The good news is coming to your group chat. Apple today said it will add support for the RCS messaging standard to the iPhone. The 9to5Mac website broke the news Apple will release a software update next year that will bring iOS support for the messaging standard, which is already widely used by Android phones.
RCS, or Rich Communications Standard, is a Messenger Service That’s a step up from the SMS and MMS messaging standards that smartphones have used since they arrived. RCS can do more than SMS and MMS: it allows users to share higher resolution photos and videos between their devices; supports read receipts; and there’s more fun stuff, like the ability to easily include emojis and GIFs in a conversation. It also adds additional layers of security that older messaging standards lack.
Apple has rejected RCS in favor of its own iMessage platform, resulting in a layer of incompatibility that anyone with an Android phone (or any iPhone user who regularly texts people with Android phones) is painfully clear of. aware. Videos shared between iOS and Android are crunchy and low on bandwidth, and Android users are often confused by group chats, with missed messages, missing emoji, and other glitches.
For years, Apple has relied on SMS and MMS to bridge the digital divide between these messaging platforms. It’s the last big hurdle, as RCS already has the backing of major players like Google, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. When Apple adds support for RCS, it won’t need that old bridge, and the move could signal the eventual death of SMS.
“SMS is long gone,” says Anshel Sag, principal analyst at technology analysis firm Moor Insights and Strategy. “Now SMS can die, it can be the twilight. “In this way all viruses and all security flaws that are due to SMS can be eliminated.”
The move will not occur immediately; Apple told 9to5Mac that RCS support will arrive “in the second half of next year.” This timing suggests that support could arrive with the next version of iOS, which is typically rolled out. in September.
So it’s a departure, but it’s certainly closer than Apple’s previous plans for the feature, which apparently “never” was. A year ago, it seemed like Apple wasn’t even considering supporting RCS on the iPhone. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple he joked easily that people could “buy your mom an iPhone” if they have trouble communicating with users on different devices. Since then, pressure has increased on the company to implement RCS, and some compatibility has emerged across platforms as each has evolved.