Windows 10 Mobile supports 'typing...' SMS message indicators on some carriers

Update: Video added demonstrating the feature.

Windows 10 Mobile users on Vodafone in the UK can reportedly now see typing indicators on their SMS messages. Similar to WhatsApp and other messaging services like Apple's iMessage the feature lets users have a more real-time awareness of the chat partner's status.

The feature was first spotted by GMRtec. Their screenshot also shows a "Read" indicator to show the reception of the message has checked out the post, in a way similar to apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Interestingly, the 'Send on' option says "SMS Chat" instead of the default "SMS text". That change from 'chat' to 'text' indicates the new feature is enabled and lets the user know of the option.

Microsoft announced support for the feature some time ago and even their support page comments about the feature (opens in new tab):

"If your mobile operator offers a chat service, your messages to certain contacts may be sent using that service, and you'll see chat instead of text in your Messaging app. If you expect to see chat but don't, try going to Messaging settings to turn it on."

As mentioned above, this is a carrier-dependant feature.

In the US, both T-Mobile and AT&T have announced general support for the features described above and they fall under the category of "Advanced Messaging". Similar to Wi-Fi Calling the feature is specific to certain phones and requires carrier-approved firmware to enable the feature. From AT&T's support page (opens in new tab):

"Advanced Messaging is the AT&T next generation messaging service that allows you to send high-resolution photos and larger video files, up to 10MB per attachment. You can also see when your messages have been delivered, when they are read, and even when others are typing a response. There is no app to download, no separate account to configure, and no password to enter."

Currently, only Samsung Android phones have the feature enabled on T-Mobile, and there is no indication yet if the Lumia 950 on AT&T will gain this feature. It is safe to assume that AT&T would need to have Advanced Messaging added to the Microsoft firmware, and this could be something holding up the firmware update on the Lumia 950. However, at this time, there is no confirmation if that is the case.

While it is perhaps unsurprising that Windows 10 Mobile supports Advanced Messaging it is unfortunate that users will still be at the mercy of carriers to enable the feature. For now, many of us will have to wait for Advanced Messaging to roll out to our respective countries and carriers. As of now, only Vodafone in the UK is known to have enabled this for Windows 10 Mobile devices.

Anyone else seeing the feature enabled on their phones? Let us know in comments including phone, carrier, and region!

Source: GMRtec; Thanks, Jragar, for the tip and video

John Callaham
  • Cool
  • I can confirm that carrier 'Mobily' in Saudi Arabia doesn't support the feature... Nor does 'STC' ... Sigh
  • I so don't want to let anyone see what and when I'm chatting online and answering them. I want to be able to write a full or partial draft and send it when I want without letting the person on the other side know when I'm answering.
    To me, it's a privacy choice and option that I would like to keep disabled.
  • Agreed. The whole "typing" aspect is for narcissists and borderline creepers. What's next, reading minds when one is going to make a phone call?
  • You just went from zero to a hundred real quick real quick
  • Yes, it escalated rather quickly lol
  • Cranked to 11.
  • In the article doesn't it indicate that it is option you can choose to activate when sending the message 'send text' or 'send chat'? This way you're still in control of whether it becomes a live chat.
  • No. That is offset by the need sometimes to know an answer is forthcoming. I want to know when my messages are read and that they are responding. Not narcissist.
  • Sadist?
  • "Typing" is one of those features that sounds cool, but the reality is that there are too many people too immature to not be offended when the typing indicator goes away without the arrival of a message.
  • unfortunatly i think you might be right lol, luckly i dont have that issue but i think many would.
  • As I realize it also, this will conflict when making drafts. Even you intent just to make drafts, it will show on the other end you're typing if they're on the conversation screen. This is why we have online status on messaging/chat service for a very long time. So we know if our contact is actively using the service or not and with this how we change our way on communicating with chatting service. Another thing, is this needs to be activated by 2 or more people? Still this is great that SMS is still evolving and this can be really useful. I can bet there would be an option to turn off, thing is there is alot of variable how this new SMS feature work differently or similar from online messaging service we already know. This feature is carrirer-dependent anyways, not really platform-specific.
  • I'm sure you'll be able to turn it off. And iMessage on my iPhone which is what this looks to be like, is faster at sending and receiving texts, videos and pictures. I think it's great.
  • This is not like iMessage at all.  That is a chat app just like Facebook Messanger or WhatsApp.  That uses a data connection through WiFi or Cellular.  This appears that it is still going to use the technology behind SMS/MMS but greatly increases the bandwidth that allows it to have more features.  The largest benefit to SMS is that you can send them with a VERY weak cellular signal. You do not get that with iMessage / chat apps. I'd guess that iMessage appears to be so quick because it is extremely prioritized by the OS.
  • I that case turn it off. What's the problem?
  • I would like to have this feature. If you wouldn't want to use this feature, you could turn it off in messaging options.
  • Yeah very cool and highly needed... Specially for an ancient communication tool... And some are still wondering why Windows Phone is so far behind in the race... Cause rather than creating something that matters for the people MS is wasting time and money on worthless features.
  • This is VERY important. Everybody who has an iPhone always brings up how iMessage is important/useful and all that. And this is the first step towards really integrating skype with messages in a way that can compete with the usefulness of iMessage+FaceTime
    I hope they develop it properly and give it the importance it needs
    If it's made to work with Windows 10 PCs/Tablets seamlessly, then it could be a game changer
  • I'm not sure if/how this would be made to work with PCs/tablets seamlessly other than via a subsystem like iMessage/Skype that bypasses SMS (this is not that) or a post-processing platform like Cortana that sits on top - which is an entirely separate entity altogether. Skype is really the only hope for a truly cross-platform, scalable and proven alternative to iMessage. MS has done a laudable job of rationalizing all the Skype-connected clients and services, but there's still more to be done. To wit, global contact lists / presence *STILL* don't work well (send an infrequent Skype user a message and you'll appreciate this - it goes into a black hole) and the W10M messaging client is oddly a ******* stepchild, not supporting attachments as of this writing nor the fun gifs in the standalone client. The whole thing echoes the cliche with MS's mobile efforts -- perpetually catching up with the promise of greatness.  
  • i used to think the same as you about skype but i really think its too little too late at this stage unless they can truley make it awsome in the next 12 months, as it stands skype is lacking alot of features like well working properly for 1, my skype on mobile doesnt always ring even though my pc does.  Then you got the mobile phone with 2 cameras and when facetime on iphone can change camera for well since its existance a few years ago and yet skype cant even in windows 10.    We have no settings in both desktop and mobile skype that allow me to change ringtone or anythign else for that mater.  Strangely on my desktop i cant chat cause it crashes my skype if i type chat and its been like that for months and several; updates lol.  Then theres the fact that skype chat is so basic and years behind everything out there case right now even if chat was working on windows 10, i cant send audio, video or even picture files like i used too.  Then theres 1 last true fact, the competiotion isnt really competition cause they are better than skype and offer all the things i just said that skype cant.  Hell whats app has more chance of geting video features and becoming the universal used app cause ill tell you now, microsoft will take 2 years to make skype good and thats if we are lucky, whats app and other competitors would do it alot quicker.  Hell if facetime released a app on windows id definatly be using that in this day and age then thers no need for skype. Microsoft really let skype go and now that software that was leading edge and had a huge domitanting following was left to rote. shame cause i like skype of past before microsft tried and failed to incorporate messanger into it, and even love it built in if only it worked with the above basic features.
  • Microsoft really has to step up and revolutionize their Skype as their one and primary messaging service. The frustrating part is even now they treat Skype like a 3rd-party that happens to preincluded in OS, it doesn't feels like its deeply integrated. Messaging + Skype Video + People app in W10M and W10 desktop/tablet is still a mess.
  • Agreed!! Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I feel its built in well skype.   In app form it is suposed to allow for faster updates and under that premise i like it, unfortunatly it took skype  12-14 months befiore insiders actually got to try it even though it was presented to us in events.  Thats a pretty long time to wait for something we have seen.  And yet my mobile phone with skype doesnt ring unless i have skype up on the front of the phone.  i had 15 missed calls in a row it didnt ring onece in 1 day and all from the same person yet all 15 calls from tha same person took up 15 lines on my phone and that looks stupid, it really feels rushed.    Theres no settings chat on desktop is broken things like sending images videos and even audio is imposible .  Yeh its a huge mess.  I like what it could be but im terrified it will be too long before it reaches that potential.  Truth iss if there was a universal app for whats app and it had video or even facetime id already be puting skype behind me.
  • How is iMessage useful? You can only communicate with other iPhone users - about 10% of people in many European countries. This is TEXT messaging, ie everyone with a phone, so it obviously won't work with PCs/tablets. I think you're a little confused about what this is, it's not a wifi messenger-type service like facetime, skype, whatsapp etc.
  • I have it on my 630 and Vodafone Italy since a couple of months.
  • Cool cool
  • This is something my mothers been wanting for ever. I'd love to know if this is something we may see on older supported devices (like the 1520, 1020, 930 so forth) as I'd love to have this feature. I'm on AT&T and it would be cool to see this.
  • Technically, yes, you could see this on older phones. However, it requires two things: 1) the carrier has to approve the specific device on their end (which requires carrier specific firmware), and 2) you'll need a firmware update. I honestly woudn't expect AT&T (or any carrier) to add older devices to the supported list. Letting old devices have new functionality/features is kind of against their mantra, hence why updates take FOREVER. But, theoretically, if a carrier updates an older phone to WM10, then they could add support for Advanced Messaging at the same time. 
  • I know this, I'm asking if we will see it. I know the carries have the control over it, I just want to see if we can get some poking going on. No reason something as simple as this can't be added and like you said, if they are allowing older phones to update to Windows 10 Mobile then why not throw this in too.
  • The ball is in their court...and we can only wait for it... I'm happy that MS have done their part... Now it's up to the carriers... They can throw this with W10M update.. But still, it's up to them.. Sad
  • >, it requires two things: 1) the carrier has to approve the specific device on their end (which requires carrier specific firmware), and 2) you'll need a firmware update.    100% wrong. It has worked on older Lumias since it debuted
  • Interesting, seeing how my 950XL, 920, 925, and 530, all running WM10 do not have this feature, on either AT&T or T-Mobile. Hm, let's see, both AT&T and T-Mobile support Advanced Messaging... odd, guess my phones must be broken. /s The device supports it, yes, but untill the carrier gives the go ahead, your device can't access the capabilities on their service. Now, I'm sure there are some carriers who have already flipped the switch with previous releases (Vodaphone probably has), but that doesn't mean that every Lumia, in every country, in every varriant, can take advantage of it yet, because the carrier has control over this feature. Just as they can restrict things like Wi-Fi calling and SMS.
  • Probably more of a tip but starting a text with an exclamation mark Eg. "!Test" shows delivery confirmation wondering if this is related or if there are more such commands.
  • Tried. Doesn't work on ATT.
  • This has been there for months on previous builds, but removed in 10586.11 IIRC (the "chat" option in SIM settings), is it back again? Besides, whilst I had it on my single SIM 640, the option was absent from my dual sim 535 (and dual SIM 950 now). I guess it's part of the "features you don't get if you have a dual sim" : VVM, vibrate when call is connected, etc.
  • Yes. The compete Chat settings are back in Messaging settings.
  • And again for a new trick, this^.
    I'd like some new features that can be done with Gestures Beta.
  • great, another new feature to start an argument with the ex :) me: "didn't you read the text I sent you about **********?" her: "no" me: "LIAR!!!!! My phone shows you read it!!!!" her: censored to protect the eyes of children me: "uh........."
  • Why would anyone text their Ex .. ;) move on :p
  • Kids...
  • @YashHarf - My ex and I text every few days. It doesn't necessarily mean you haven't moved on. I'm not meaning to be naive as I know relationships don't always end well, but we are still best of friends. If possible, I highly recommend it. It certainly makes life a LOT easier! lol :-D
  • I kind of agree here. I don't really like that some services use that. Not a big deal, but I am not a huge fan of read receipts.
  • Me too. When someone send it with email and I get a popup to send receipt back, I say no.
  • Sends it*
  • As do I. Though I have to use them at times for sensitive"sign off" items.
  • I disable all received/read notifications. Even if you are the sender, it is none of your business when I receive, and later, read your message. If the matter is that important, send a meeting request or *gasp* use your phone as a phone and call me.
  • I would be much more interested in proper delivery reports for sms, rather than the separate sms delivery report there is now. This was a feature requested by thousands in user voice but ignored by Microsoft
  • Basic features for Microsoft is non-existent for them unless being told by many (and its not always going happen either). Edge right-click history menu under the navigation buttons are just recently implement when it should've been present since its introduction. Its a one of the very basic web browser feature. They manage to introudce half-baked Reading List (which is already existed in a seperate app/service) and half-baked Web Notes (not able to save as image and only recently they add more sharing options).
  • it took microsoft 12 months to add a weekly calender view to their outlook in windows 10 even though windows 7 windows 8 and windows 8.1 all had it.  A weekly view is what im guessing 90% of all phone users would look at on their calenders followed by day next so its not like it isnt a needed feature.  Thats kinda the problem with microsoft and has been their problem for a few years too little too late, lets hope they hire more staff and complete things faster, realleasing unfinished software that feels like beta is already something we all know microsof has recently been guilty off on more that 2-3 occasions its time they sorted this out.
  • I get this on Vodafone UK with other Vodafone users (only one, who has a no brand Android phone). Bit useless if it's restricted to people on the same network (especially not one of the big ones).
  • Not seeing this on VodaUK at all with any contact, even texts from Vodafone themselves. Edit: You have to start a new message thread, not continue an existing one. Cool, all good.
  • i wont be geting it from vodaphone uk, they havent made a windows app in 3 years for the uk but they have a blackberry app and ee, o2 all have windows apps.  I really cant wait to leave them and their pathetic blameless excuses and their constanstant belitling of anyone in the forums that ask for one, but then again 21 thousand people on their forums for 3 years isnt really alot of people is it, so why cater for them.
  • I hope we'll be able to disable it. When I'm arguing with my girl sometimes I don't want her to know I read her text and just don't want to reply.
  • +a million
  • It says "SIM Chat" not "SMS Chat" :P
  • I'm torn on this feature. If someone starts typing, one might feel obligated to wait for the message more than usual. Last thing we need is more wasted time on our phones, haha.
  • Right!
  • what about unlocked CV phones?
  • Works on Unlocked phones too. Switched from 3 to Vodafone on a CV GB 950 and the 1st thing I got was a message from Vodafone telling me it was enabled.
  • nice! i hope it also works for the operator i use prepaid from
  • doesnt 3 have a windows app?
  • Windows 10 mobile is becoming more interesting
  • Didn't see this coming.. Nice!
  • 10MB per attachment for the win! I am SICK of downsampled photos and videos that look like they are made out of legos!!! It will be so nice to have this on my 950 and future phones.
  • Shared via OneDrive link size isn't an issue. You can try a workaround with custom APN settings without restriction on attachment size but it's probably the carrier controlling size.
  • *Lego. Don't pluralise.
  • You'll get your reply message when I feel like sending it.
  • Guys every time when I press the message app I have a pop-up message and says sign in or maybe later if I press later the app crash and if I press sign in nothing happens.Any solution???
    640XL dual sim card
  • Go into the skype video app and log out. Reboot and try signing back in. (assuming you have a skype account)
  • Ty very much for your help with my problem
  • There is no option under 10586.29 to turn it on in my Lumia 950 XL Dual SIM in Canada? What firmware is needed? #
  • It is more likely that you need carrier support. It seems to work on older devices so it appears firmware is not the issue  
  • One of the nice things about a TEXT message is they could not see if you read it or where in the process of replying. You only got at best the message was received. Not sure if I see this as a way forward or not but I suppose its been with  instant messaging a while now. I suppose its time to man up and not worry about what the other person thinks is happening. After all I proudly declared to my girlfriend that SMS would never catch on back in 93 so what do I know.
  • I can finally stop asking my daughter "Did you get my text message????". Now I can just see when she is deciding not to respond in a timely fashion. :)
  • Pants
  • Jorts.
  • Jeggings
  • Heh, spanx.
  • On the right phone in the picture, there is a chat thread column on the lefthand side that we usually see in landscape mode. Is the presense we see there in portrait a new feature or setting?
  • Apparently it is related to the DPI settings on your phone. I think if you make things smaller that you can get it to appear.
  • Rogers Canada?
  • WiFi calling works on EE in UK on 550/950/950xl...tested all.
  • Only if you have the EE firmware... Not CV :(
  • I'm guessing I'll never get this with an unlocked 950 on Cricket.
  • Another plus for using Cricket. I only miss baked in VM, for byod.
  • I hope there's a way to turn this off because I don't want them to know is that I've read their message for know that I am replying to them. This is good when you are in an argument over text because I don't want them to have the satisfaction that I have read their message.
  • When WhatsApp-style SMS confirmations/reports?
  • Interesting! Looks like SMS is still evolving. Since this is carrier specific feature, it will take time before everybody has it. I wonder if both contacts needs to have enabled this option or not.
  • This uses a standard technology called RCS which should be coming to all networks, at some point. It should allow cross network communication using the service and is free because it uses your data and falls back to text otherwise. Think of it like WhatsApp and iMessage but without the must have all your data.
  • Well I have that chat settings but unfortunately my carrier doesnt support that feature.
  • imessage is huge and loved.... Can't Microsoft just do it like that? Windows phone to windows phone. Automatically sent via skype (using data if allowed) or sms if no data/wifi. Obviously skype messaging on windows 10 needs a good kick up the arse regarding features but the point is...... WHY ISN'T IT HAPPENING. Were not waiting on some 3rd party, at home, spare time developers, it's Microsoft! Surely they have the man power and resources to get it bloody done.
  • Yeah, I really figured this was where that messaging app was headed for 10. Not only did that not happen, but it regressed. I'm sure we'll see it eventually. I've since moved onto iPhone-- would be nice if they opened iMessage up a little bit for apps like Messaging on PC to tie into it. Hell, even an iMessage app for PC anywhere would be nice :P
  • personal;l;y skype would be nicer if it had a whats app interface and a video call option in it that you can if wanted go full screen, seperating the 2 is not something i like personally, thats if it ever works.
  • what do you mean by whatsapp interface, just the same as the messaging app already has? (actually the other way around, whatsapp uses the default windows design language)
  • Welcome to 1998 SMS, the ICQ's users were waiting for you
  • On Vodafone UK, about to upgrade again just for this
  • On my M8 I have "Cloud messaging" (Need to research what this is about. Have an idea, but want to be sure) and "SMS delivery confirmation" (Im assuming this is what the article is referring to), but they are not on my 950. Both devices are on AT&T, purchased from AT&T and running .63. Not sure I want this feature activated on my device anyway.
  • I wonder any indian carriers does support these features, sms is twice costly than phone calls here...
  • * Change from 'text' to 'chat'...
  • Welcome feature but already tired of being treated as third class citizen by carriers especially in US !
  • lol vodaphone uk suported blackberry with a app but they didnt support windows 8.1 with a app.  They did have one for egypt.  Im with vodaphone and after asking multiple times on their own forums along with close to 21 thousand people over 3 years the replys they got for a windows app was, just use the web and log into your account, or no information, either way vodaphones inability to suply a app for a platform that was more popluar than a so called other platform they did suport is ridiculas.  I certainly wont be buy ing and windows phone from vodaphone uk , hell ill not be buying any phone from them or any other phone company that cant be bothered to make a simple web rap app for a phone they sell.
  • Hi, can someone send me this wallpaper. Thanks.
  • Dual SIM only have chat enabled for the first SIM card (at least on my 640 DS). Bummer.
  • Works here in Italy with Vodafone
  • I like this
  • KIK is a really good messaging app on 8 8.1 & 10 that works on all platforms and has indicators on T-Mobile
  • Win 8.1 users : Aw,, when .. When.. When will we get stable version?! :D
  • Available now also on Vodafone Portugal!