Google and Samsung have both been haranguing Apple for a while now for them to adopt the universal messaging platform RCS with their #GetTheMessage campaigns. We have all surely seen ads around with them practically begging Apple to incorporate RCS into their iMessage platform so that the two mobile operating systems can co-exist better.
In a statement to 9to5Mac, Apple said:
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.
This inclusion of RCS into iMessage will hopefully make the messaging between Android and iPhone users much more seamless in the future with one big plus is much better support for media messaging. Compared to the SMS and MMS standard that Apple uses for text messages RCS supports much higher resolution media including photos and videos (and much bigger file sizes). No longer will I get unreadable images sent from my daughter’s iPhone to my Android phone.
The jury is still out on which messaging platform is more secure in the real world with Apple agreeing that RCS allows for improved security for cross-platform messaging but also says that iMessage between iOS devices is more secure. We live in a world with more than one type of smartphone OS so Apple’s argument regarding iMessage is disingenuous.
The change in Apple’s messaging strategy comes as the EU looks for set into law compulsory smartphone interoperability — they did push Apple to adopt USB-C too remember after refusing to adopt it for so long. Now that Apple are onboard with RCS though they do plan to work with Google (yes, it seems we can all get along — First Matter and now this) to improve RCS for everyone.
The RCS update to iMessage is set to begin rolling out next year, 2024.