Google wins as Apple announces RCS support for iPhone next year

What you should know

  • Apple announces support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) starting in 2024
  • RCS will bring features similar to iMessage to Android and iOS messaging
  • RCS support could eliminate teasing and bullying of teenage Android users by iPhone users
  • iMessage will remain the platform used by iPhone users for messaging, with RCS as a separate platform for messaging Android users

Full Story

Apple announced today that starting in 2024, the iPhone will support Rich Communication Services (RCS) following pressure from Google, Samsung, and regulators. According to 9to5Mac, this will be accomplished via a software update that the company says it will disseminate “later next year” and will allow messaging between the two platforms to include many iMessage features. This is a huge win for Google as the company had pressured Apple starting in 2022 to add support for RCS, with Samsung joining the battle earlier this year. Once Apple starts supporting RCS, messaging between Android and iPhone users will no longer switch to SMS/MMS and all special iMessage/RCS features will be enabled. RCS already has many of the same features found on iMessage such as read receipts, typing indicators, end-to-end encryption, high-quality photos and videos, and the ability to send longer messages. In addition, RCS works over mobile data and Wi-Fi, unlike SMS/MMS.

While Apple could continue to use green text bubbles for Android and keep the blue text bubbles for iOS users, RCS support should give both iOS and Android users access to the same features that iMessage offers. This could eliminate the teasing and bullying that teenage Android users have had to deal with from teen iPhone users for years. iMessage is not disappearing from the iPhone at all; once RCS support is implemented by Apple, RCS will be a separate messaging platform from iMessage that can be used when available, with SMS/MMS still offered as a backup. The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) almost forced Apple to support RCS earlier this year, but today’s announcement helps Apple get ahead of any forced acceptance of RCS. iMessage will remain the platform used by iPhone users when messaging each other one-on-one or in a group, while RCS will be a separate platform that can be used when iPhone users want to message Android users. If you’ve ever seen how poor the image quality is of photographs and videos shared between an Android user and an iPhone user, you’ll be looking forward to the day when Apple’s support of RCS begins.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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