Apple’s RCS messaging in iPhone update, improves Android communication


Apple announced Monday that it will support rich communication services for iPhones, helping to ease the green and blue bubble divide.

The update will come later next year and will work alongside the company’s iMessage system.

“We believe RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.

The announcement comes after years of resistance from the Silicon Valley giant, punctuated by Apple CEO Tim Cook telling a reporter for the Guardian to, “Buy your mom an iPhone,” when asked about improving the compatibility between Android and iPhone messaging.

Tech rival Google said that it is happy to see Apple adding RCS to iPhones.

“We welcome Apple’s participation in our ongoing work with GSMA to evolve RCS and make messaging more equitable and secure and look forward to working with them to implement this on iOS in a way that works well for everyone,” Google said in a statement to 9to5Google.

Apple also made the announcement ahead of a Thursday deadline to file arguments in the European Union that iMessage is not a “core” service under the Union’s Digital Services Act. If regulators find that iMessage is a “core” service, the company will have to open the program.

New features supported by RCS

The company said that adding RCS will allow users to send and receive high resolution images and videos and provide more reliable group messaging.

Users will also have the ability to turn on read receipts and share one’s location within a text thread, according to Apple.

Apple said that it is working with GSMA members, the group that created RCS standards, to strengthen the encryption but that RCS offers stronger encryption than SMS and MMS services. 


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