December 8, 2023

Apple introduced yesterday that it’ll lastly add help for RCS messaging on iPhones subsequent 12 months. The corporate mentioned that RCS messages “will work alongside iMessage,” which Apple nonetheless considers as “the very best and most safe messaging expertise for Apple customers.”

iMessage launched with iOS 5 again in 2011, and it lets iPhone customers ship encrypted messages over the Web. Apple by no means made iMessage obtainable on Android because it considers its proprietary messaging app as one of many iPhone’s killer options. And it’s not improper that iMessage most likely stays one of many key components of the Apple walled backyard, together with the App Retailer and iCloud.

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On iPhones, messages despatched through iMessage seem in blue bubbles whereas messages despatched to Android units (or iPhones with iMessage disabled) seem in inexperienced bubbles. Past the colour distinction, most iPhone customers know that having group conversations with folks utilizing Android telephones isn’t nice as a result of SMS expertise, not like iMessage or RCS, wasn’t actually made for that.

Anyway, if Apple introduced yesterday that RCS help was coming to iPhones subsequent 12 months, it wasn’t precisely clear how it could work in observe. Properly, Apple has since confirmed to 9to5Mac that RCS messages will proceed to make use of inexperienced bubbles on iPhones, similar to SMS messages. This is probably not the easiest way to let iPhone customers know that their SMS conversations have simply been upgraded, however we’ll see.

For these unfamiliar, RCS (Wealthy Communication Companies) is a brand new messaging customary developed by cell carriers to exchange the decades-old SMS expertise. It lets customers ship messages over WiFi, ship voice messages and high-quality footage and movies, obtain learn receipts, and extra. Group conversations on RCS additionally supply an identical expertise to what iMessage, WhatsApp, or different Web-based messaging apps supply at this time.

RCS messaging is enabled by default on Google’s Messages app for Android, and lately, the corporate has turn out to be one in every of RCS’ largest supporters. Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner, nonetheless argued again in September 2022 that iPhone customers weren’t asking for RCS help.

Why did the corporate have a change of thoughts a 12 months later? Properly, the EU Fee at present investigating whether or not iMessage must be regulated underneath its Digital Markets Act might effectively have compelled Apple to make some concessions. And in the end, RCS messages working throughout iPhones and Android telephones will likely be a great factor for shoppers.