RCS is a messaging standard that aims to replace the outdated SMS and MMS with a more modern and feature-rich messaging system. The communications protocol allows users to send and receive group chats, video, audio, and high-resolution images, as well as read receipts and real-time typing indicators.
Unlike SMS and MMS, which rely on cellular networks, RCS works over Wi-Fi or mobile data, making it more reliable and cost-effective.
Apple’s decision to adopt RCS comes after years of criticism from Google, which has been pushing for the adoption of RCS as the standard for Android messaging. Google has been offering RCS chat features to Android users worldwide via its Messages app since 2019. The search giant has also partnered with Samsung to make RCS compatible with the Samsung Messages and Android Messages apps. Apple is also likely doing this to avoid going against the EU about it, where the bloc’s Digital Markets Act could force Apple to support RCS or face legal consequences.
Google welcomed Apple’s move and released a statement, saying it is happy to see Apple embracing RCS and that it is “looking forward to working with them to implement this on iOS in a way that works well for everyone”. Google also said that it hopes that RCS will become the universal messaging platform for all smartphone users, regardless of their device or carrier.
However, Apple is not simply adopting RCS as it is. Apple wants to work with the GSM Association (GSMA), a non-profit industry organization that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide, to add stronger encryption to the RCS specification.
Apple’s involvement in RCS could be a game-changer for the messaging industry, as it could bring more users, carriers, and device makers on board with the new protocol. It could also create a more seamless and secure messaging experience for users across different platforms and devices.
However, it is not clear exactly when Apple will roll out RCS support to its iOS devices, or how it will integrate RCS with iMessage. Apple has not revealed any details or timeline for its RCS implementation.
Whatever the case, Apple’s support for RCS is a big step forward for the messaging industry and a sign of hope for users who want a better and more secure way to communicate with their friends and family. RCS is expected to become the new standard for messaging soon, and Apple’s participation will accelerate its adoption and development.