Apple to launch RCS messaging support for iPhone next year

Apple just announced today that it will be adding support for RCS (Rich Communication Services) standard to its devices next year. This will allow iPhone and Android users to communicate with each other over RCS, and share high-resolution photos and videos, location data, typing indicators, read receipts, and enable rich group conversations.

Unlike SMS and MMS, RCS works over the Internet which is how it adds support for such advanced features. 

RCS is finally coming to iPhone!

With RCS finally coming to iPhone, we can finally not have to deal with Google’s annoying marketing campaign to convince Apple to adopt the standard. This also means that users do not have to buy their moms an iPhone instead of Apple supporting RCS.

As per a statement given by an Apple spokesperson to 9to5Mac and techradar, the update will arrive in 2024 to iOS. The company will add support for the global standard RCS Universal Profile, as an improvement over SMS and MMS.

Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association. We believe 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.

Apple will continue to support iMessage and its massive list of features with its strong secure foundations.

The company confirmed that it will not be supporting and implementing any proprietary extensions such as those that Google has created and added, on top of RCS. What does this mean for users? It means that since the RCS standard does not support end-to-end encryption, Apple’s implementation will also not support it until and unless the GSM Association adapts it as part of its standard.

This is good news for users as everybody would want to stay away from Google’s flavor of RCS, which includes ads for users. These RCS ads have been used to spam users, and are the last thing that users would want on their iPhones.

This all might seem odd to readers outside the United States as most of the world has already moved on to messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and countless others. However, SMS is still popular for messaging in the United States, and RCS is how it can evolve into what the competition already offers. 

It is unclear as to which iOS update will add support for this feature, but if we had to predict, it will likely be announced at WWDC 2024 and released later next year. Whether this will also settle the blue bubble and green bubble debate for good is yet to be seen. 

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