November 30, 2023

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Apple gives in to RCS support in iMessage

Apple gives in to RCS support in iMessage

Apple has finally given in to years of Google’s pleas and will add RCS support to iMessage in 2024, making it easier to send messages between iPhone and Android devices.

The time has come: Apple will support RCS over iMessage after all. Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman reported this last night On X. “RCS will provide a better interoperability experience compared to SMS or MMS. This will work hand-in-hand with iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users. Apple will roll out RCS in its messaging app next year.”

RCS support makes it easier to send messages between iPhones and Android smartphones. Naturally, this was already possible with third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal, the difference being that iMessage can now send and receive messages to and from Google’s own Messages app. RCS stands for Rich communication services It is seen as the successor to SMS.

Apple changes course

Apple’s decision to accept RCS is not entirely voluntary. Google has asked Apple for years to support the protocol to ensure interoperability between the two mobile operating systems, but the iPhone maker didn’t want to do anything about it. The European Digital Markets Act forces Apple to do this now. Apple itself believes that iMessage is “too small” to fall under these rules, but the company is now choosing to be cautious.

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The Digital Markets Act forces Apple to make more changes. Starting in 2024, it will also be possible to “sideload apps” in iOS 17. Again, this is an adjustment that Apple would have preferred not to make, but the new legislation still forces the tech giants to their knees.

WhatsApp is also forced to open its messaging app on third-party platforms. The aim of the European law is to make it easier for smartphone users to communicate with each other: from next year, it will no longer matter which app you and your contacts have on their devices.