Apple to finally abandon SMS, embraces RCS after years of resistance

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It’s an exciting time to be alive! Earlier this week, Nothing announced that their Nothing Phone 2, an Android device, would support iMessage. And now, Apple has revealed that RCS support will be coming to the iPhone next year.

After several years of competition from rivals such as Samsung and Google, who have claimed that RCS provides a more secure and feature-packed messaging experience than SMS, Apple has finally decided to switch to RCS. Android has finally completed their #GetTheMessage campaign, where they encouraged users to use the hashtag to prompt Apple to switch to RCS.

But first, what is RCS?

RCS (Rich Communication Services) Messaging is a protocol designed to replace SMS and MMS. RCS Messaging offers several advantages over SMS and MMS. Like

  • Support for high-resolution photos and videos: RCS Messaging can send and receive photos and videos up to 10MB in size, compared to just 1MB for MMS.
  • Read receipts: It shows you when someone has read your messages.
  • Typing indicators: It shows you when someone is typing a message.
  • Group chat features: Supports group chats with up to 100 people.
  • End-to-end encryption: It supports end-to-end encryption, which helps to protect your messages from being intercepted.

In a statement to 9to5Mac, an Apple spokesperson said that the company believes 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. This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.

Apple will work with the GSMA members to improve the RCS protocol, particularly regarding security and encryption. 

Overall, good times for messaging. Is it safe to say that Apple finally #GotTheMessage?