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Recently, Verizon was the last carrier to announce that it’s going to upgrade to RCS built into Google Messages. And now that all the big carriers ditched SMS and replaced it with enhanced RCS chat, we’re all wondering when Apple will make the leap.
As of right now, Apple hasn’t said anything about adopting RCS for iPhones. No plans, no updates, nothing. Which makes us all wonder if the company is thinking about RCS at all. What is it, and why?
What Is RCS?
Rich Communications Services, better known as RCS, is a messaging protocol that’s meant to replace the now outdated SMS and creates a new standard for text messaging.
With RCS messaging, you can send high-resolution pictures, videos, detailed links, and even read receipts without relying on third-party apps. You can also create group messages and even make video calls. Sound familiar? That’s because that’s what most instant messaging apps do nowadays, including WhatsApp, Telegram, and iMessage. But it’s built into Android.
Another great thing about RCS messages is that they are more secure. RCS offers end-to-end encryption. This protects your messages and any other files or pictures you send more securely than with regular SMS.
Why Hasn’t Apple Upgraded to RCS?
Apple hasn’t made any comments related to RCS, and it doesn’t seem like the company is even working on it at the moment. And even though we don’t know why that is, there may be a couple of reasons behind it.
First, if you read what RCS allows you to do, you probably think you’ve had all these rich texting features and security on your iPhone for years – and essentially you’d be right. While iMessage lets you send high-resolution pictures, videos, and more, this only works properly if you send them to other iPhones. If you send a message to an Android user, you’d be sending an SMS/MMS instead, even if the Android phone now supports RCS.
But if most people you know use iPhone, you don’t really have to worry about that. And Apple is probably thinking about it the same way. They don’t need to rush to release something iPhones already have.
Another good reason is that Apple doesn’t want to be the first; Apple wants to be the best. We all know Apple is often late to the party when it comes to new features like widgets, always-on displays, or 5G. Apple always takes its time to deliver a product or feature that’s unique, that works great with the Apple ecosystem, and that stands out from the crowd.
One of the biggest reasons people continue to buy iPhones is because their friends and family have iPhones, so it’s easier to connect and talk to them. If RCS offers similar features to iMessage, maybe people wouldn’t be so inclined to buy an iPhone next time. Apple knows this, and it may be looking for ways to make RCS different and better on iPhone than Android. Take FaceTime, for example. It wasn’t until this year that Apple finally let Android and Windows users join in FaceTime calls. And while this feature works fine, it works best on an Apple device. It’s possible that the company might try to replicate this, so it’s still better to just get an iPhone and use iMessage instead of relying on RCS and Google Messages. Of course, this is mostly speculation.
There haven’t been any official announcements from Apple, so we’ll have to wait and see when and if the company decides to add RCS messaging finally. Let’s just hope it’s sooner rather than later.