It must be snowing in hell. Apple has announced support for RCS, the modern version of SMS, later next year! However, the manufacturer had been opposed to it for years.
Google ended up winning the game. The search engine, the main promoter of RCS (Rich Communication Services), has constantly requested Apple to support the messaging standard. The manufacturer always refused… before finally doing it! In a surprising statement sent to the US press, Apple announces that in 2024, RCS support will be added to its platforms.
“ Later next year, we will add support for the RCS Universal Profile, the standard published by the GSM Association. We believe that the RCS Universal Profile will provide a better interoperability experience compared to SMS or MMS. This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best-performing and most secure messaging experience for Apple users “.
We pinch ourselves to believe it, because Apple has turned a deaf ear. Last year, Tim Cook explained that he didn’t hear iPhone users asking for RCS support. The CEO rather advised those who wanted the RCS to buy an iPhone…
Read Apple won’t adopt RCS on iPhone, Tim Cook explains why
RCS messages will therefore be displayed alongside SMS/MMS and iMessage, Apple’s proprietary protocol which allows users of its devices to converse with blue bubbles. Will the color of RCS bubbles remain green, like for SMS from Android? We’ll see. But what is interesting is that the enrichment of RCS messages (typing status, high quality images, acknowledgments of receipt, etc.) will be visible whatever the platform.
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Another interest: unlike SMS which can only be transmitted via cellular networks (except when using VoWiFi), RCS messages also transmit via Wi-Fi or mobile data. On the other hand, in terms of security Apple claims that RCS data encryption is weaker than that of iMessage. And the manufacturer does not intend to support proprietary extensions (read: Google’s). He will work with the GSM association to ensure that the standard includes effective end-to-end encryption.
If Apple finally gave in, it was perhaps also thanks to European pressure. The legislation on digital markets (DMA) indeed imposes a certain level of interoperability between messaging services. The RCS can be this common gateway.
Read When Google and Orange plead for iMessage, Apple’s messaging, to become interoperable