Apple To Bring RCS To iPhones Autumn 2024, Says Google

Apple is resolve the differences in messaging or texting on an Android device and an Apple iPhone, later this year.

This is according to a report by 9to5Google, which said that Google briefly showed a section on the new Google Messages page that claimed that Apple is set to roll out Rich Communication Services (RCS) support for iPhones this Autumn (fall for US readers).

The page had details about the benefits of RCS. One of the sections within that had a label “coming soon on iOS” under the subheading, “Better messaging for all.”

Google pressure

A 2024 arrival would not be much of a surprise.

Last November Apple told 9to5Mac that it would add support for RCS messaging in 2024.

Apple has faced years of pressure from Google for it to adopt the cross platform RCS messaging protocol in its iMessage service.

Google had first deployed the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard in its Chat app back in 2019, after unveiling the rival to Apple’s iMessage service back in 2018.

RCS was intended as a replacement for the SMS and MMS messaging protocols, but its adoption had been hampered for a number of years by the refusal of some carriers and mobile operators to support it.

But Google’s championing of RCS transformed its adoption.

Samsung in 2022 switched to using Google’s own RCS-compatible Messages app by default in its flagship Galaxy S22 range.

Unlike SMS and MMS, Google Chat with RCS allows for read receipts, as well as the sharing of higher quality attachments (photos etc), and users are also able to see when their contacts are typing.

The bubble colour in iMessage distinguishes Android (green) users from fellow iPhone users (blue), and Google has previously sought to shame Apple over its refusal to adopt RCS for iMessage.

Google created the “Get The Message” website, touting the message that “it’s time for Apple to fix texting.”

That Google website contained a set of arguments for why Apple should support the standard, revolving around smoother messaging between iPhone and Android devices.

Shortly after that Apple CEO Tim Cook dismissed the idea of adopting RCS messaging to put an end to the green bubbles that surround messages when iPhone users text someone on an Android device.

Cook even told a reporter to ‘buy your mom an iPhone’ if you want to end green bubbles, after the reporter said to Cook that his mother can’t see the videos he sends her due to the lack of interoperability between iMessage and RCS.

RCS implementation?

Now it has been reported a couple of times that the iPhone will add support for RCS messaging in 2024.

The brief mention of an Autumn arrival for RCS on iPhone indicates that Apple may extend RCS support in the upcoming iOS 18 update.

But the section on the Google Messages page that predicted an Autumn 2024 implementation on iPhone is no longer there.

“Apple has announced it will be adopting RCS in the fall of 2024. Once that happens, it will mean a better messaging experience for everyone,” the description had reportedly stated.

Apple is currently being sued by US Department of Justice, which alleges monopolistic practices by the iPhone giant.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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