A Guide to RCS, Why Apple’s Adopting It, and How It Makes Texting Better

If you’ve got been maintaining with all of the information out of WWDC 2024 this week, you may know that Apple is bringing the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging commonplace to iPhones later this 12 months with iOS 18. That’s a win for Google, which has lengthy backed RCS on Android. But what really is RCS? And why does supporting it matter?

The brief model: It’s an improve on the usual SMS/MMS texting requirements that smartphones have been utilizing from the beginning. It brings higher assist for all of the cool options we’re used to in our messaging apps, like learn receipts and pictures, and it provides some further safety layers too.

Yes, it is rather a lot like utilizing iMessage from Apple, or utilizing WhatsApp—although it is not fairly that easy. There’s no RCS app you possibly can set up, however you could find apps that assist the RCS commonplace, as we’ll clarify.

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RCS is coming to iOS this 12 months.

Courtesy of Apple

So the lengthy model: Rich Communication Services is a elementary commonplace somewhat than an app like WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram. It requires provider assist to work, which is why adoption was gradual to start with, although RCS now works throughout most nations and is supported by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) weren’t actually constructed for the trendy means that we talk by way of our telephones, and RCS tries to repair that. It provides or improves assist for sharing large-resolution photographs and video, group chatting, learn receipts, video calls, and messages that really transcend 160 characters.

When RCS is supported in your cellphone’s default texting app, you possibly can add reactions to messages, see when another person is typing, and drop further parts like GIFs, stickers, and your present location into conversations—all options you could be used to and settle for as commonplace in different apps.

There are modifications and upgrades behind the scenes as nicely. Whereas SMS/MMS requires an information connection to your mobile community, RCS works over cell networks in addition to Wi-Fi. If you do not have a cell sign for no matter cause however you could find a wi-fi community, your message can nonetheless undergo.

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