Google hits Apple over the adoption of the RCS protocol in a new blog post on the 30th birthday of SMS. The search engine giant calls out Apple for continuing to support an outdated, and insecure texting protocol which most of the mobile world has bid farewell to.
Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a modern standard to offer rich features to text message services like the exchange of audio and video messages, group chats, ‘Read’ receipts, end-to-end encryption, and others available to iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger users.
As RCS is heavily promoted by Google as the replacement for SMS to end the discrimination between “blue vs. green” chat bubbles, the company has launched a #GetTheMessage campaign to pressure Apple into adopting the RCS messaging protocol.
Apple should switch to RCS which is used by most of the mobile world says Google
Google claims that most of the mobile world has adopted RCS but Apple is the only company “that’s dragging its heels”. In the post, the company lists the benefits of RCS such as offering end-to-end encryption, rich communication elements like photos and videos, read receipts, name group conversations, text over Wi-Fi, adding or removing contacts from group chats, and others, and universal compatibility with major mobile carriers.
And today, all of the major mobile carriers and manufacturers have adopted RCS as the standard — except for Apple. Apple refuses to adopt RCS and continues to rely on SMS when people with iPhones message people with Android phones, which means their texting is stuck in the 1990s.
Once again, Google hoped that the iPhone maker would get its message which the people outside the U.S. already have to switch from SMS to RCS.
While I’m all for nostalgia, in this case I also want to look in the other direction. Phones today are capable of so much more; my current phone is a completely different device than my first. Texting should — and could — be even better than how it started, too, with the help of RCS. (Frankly, most people outside the U.S. already know and experience this!) RCS stands for Rich Communication Services, and it’s what nearly the entire industry has adopted as the next generation of cross-platform texting.
Google’s campaign against the Cupertino tech giant over RCS includes posts by celebrities on social media, billboards in New York City, YouTube videos, a dedicated website, and Twitter threads by its senior executives.
So far Google’s pressure tactics have been falling flat. When asked about RCS adaptation at the Code Conference 2022 appearance, CEO Tim Cook clarified that Apple users were not asking for a switch to RCS and anyone who wants to enjoy rich messaging should buy an iPhone.