As a lightning bolt from the sky, Apple announced, on Thursday evening Hungarian time, that after much discussion, it has decided “sometime in 2024” that it will implement the RCS (Rich Communications Services) standard with the iOS update, which will open entirely new doors in the world of messaging. – At least if iPhone and Android want to exchange messages.
Over the next year, we will add support for RCS, the standard currently published by the GSM Association, to our operating systems. We believe RCS will provide a better interoperability experience than SMS or MMS. All of this will work hand-in-hand with iMessage, which will continue to provide the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users
– An Apple spokesman said, A 9to5 for Mac In a specific connection.
Apple’s decision depends on a number of factors, such as pressure from Google and Samsung, in addition to the European Union, which we wrote about in detail previously in the index. But what exactly is RCS, and why would implementing it be a win-win for literally everyone? We will tell you.
It’s like SMS or MMS, but better
RCS offers many iMessage-style features for cross-platform messaging between iPhone and Android devices. This includes, for example, sending read receipts, showing active typing, or much better image and video quality compared to SMS and MMS. According to Apple, RCS will also allow users to share each other’s location, and RCS can work over cellular data or Wi-Fi, unlike SMS.
Overall, Apple implements an experience reminiscent of today’s modern messengers, something its Android competitors have long been doing.
However, iMessage isn’t going anywhere. As an Apple spokesperson confirmed, it will remain the primary messaging platform used to communicate between iPhone users — at least in the company’s eyes. All this also makes it clear that Apple will not open iMessage to third-party developers, despite the requests of European mobile operators, it will remain a closed platform.
Apple also – not surprisingly – stressed that iMessage is more secure than RCS, as the latter does not have end-to-end encryption. It’s true that Google, for example, advertises its RCS-based messaging software as highly encrypted, which is actually not due to RCS, but to the Google app itself.
But what about the green bubbles?
As Index previously reported, abroad, especially in the United States, iMessage is a cultural phenomenon and a status symbol in certain circles. With 87 percent of American teens owning an iPhone, iMessage has also become the main messaging app. However, if you use a device from another manufacturer, you won’t be able to connect with your friends, so you’ll quickly feel left out.
RCS could bring some level of improvement in this area, but Apple has made it clear that despite the feedback, read receipts and other additions are available even when another party is using an Android mobile phone.
The color of the bubbles remains unchanged – green.
The blue chat bubble will therefore remain a privilege of the Apple ecosystem, so it is unlikely to lead to any changes in school exclusion and bullying.
(Cover photo: Jaap Arens/Getty Images)