Earlier this morning, an update to Carrier Services began rolling out to a large swath of Android devices around the world. Citing new functionality and bug fixes, this Google app includes “support for enhanced features in the Android Messages app.”
Before updating, the version number was listed as 0.1 on my Google Pixel. The app does not appear under the ‘All apps’ list until the option to ‘Show system’ apps is enabled. After downloading the kilobytes-sized update, the version number jumped to 2.1.165.
The app description on the Play Store notes backend carrier functionality and mentions Android Messages and Google’s broad push for RCS around the world:
Carrier Services helps carriers provide mobile services using the latest networking capabilities. Carrier Services includes support for enhanced features in the Android Messages app.
However, this update isn’t adding RCS to new devices, nor does it seem to result in any noticeable changes on phones that already have enhanced messaging.
Users on major and smaller carriers in the US are receiving the update, as well as Project Fi subscribers. There are also reports of the update hitting devices in Australia and Canada, though some encounter a “This item is not available in your country” warning.