Google always wanted Apple to adopt RCS and has been making efforts to convince Apple to do the same. Although I never thought that Apple would consider it, it did. Apple spokesperson confirmed to 9to5mac that iPhone will get support for RCS messaging next year.
“Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association. We believe RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS,” said the spokesperson.
He further said that RCS will work alongside iMessage. It means messages from iPhone to iPhone will use Apple’s own messaging service iMessage and messages from iPhone to Android or Android to iPhone will use RCS.
RCS stands for Rich Communication Services and is the successor to SMS. If you don’t know what exactly RCS is, I have written a detailed guide about RCS. The article also explains how RCS messaging works.
Currently, Android users can send text messages to iPhone users, but it is sent as SMS. So, there is no encryption, no read receipt, no typing indicators, no group chats, and no sharing of high-quality photos, videos, and other multimedia content. With RCS support in iPhone, Android users will also enjoy the same features while messaging to iPhone users. Messages from Android users will still have a green bubble on iPhones, but they will have a better messaging experience.
Also see: Best Messaging Apps for Android and iOS:
Apple also says it will work with GSMA members to improve the RCS protocol further.