In 2003, Apple’s then-CEO Steve Jobs showed a slide before announcing that the company’s iTunes software was debuting on Windows, opening up an exclusive Mac feature to a wider audience. Twenty years later and you could say Apple has come to hell once again, this time by announcing that its iPhone will soon support the RCS texting standard – a move that will likely make it easier to send texts between iPhones and Android phones and Will improve the way of receiving.

While we don’t yet know the true extent to which Apple will support RCS, beyond the statement that it will provide better “interoperability” than SMS and MMS, Apple has already made clear that RCS texting will not be a part of its iMessage service. Will co-exist with. This means Apple will likely continue to differentiate between texts sent between its devices and texts sent to non-Apple devices like Android phones or basic phones. In fact, Apple confirmed to 9to5Mac that – at the very least – the green bubble will still be used to label text sent over RCS. While on a technical level there will continue to be labeling of who is and who is not using an iPhone while texting, it may also continue to be a social stigma issue in countries like the US where iMessage is particularly effective.

It’s also possible that we’ll continue to see a lot of features remain exclusive to either Apple’s iMessage or Google’s own Messages app, even if both companies are going to agree to support the RCS standard. While RCS has more bandwidth to support features like typing indicators and higher quality photo sharing, how it will be displayed when sending text between iPhone and Android phones is still up in the air.

There is room for celebration, however. Apple’s adoption of RCS is likely to result in a significantly greater investment in the texting standard, especially when compared to the legacy SMS and MMS messages that have remained largely the same over the past 20 years. For example, the Qi wireless charging standard got a big boost when Apple started supporting it with the iPhone 8 and iPhone But limiting expectations is still probably a good idea, as RCS inclusion may not displace iMessage any time soon.

Google Messages reactions to SMS

Google has invested a lot of time in its Messages app, with some features that are not part of the RCS standard.


Apple and Google have exclusives, and RCS doesn’t mean they’ll be shared

Many of Apple’s best iMessage features aren’t limited to messaging, even though blue bubble chat is the most common place to use them. These include iOS 17’s stickers – which allow you to create GIF-like images that can be “pasted” over text and decorative contact posters that can be automatically shared with your contacts if you choose. This is accompanied by app integration where developers can let people play games together on iMessage, send flight information, exchange payments, or even include more emojis.

Google has also invested heavily in its Messages app, and has been frequently promoting new features over the past several years alongside its campaign to push Apple to adopt RCS. This includes features like Magic Compose that uses AI to generate its own encryption standards for text drafting, text scheduling, and – perhaps most importantly – message privacy.

iMessage in iOS 17

Apple has several iMessage features that will likely remain exclusive to chats sent between other iPhones.


Even though Google Messages may use the RCS standard to employ many of these features and encryption, it does not mean that the features are built directly into RCS. For example, Apple has also told 9to5Mac that it will not use the same encryption that Google uses in its Messages app, and will instead work with the GSMA organization to improve the encryption standard included within RCS. Will choose option.

Google’s own statement appears to acknowledge the upcoming split, saying the company “welcomes Apple’s participation” while “looking forward to working with them to implement this on iOS in a way that works for everyone.” Do good work for him.”

But even if Apple and Google find a way to share typing indicators and other modern features on RCS, the two companies will still remain rivals in the smartphone market. Expect both to continue to find ways to promote messaging features that will remain exclusive to iOS or Android, and it will be quite noticeable when those features aren’t easily shared from iPhone to Android, or vice versa. Adverse.

Galaxy Z Flip 5 closes with WhatsApp open on cover screen

Chat apps like WhatsApp – seen here on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 – are likely to remain more convenient for some time.

Lisa Edicicco/CNET

What about WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and other services?

Even though Apple and Google are starting to work together on an RCS standard, it’s quite likely that you’ll still want to use other constantly evolving chat apps. Since the RCS standard still needs work to improve built-in features like encryption, services like WhatsApp, Signal, and Facebook Messenger may still be more convenient for many conversations.

For example, last year Apple opened up FaceTime by allowing users to invite participants to a call using a web browser link. It allows people on Android or Windows to join a FaceTime call on a web browser. But it doesn’t have the inherent ease of use as a native app on those platforms. Many times when I’ve tested FaceTime on a web browser, participants logged in on a web browser sometimes have connection issues and appear inside a smaller window than participants on an iPhone. However, if I start a group video call on Facebook Messenger or Zoom, the participants can use the native apps for those services and the call works just as well as they are designed to work perfectly on different operating systems. went.

I expect similar growing problems to occur with RCS texting. However, even if the RCS standard has some way to go to reach maturity, both Apple and Google agreeing to support the standard gives hope that it may indeed replace the decades-old SMS and MMS. If it gets us closer to saying goodbye to grainy photos sent over MMS, that alone might be worth the wait.


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