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RCS Coming to Messages in iOS 18 to Improve Texting with Android Users

Posted by Julie Clover

Apple today confirmed that it plans to introduce support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) in iOS 18 this fall. Apple Software Chief Craig Federighi confirmed that ‌RCS‌ support for the unveiling of new iPhone features at the WWDC main event.


We are aware of Apple's plans to implement ‌RCS‌ since last November, but Apple only gave a vague rollout timeline of “later in 2024,” so it was unclear exactly when the feature might arrive. ‌RCS‌ replaces SMS/MMS as the default communication protocol on ‌iPhone‌.

‌RCS‌ had already been adopted by Google, US smartphone carriers and other companies, so Apple was a little late. This doesn't change much for iMessage, but it does dramatically change the way iPhone interacts with Android devices. ‌RCS‌ improves text messaging for Android users by adding support for features that were previously limited to iMessage. Some of the additions:

  • Support for higher resolution photos and videos.
  • Support for larger file sizes and file sharing.
  • Audio messages.
  • Cross-platform reactions to emoticons.
  • Real-time typing indicators.
  • Read receipts.
  • Ability to send messages via cellular network or Wi-Fi (SMS only). Sending ‌RCS‌ does not require any costs. message over Wi-Fi.
  • Improved group chats.

It is unclear whether Apple will introduce ‌RCS‌ support during the release of ‌iOS 18‌ beta period or pause this feature until the update's public launch in the fall, but we know it's really tied to ‌iOS 18‌ in this moment.

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