Apple to support RCS messaging on iPhones, but details remain unclear


Key Points:

  • Apple will add support for RCS messaging in the Messages app based on the RCS Universal Profile standard.
  • The specific version supported (2.4) suggests enabling features like business messaging, but confirmation is pending.
  • End-to-end encryption, a key feature in some Android RCS implementations, likely won’t be included.

For years, iPhone users have lamented the infamous “green bubble” when texting Android users. This signified a less feature-rich experience compared to iMessage’s blue bubbles. To bridge this gap, Google has been advocating for Apple to adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging. Finally, in late 2023, Apple confirmed plans to integrate RCS into the Messages app.

RCS Explained

RCS acts as the successor to SMS/MMS, offering improvements like:

  • Increased character limits
  • Higher-quality media sharing
  • Group chat enhancements

Read receipts

The GSM Association defines the RCS Universal Profile, as a standard outlining how devices and networks implement these features. While the current version is 2.6, Apple has committed to supporting version 2.4.

Unanswered Questions

Apple’s announcement leaves some key questions unanswered. Notably, it’s unclear whether Apple’s RCS implementation will support end-to-end encryption, a feature present in the Google Messages app for Android. This omission could limit message security between iPhone and Android users.

Another ambiguity surrounds RCS Business Messaging (RBM). RBM allows businesses to send richer content and utilize chatbot-like features when interacting with customers. Version 2.4 of the Universal Profile supports RBM, but Apple hasn’t confirmed its inclusion. With Apple offering a similar service through iMessage Business Chat, some experts believe they might restrict RBM functionality.

Looking Ahead

While details remain hazy, Apple’s move towards RCS signifies a potential shift away from SMS/MMS. We expect further clarity on Apple’s RCS plans at the upcoming WWDC 2024 conference.

Blight is an aspiring Samsung enthusiast and technology aficionado, dedicated to exploring the extraordinary realms facilitated by cutting-edge innovations. He is passionate about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its potential to transform industries, enhance human experiences, and shape a better future. Fascinated by the delicate beauty and he is captivating essence of flowers, finding solace in their presence. He is constantly seeking knowledge and growth, eager to connect with like-minded individuals and build meaningful relationships.
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