So I guess a year or so ago, Google started using RCS in the native Android text messaging app and is deprecating Hangouts. Around the same time they apparently introduced a feature they call “sync” that basically turns the messaging app into a web service, so you don’t need to be connected to the phone to do messaging. Both of these are great features: my office is a reception hole and it would be nice to be able to just access my messaging through the web without needing my phone to have reception.
BUT, Google being Google, you can’t enable both of them at the same time if you’re a Google Fi customer. I didn’t know that and…
I got a new phone. It’s a Moto-to-Moto transfer, so should be painless. I did the whole activate and transfer thing. When I opened up my messaging app on the new phone, there were no messages more recent than August 15. I assumed that maybe they hadn’t been synced to Google One, so I grabbed the old phone, fished through the settings in the messaging app and found one that said something about “activate sync.” This looked right, I clicked it, got a cursory and cryptic warning about “disabling chat features” and clicked through. Big. Fucking. Mistake.
Google proceeded to disenroll me from every single group chat I’ve ever been part of and send a text message to every one of those group chats saying “Matt_W has left the chat.” And chat features were now disabled on my new phone as well. It took hours of Googling and many device resets to re-enable chat features. Still am de-subscribed from all of my many dozens of group chats. Still don’t have any texts from the last two weeks. Chatting with Google support now.
tl;dr: Do not, for the love of god, disable chat features on your Android messaging app.