Apple announces plans to support the Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging standard in 2024, aiming to improve cross-platform texting while maintaining the iconic green bubble for Android messages.
This move is seen as a step towards bridging the communication gap between different operating systems, as reported in a story in 9to5Mac.
RCS is a modern messaging standard designed to facilitate smoother and more feature-rich communication across various phone operating systems. Apple’s adoption of RCS will enhance the texting experience between iPhone users and those using rival platforms, primarily Android, which has been advocating for Apple to embrace RCS through its “get the message” campaign.
Despite this integration, Apple plans to retain the distinct green bubbles for texts received from Android devices, a symbolic representation that has long differentiated iMessages (in blue) from other text messages. An Apple spokesperson highlighted that RCS would be a supplementary feature alongside iMessage, which will continue to offer a secure and premier messaging experience for Apple users.
The push towards RCS may have been influenced by recent regulatory changes in the European Union. The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) mandates major digital service providers to ensure their core services, like messaging platforms, are interoperable with rival systems. This has put pressure on Apple, with the European Commission considering whether iMessage should be classified as a core service requiring interoperability.
Interestingly, the announcement coincides with a move by phone manufacturer Nothing, which recently launched a method for its smartphone users to send iMessages to iPhone users via their app, Nothing Chats. The app aims to provide a bridge between iPhone and Android devices, allowing for blue bubble messages connectivity.
Apple’s decision to integrate RCS, while maintaining its unique messaging identity with green bubbles, marks a notable shift in its approach to cross-platform messaging. This development is poised to enhance user experience and interoperability, acknowledging the growing demand for seamless communication across different devices and operating systems.
Sources include: BBC