- RCS will replace SMS and MMS on iPhones, according to Apple.
- This will not be confused with iMessage, which is still hailed as the superior and safest messaging app for iPhones.
- There must be increasing regulatory pressure on Apple to take this action.
Later in the year, Apple will finally add RCS capability to iPhones. But Apple isn’t updating or changing iMessage in any way. Instead, RCS would take the place of MMS and SMS on iPhones.
Rich Communication Services, or RCS, is a communications technology that may eventually take the place of SMS. Currently, it adds additional functionality to SMS that are available in contemporary messaging programs like iMessage. What’s more, since it’s a worldwide standard, it makes iOS and Android compatible.
Take a look at Apple’s plans:
RCS-equipped iPhones by 2024
“Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association,” an Apple spokesperson told 9to5Mac in a statement. Compared to SMS or MMS, we think RCS Universal Profile will provide a superior interoperability experience. This will function in conjunction with iMessage, which will remain the greatest and safest texting app for Apple consumers.
Thus, Apple concedes that implementing RCS makes more sense from an interoperability standpoint. It will, however, be promoted as a substitute for MMS or SMS rather than iMessage. Apple continues to highlight how safer and hence superior iMessage is for its customers. Thus, it would still be the main way that iPhones communicate with one another.
RCS’s advantages for iPhones
For text messaging and sending high-quality media to Android contacts, iPhone users would be able to use RCS instead of the antiquated SMS or MMS protocol. In addition to texting between iPhones and Android phones, RCS provides read receipts, typing indicators, and other features.
This won’t, however, lessen the friction between iOS and Android users’ blue bubbles and green bubbles. Apple has stated that texts from Android phones would continue to show up in iOS Green Bubbles if RCS is adopted, while iMessage messages will appear in Blue.
Why is Apple implementing RCS on its iPhones?
Apple is adding RCS, a different messaging service, to the iPhones, most likely in response to EU regulations. more precisely, the EU’s upcoming Digital Markets Act.
According to it, Apple and other large IT companies—dubbed Gatekeepers by the EU—face penalties of up to 10 percent of their global yearly sales if they continue to act in a monopolistic manner. If they are proven to be repeat violators, this fine may increase to 20 percent. They also have to pay a fine on a recurring basis that can be as much as 5% of their daily average turnover.
The USB-C port came first, followed by rumors about techcrunch and a third-party app store on iPhones, and now this claim regarding RCS on iOS. Apple appears to be forced by the EU to unlock its walled garden one gate at a time.
Google, the leader in RCS, has been criticizing Apple for a long time for not implementing RCS, and Apple has consistently avoided discussions about exposing iMessage on platforms other than iOS. In the meantime, a few derivations and temporary fixes, such as Sunbird, have surfaced in the Android world. Furthermore, even if the threat to Apple is currently minimal, it represents an evolving threat when companies like Nothing support similar programs.
Either way, it will be interesting to watch the development of RCS on iPhones. Apple has promised not to add any more proprietary end-to-end encryption to RCS. Instead, it will collaborate with GSMA to enhance the security and privacy aspects of the RCS protocol. There would be benefits for a larger market.