July 14, 2024

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Apple announced RCS with a whimper when it was supposed to be a sensation

Apple announced RCS with a whimper when it was supposed to be a sensation

Apple will finally embrace RCS in iOS 18, effectively ending a years-long battle for feature parity between iMessage and Android. But the announcement was no celebration; you could have blinked and missed it. Instead of showing how RCS would make things better, Apple quietly announced support for the standard and focused on all the great features coming for iMessage users — not the RCS features.

Apple has not explained how adopting RCS will finally allow iPhone and Android users to send high-resolution photos and videos to each other. He didn’t even mention how RCS would enable cross-platform support for read receipts and write indicators. Apple just highlighted the flashy features coming to iMessage, including ways to type text in bold and italics, improvements to Tapbacks, and the ability to schedule text.

These are all great changes, but iPhone users won’t be able to use these features when chatting with someone on Android. We don’t even know how emojis created with Genmoji, Apple’s new AI emoji creation tool, will appear in texts sent to users on Android either.

Android users are still stuck in green bubbles.
Image: Apple

The company buried RCS on it iOS 18 preview page, also. It doesn’t even mention Android users by name: “RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging provides richer media, delivery and read receipts for those who don’t use iMessage.” The embedded image shows an RCS chat on an iPhone, which has green bubbles indicating that the person you’re messaging is not on the iPhone.

Apple first confirmed that RCS support was coming last year. “This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users,” Apple spokeswoman Jacqueline Roy said in a statement. the edge on time. But it was not necessarily a generous move. Apple was largely forced to support the RCS in response to mounting pressure from global regulators and rival companies. That might help explain the somewhat disaffected approach to announcing its iOS 18 rollout.

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But Apple’s adoption of RCS has been in the works for years. All major carriers have already made the switch to RCS. Apple was the lone holdout, and regulators, plus some bad press (remember when Tim Cook asked a guy to buy his mother an iPhone?), made it increasingly necessary for the company to address the issue.

Can you spot Apple mentioning RCS?
Image: Apple

The fact that Apple skipped RCS during its keynote makes it seem as if Apple didn’t think it was bragging rights enough — which is foolish. All Android users, including me, have been stuck getting photos and videos from iPhone users that need a magnifying glass to capture them (While also trying to convince them to download a third-party messenger that actually supports HD media).

This is a huge improvement for both Android And iPhone users! It’s too bad that the long-overdue unification between the iPhone and Android messaging systems has been drowned out by annoying AI-generated emojis and shaky iMessage bubbles. Even without Apple’s acknowledgment, I’m amazed that I’ll finally be able to share 21st-century photos and videos with my friends and family who use iPhones for once.