Published on November 16, 2023, 8:55 pm
Image source: Fox News
Apple has announced that it plans to add support for the RCS (Rich Communication Services) standard on iOS devices next year. This is a significant reversal for the iPhone-maker and aims to resolve the long-standing issue of compatibility in text messaging between iPhones and Android smartphones, commonly referred to as the “green bubble” dread.
Critics have argued that Apple’s reluctance to support RCS has perpetuated fragmentation in messaging ecosystems, particularly impacting Android users. Many see Apple’s stance as maintaining exclusivity within its ecosystem, which has sparked debate in the tech community over interoperability and user convenience.
However, Apple’s sudden announcement today acknowledges that the RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience compared to SMS or MMS. The company plans to roll out support for RCS alongside iMessage, which it claims will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.
Google has been pressuring Apple for some time now to add support for RCS on iPhones. Last year, Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP at Google, highlighted how visual distinction between Android and iPhone messages (the green bubble) has been seen as an Android problem. He urged Apple to support RCS in iMessage as an industry standard for modern messaging. Lockheimer argued that by not incorporating RCS, Apple is holding back both the industry and user experience.
Apple hasn’t been shy about expressing their stance on RCS either. Chief Tim Cook dismissed adopting RCS in iMessage a year ago and even suggested someone at a conference should buy their mom an iPhone when asked about supporting it.
RCS is a collective effort by various industry players to enhance traditional SMS with modern features such as richer texts and end-to-end encryption. Google, Samsung, telecom operators, and other firms have already rolled out support for RCS to over 800 million users worldwide in recent years.
Critics claim that the disruption in group chats and interactions between Android and iPhone users has discouraged many from transitioning to Android smartphones, and this has been a deliberate tactic. Internal Apple documents that became public during the legal battle with Epic Games revealed a conscious decision by Apple to keep iMessage within its ecosystem.
Apple’s decision coincides with calls from Google and telecom operators for EU regulators to designate iMessage as a “core” service under the new Digital Markets Act. This would force Apple to make the chat app fully compatible with rivals. In compliance with the upcoming guidelines, Apple has disclosed that it expects to make several policy changes next year.
With Apple’s announcement of RCS support on iOS, there is hope for improved messaging compatibility between iPhones and Android smartphones in the near future. This move is expected to benefit millions of users worldwide and address long-standing concerns regarding messaging fragmentation.
Original article posted by Fox News