Apple to support RCS messaging with Android phones next year

Apple's Messages icon
Apple’s Messages icon

Apple will add RCS messaging support to iPhone, iPad, Mac through a software release early next year, the company said in a statement.

Lance Ulanoff for TechRadar:

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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    1. Not only that, but placing the “cookie approval” dialogue box over the 1st article is very helpful…as one can never read it until a new article drops it below the box (when one doesn’t approve cookies) and one has left prior. Solution: put at the bottom.

  1. “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.”

    While it appears that it is possible RCS itself doesn’t yet support E2EE, using Google Messages with Android devices does. So each camp does have its own (though currently incompatible) support. Next is to get it working between camps. A third party app like Signal will just need to fill the E2EE gap between iOS and Android in the meantime.

  2. Adding RSC & side-loading apps coming soon. Maybe to be followed with a hybrid iOS and Windows OS?

    Apple becoming all things for everyone and embracing the state of dilution.

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