San Francisco: Apple has announced to support the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging standard on iPhones, used by most Android devices, in later 2024.
In a statement to 9to5Mac, the tech giant said that RCS will offer better interoperability for cross-platform messages.
“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,” an Apple spokesperson was quoted as saying.
This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users, said the company.
Apple’s decision came amid pressure from regulators, like European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), and competitors like Google and Samsung. RCS brings iMessage-style features to cross-platform texts.
The iPhone adopting RCS could enable support for encryption, read receipts, typing indicators, high-res images and videos while sending texts between iPhone and Android devices.
Apple will let users share locations in text threads and RCS messages will be green, like SMS messages.
However, Apple is not opening up iMessage to other platforms but instead replace SMS and MMS and “exist separately from iMessage when available.”
In September, the European Commission opened up an investigation into iMessage to determine whether it should be considered a “core platform service.”
Apple argued iMessage isn’t popular enough in Europe for the rules to apply.
Google and Samsung have been pushing for Apple to add support for RCS.
“Everybody should have secure and modern messaging without worrying what kind of phone they’re texting to. So glad to see Apple joining our ongoing work with the GSMA on RCS to make texting better for all,” ,” Google SVP of platforms and ecosystems, Hiroshi Lockheimer, posted on X.