Apple will add RCS messaging support to iPhone, iPad, Mac through a software release early next year, the company said in a statement.
RCS or Rich Communication Services, a communications standard developed by the GSM Association and adopted by much of the Android ecosystem, is designed to universally elevate messaging communication across mobile devices. Even though Apple has been working with the group, it has until this moment steadfastly refused to add RCS support to iPhones. Now, however, Apple is changing its tune.
“Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association. We believe the RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS. This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users,” said an Apple spokesperson.
Apple now acknowledges that RCS is an improvement over MMS and SMS but made it clear that RCS is not replacing iMessage and its host of features like memojies, stickers, and the ability to edit and unsend messages. Instead, the RCS standard support will arrive in an unspecified software update and then it will be up to carriers to add it.
When RCS does arrive on your best iPhone, though, it means the end of the “green bubble shame” for your best Android phone-owning friends, family, and coworkers. They’ll be able to send and receive high-resolution photos and videos from their phones to your iPhone. Group messaging could become platform agnostic. And they’ll be able to share their location with you through RCS-supported messaging.
MacDailyNews Take: It’s like giving half a glass of ice water to somebody in hell. Make the RCS messages purple, Apple!
This move also crisply kneecaps whatever diktats the EU were planning in the messaging arena; they’ll have to monkey with the markets somewhere else.
Note: RCS still does not support end-to-end encryption. Apple told TechRadar that it plans to work with the GSM Association to add encryption to the standard.
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