The war between green and blue text bubbles may not be over, but texting between iPhones and Androids is about to get a lot less clunky.
Apple is going to bring on Rich Communication Services — RCS — in 2024, according to 9To5Mac. This feature will bring iMessage-exclusive features like read receipts, typing indicators, and higher-quality photos and videos to cross-platform text conversations.
It is important to note that iMessage isn’t going away anytime soon. iMessage will continue to operate for Apple-to-Apple messaging. RCS will also support encryption, but Apple told 9To5Mac that iMessage’s encryption will still be the most secure.
This is a reversal from what Apple CEO Tim Cook said about the idea of RCS texting last year. In 2022, Cook said that he didn’t get many requests to improve cross-platform texting. He encouraged an audience member at the 2022 Code Conference to switch over to Apple when he asked about cross-platform texting.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for more information.
Google executives haven’t been quiet about their feelings toward the subpar texting experience between iPhones and Androids. One Google executive posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, after Cook’s comment and said that Apple didn’t want to improve cross-platform texting because it wanted people to switch from Android to iPhone.
—Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 8, 2022
In January, Google displayed a billboard ad in Las Vegas telling Apple to “get the ball rolling,” on supporting RCS to improve texting between iPhones and Androids.
This was part of a campaign called #GetTheMessage, which according to Android, was launched to encourage Apple to support RCS and modernize cross-platform texting.
The issue of cross-platform messaging was again raised in May by Google executive Sameer Samat who said people shouldn’t have to worry about what types of phones everyone has when texting in a group chat. Samat, who was speaking at Google I/O 2023 Keynote, said that he wanted every mobile platform to adopt RCS. This was met with cheering from audience members.
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