Apple to add support for RCS in iOS next year

Nov 17, 2023

Apple has confirmed that it will add support for RCS (Rich Communication Services) in iOS next year. Yes, it is really happening.

Apple is bringing RCS support to iOS

In a statement sent to 9to5Mac, Apple has said that it would add support for RCS Universal Profile, which is the standard that is currently published by the GSM Association. It will offer better interoperability, as it will replace the SMS and MMS as standard used in iOS, though both protocols will be available as a fallback. But this does not mean iMessage is being retired.

iMessage is not going anywhere

Apple says that iMessage still offers the best security and privacy for users, and it will continue to do so even after RCS support is added in iOS. Is the Green bubble vs Blue Bubble thing over? 9to5Mac reports that the adoption of RCS will not remove the Green Bubble that Apple uses to indicate a non-Apple device, aka Android devices. So you will continue to see Blue bubbles when communicating with Apple users, and Green when texting with Android users.

Still, this is pretty good news considering that SMS is an outdated tech. RCS offers various modern features such as read-receipts, typing indicators, group chats, high resolution media sharing, sending messages via Wi-Fi or mobile network, etc.

The news may have come out of the blue, but we probably have to thank the European Union for that, because Apple has been under scrutiny by its antitrust regulators. While the Cupertino company claimed that iMessage was not popular enough in Europe for it to be designated as a gatekeeper, Google has argued otherwise and that Apple does qualify as a gatekeeper under the new laws of the Digital Markets Act that came into effect this year.

Google welcomes Apple's decision to adopt RCS

Apple has been under pressure from Google, Samsung, and Android users who have been calling out for RCS support for a long time. This should be good news for all parties involved. 9to5Google reports that Google has applauded Apple's decision to adopt RCS by welcoming it. The Mountain View company released a statement saying that it is looking forward to working with Apple and GSMA to evolve RCS, and make it more equitable and secure. Apple will add support for RCS in iOS via a software update sometime next year. It is worth noting that the Google Messages app uses the Search giant's own implementation of end-to-end encryption, whereas the RCS Universal Profile does not. Apple has said that it does not plan to add its own end-to-end encryption, but will work with the GSMA to improve RCS as a whole.

The news comes just a couple of days after Nothing Tech unveiled Nothing Chats, an app based on the Sunbird app, which allows Android users to communicate with iPhone users using iMessage's protocols. Well, I guess there will be a few people who may try it, but Apple's implementation will likely defeat the purpose for any third-party apps or workarounds.

Apple to add support for RCS in iOS next year
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Apple to add support for RCS in iOS next year
It's finally happening. Apple will add support for RCS in iOS next year

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