Apple caves in, iPhones to join RCS support in late 2024
It doesn’t happen much but Apple has finally caved in and will support Rich Communication Services (RCS) starting in late 2024. The update comes from Apple itself after Google, Samsung, and other regulators forced the Cupertino-based giant to implement RCS via a software update that will allow Android users the same features as Apple’s iMessage.
Google has been pressuring Apple to implement RCS since 2022 and Samsung joined the wagon earlier this year. All this is to add support for RCS that will open a floodgate of features across Android users and enable users to have a better interoperability experience compared to the likes of MMS or SMS.
Currently, iPhone-to-iPhone communication is done via iMessage with all the features enabled. However, when it comes to Android to iPhone users either a user or group chat, the chat automatically switches from iMessage on iOS to SMS or MMS. What this does is, it strips users of iMessage features such as photos and videos are shared in low quality and instead, moves over to an SMS service.
RCS on iMessage supports an array of features including end-to-end encryption, typing indicators, read receipts, longer messages support, works over WiFi, and mobile data to name a few. When Android users communicate with iPhone users, Apple clearly shows them in green text bubbles while iPhone users are marked in blue text bubbles.
Note that iMessage isn’t going. Apple considers it a major selling point for iPhones with its multitude of features and beyond. However, RCS will be implemented as a separate platform enabling Android and iPhone users to enjoy the same suite of features without any bias. Additionally, SMS and MMS will be available in case needed.
Nonetheless, RCS support on iPhones is expected to roll out as a software update by late next year. As of now, Nothing users can enjoy RCS with blue text bubbles using the recently launched Nothing Chats. Other OEMs will join the wagon soon.
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