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Why Apple lastly determined to undertake RCS on iPhone

Key Takeaways

  • Apple is lastly integrating RCS into iMessage for higher messaging between iPhone and Android customers.
  • RCS improves upon SMS by providing options like learn receipts, higher picture supply, reactions, and dwell typing shows.
  • Potential regulation, together with strain from the EU, might have influenced Apple’s resolution to undertake RCS and keep away from making iMessage obtainable on Android gadgets.


For so long as iMessage has existed, messaging between iOS and Android has been a dreadful expertise on either side. Customers have grappled with poor SMS translations of reactions and horrible picture compressions, creating loads of causes to keep away from texting between iOS and Android telephones. However that is all set to vary quickly. In late 2023, Apple introduced it might combine RCS messaging into iMessage in 2024.

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The iPhone is getting RCS messaging support, here’s what that means for you

Within the shock information of the 12 months, Apple is including RCS to the iPhone.

This modification may considerably enhance performance in messaging between iPhones and Android gadgets, providing options like learn receipts, higher picture and video supply, reactions, and dwell typing indicators. After years of Apple seeming unwilling to enhance cross-platform messaging, it is pure to marvel what prompted this shift. So, why did Apple lastly determine to undertake RCS for the iPhone?

apple s imessage app could be coming to android soon image 1
Pocket-lint


SMS vs. RCS: Variations defined

Earlier than delving into why Apple is adopting RCS, it is vital to grasp what RCS is and the way it improves upon SMS. RCS, or Wealthy Communication Providers, is a communication protocol designed to switch the largely outdated SMS, or Quick Message Service.

The variations between the 2 protocols are important.

What’s SMS?

SMS messages, not like these in iMessage and different companies, don’t depend on Wi-Fi or mobile knowledge. As an alternative, SMS is transmitted over the mobile community, just like cellphone calls. SMS messages even have a 160-character restrict. Thus, for a very long time, if an iPhone person despatched a prolonged message to an Android person, it might arrive as a number of texts, every break up at 160-character intervals.

SMS by itself would not assist sending or receiving pictures or movies. That is the place MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service, is available in. MMS features largely the identical as SMS, but it surely has a a lot bigger measurement restrict, which accommodates sending picture and video recordsdata. Nonetheless, there’s nonetheless a comparatively low restrict. That is why photographs despatched from Android to iPhone, and vice versa, should be closely compressed.

What’s RCS?

RCS is an enchancment on SMS in practically each manner doable. It goals to make textual content messaging extra like utilizing companies like WhatsApp, including all of the options that include it. RCS messages are delivered by way of Wi-Fi or your mobile community knowledge and permit for a way more strong characteristic set.

RCS addresses all the problems related to SMS as a communication protocol. The place SMS has a minuscule character restrict, RCS doesn’t. The place SMS is insufficient for sending pictures and movies, RCS can ship them in HD.

Moreover, RCS introduces assist for learn receipts, location sharing, and real group chat performance. Messaging in a group text chain that features each iPhone and Android customers is usually a irritating expertise for everybody concerned. RCS resolves this concern.

Maybe probably the most important benefit of RCS is its standing as an open customary. Which means that any producer can undertake it for his or her gadgets with out value. RCS is a complimentary communication customary designed to boost texting for all customers.

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How to set up RCS chats on your Android phone

Do you wish to activate RCS messaging in your Android cellphone? Here is learn how to flip it on and every little thing it’s essential to find out about this characteristic.

Green bubbles vs blue bubbles

Pocket-lint

Inexperienced bubbles and blue bubbles

iMessage, launched in 2011, was a novel idea on the time. All of the enhancements that RCS affords immediately had been already obtainable in iMessage, however solely to iPhone customers. The difficulty is mutual; utilizing an Android and struggling to successfully textual content iPhone customers could be equally irritating.

Blue bubbles signify messages despatched by way of Apple’s messaging service, whereas inexperienced bubbles point out customary SMS texts, usually to non-iPhone customers. This distinction has created a type of ‘iPhone envy,’ with blue bubbles seen as a standing image. Android customers usually really feel sidelined in group chats, doubtlessly being the one who prevents a smoother messaging expertise. They may even be the explanation for an inflow of “favored” textual content messages.

“Android customers usually really feel sidelined in group chats, doubtlessly being the one who prevents a smoother messaging expertise. They may even be the explanation for an inflow of ‘favored’ textual content messages.”

Probably the most difficult side is that whereas the adoption of RCS (Wealthy Communication Providers) may alter this dynamic, Apple has appeared content material with the established order. In 2022, Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner, when requested about RCS adoption, urged that iPhone customers weren’t demanding it. He implied that the answer to any communication points with an Android-using member of the family was merely to purchase them an iPhone.

Apple’s reluctance to undertake RCS probably got here from just a few causes. iMessage, being unique to Apple’s ecosystem, units iPhones other than Androids, and including RCS may need blurred this promoting level. Additionally, from Apple’s viewpoint, incorporating RCS into iMessage won’t have appeared important since lots of RCS’s options had been already obtainable to iPhone customers. Nonetheless, exterior elements, just like the doable EU laws and a rising demand for higher communication between totally different platforms, most likely performed a major position in nudging Apple in the direction of embracing RCS.

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Apple iMessage - 4

What led to Apple altering its place on RCS?

Apple and the EU

The temporary reply is potential regulation. Earlier than Apple introduced the adoption of RCS for iPhones in 2024, there have been discussions amongst numerous telecom operators about urging the European Union to categorise iMessage as a core service underneath the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

The DMA is an EU regulation designed to deal with a variety of points within the tech world.

Had iMessage been designated a core service underneath the DMA, Apple would have been obligated to make iMessage accessible on Android gadgets. Whereas there isn’t a direct affirmation that Apple’s resolution to undertake RCS was to keep away from extending iMessage to non-Apple merchandise, the transfer adopted carefully on the heels of this information and growing trade strain for Apple to embrace RCS.

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How to edit and unsend iMessage text messages on your iPhone

iOS 16 launched a number of upgrades to Apple’s Messages app, comparable to the flexibility to edit and unsend iMessages. Here is how that works.

imessage-new-features-ios-17

When is RCS coming to iPhone and what to anticipate?

In November 2023, Apple introduced it might convey Wealthy Communication Providers (RCS) to iPhones in 2024, though the precise date hasn’t been specified. This replace introduces a regular already utilized by most Android telephones; it is geared toward bettering non-iMessage conversations. With RCS, iPhone customers can stay up for options like learn receipts, typing indicators, better-quality pictures and movies, and the flexibility to react to messages.

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