In a surprising move, Apple has announced today that it will adopt the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging standard. The feature will launch via a software update “later next year” and bring a wide range of iMessage-style features to messaging between iPhone and Android users.
Apple’s decision comes amid pressure from regulators and competitors like Google and Samsung. It also comes as RCS has continued to develop and become a more mature platform than it once was.
RCS brings iMessage-style features to cross-platform texts
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.
RCS brings many iMessage-style features to cross-platform messaging between iPhone and Android devices. This includes things like read receipts, typing indicators, high-quality images and videos, and more.
Apple’s implementation of RCS will also give users the ability to share their location with other people inside text threads, the company says. Unlike regular SMS, RCS can work over mobile data or Wi-Fi as well.
But at the same time, iMessage isn’t going anywhere. It will continue to be the messaging platform used for all communication between iPhone users. RCS will simply supplant SMS and MMS and exist separately from iMessage when available. SMS and MMS will also continue to…
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