quite some time now and a majority of telecom providers, if not all have already migrated over to the RCS Universal profile. The blue dot you see in front of some of your contacts is an indication of that. 

You see, just like apps like Instagram or Whatsapp indicate that someone is online using a green dot on their profile, RCS aims to do the same, except it works with SMS and shows a blue dot instead. If you’re seeing something like this, there’s a good chance that the person on the other side has an RCS compatible device, network and is currently in their messages app.

RCS can both be a really good thing and a severe headache because of ads.

If both the sender and the recipient have an RCS-capable phone, and if they are on compatible RCS network infrastructure, this means that you can send them messages in chat mode. This unlocks several features such as the ability to send and received bigger image files without loss of quality, get a higher character limit, read receipts, typing and online status and other quality-of-life features that have been missing from Android messaging for quite some time.  This also allows users to send messages on both their mobile data plan and on WiFi.

In case you’re missing out on these features or don’t seem to have them at all, there’s a good chance that your phone might not be the issue, but the RCS service might be disabled by default. 

Here’s how to enable RCS on Google Messages. 

  • Open the Messages app and tap the three vertical dots in the top right.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap Chat features. 
  • Ensure that the Enable chat features slider is enabled. 

Also read: Why are you receiving calls from 8009220204? Is it a scam call? 

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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