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It would appear that Verizon only support MMS and RCS protocol (Rich Communication Services) for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL, using standard Messages, as it's all done on Googles servers.
Otherwise if you are on Verizon you have to use Messages+, as it's all done on Verizons servers.
So not a Sony issue, it's a Verizon issue.
So it's a big departure from MMS/SMS in so much as they incurred call charges, now MMS/RCS chat, etc use your data..So I guess they won't want to lose their cut at the moment.
I do not think it's exactly a Verizon issue. My P2XL receives just fine, as well as others that I have sent messages to using various devices. I think it's more of a Sony issue WITH Verizon.
Google phones use Google servers though.
And they are concentrating the release and update of RCS and other updated multimedia features in the UK and France from July, other countries and networks will have to wait their turn.
Google said that the networks were taking too long so they have taken steps to gradually update everything and eventually use their servers rather than rely on networks to do it.
I am assuming this all falls into a similar category as iPhone and their iMessage servers.
But again I have had other devices on VZW and they all allowed GIFs, but this is my first device that has been CDMA-less with them.