RCS messaging finally arrives with iOS 18 beta 3

iOS 18 beta 3 has begun rolling out RCS messaging support for more carriers around the world. This comes after the initial RCS introduction in beta 2, which was limited to certain US carriers.

iMessage RCS iPhone

What is RCS and why does it matter?

RCS is the next generation of SMS texting. It offers features like improved chat functionality, including read receipts, typing indicators, and the ability to send larger files and higher-quality images.

This brings iPhone messaging closer to the experience offered by many popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.

Previously, RCS support in the iOS 18 beta was limited to a select few carriers in the US. With beta 3, Apple is extending this functionality to more carriers, including:

  • Canada: Telus Mobility, Videotron, Bell
  • Europe: Telefonica (Spain), SFR (France), O2 (Germany)

For users on these carriers, there’s a chance they might now see RCS features like chat receipts and improved media sharing when texting Android users.

Key features of RCS in iOS 18

High-Quality Media Sharing: One of the most notable improvements is the ability to send higher-quality photos and videos without the compression issues that plagued MMS. This ensures that media files retain their clarity and detail when sent between iPhones and Android devices.

Read receipts and typing indicators:

These features allow users to see when their messages have been read and when the recipient is typing a response. This functionality was previously exclusive to iMessage and is now extended to RCS conversations, enhancing communication transparency.

Message reactions:

RCS supports message reactions such as thumbs up, heart, and other emojis. This feature allows users to quickly respond to messages without typing a full reply, streamlining conversations.

iOS 18 genmoji

More reliable messaging:

RCS is expected to provide a more stable and reliable messaging experience compared to SMS/MMS, reducing the likelihood of messages being lost or delayed. This is particularly important for users who frequently communicate between iPhones and Android devices.


Still a beta test

It’s crucial to remember that iOS 18 is currently in beta testing. This means the features, including the wider RCS rollout, are still under development and might not be available to all users on supported carriers immediately. There could be staged rollouts or compatibility issues that Apple is ironing out.


While the beta program is currently limited, September’s public release promises to bridge the gap between iPhone and Android users, finally putting an end to the green bubble blues.

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