Acronym for Rich Communication Services, RCS is a messaging standard designed to improve “historical” messaging features (such as SMS). RCS is often considered as the evolution ofSMSoffering richer, more modern features similar to those available on major instant messaging platforms (WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger, and so on).
Google Messages supports RCS, as well as other applications: the idea is to allow the creation of group chatactivate the reading receiptfile sharing, the ability to use emojis and stickers as well as other advanced features.
Being supported by the GSM Association (GSMA) since 2008, the RCS standard has been gradually embraced by many telecommunications operators which allow their use on the respective networks for sending and receiving messages. There compatibility with RCS it is also guaranteed by some messaging apps, including Google Messages. When the terminals of the sender of a message and that of the recipient both support RCS, then the information is not sent via SMS/MMS but by using the protocollo RCS.
Already last year, and even before that, Google made several attempts to get rival Apple to embrace RCS on iOS. To date, all the requests made in the Apple field have been unsuccessful.
Why it matters that Apple supports RCS
Most users are now used to exchanging messages using the various messaging app instant. In that case the “richer” contents such as images, videos, emojis and so on flow from one terminal to another without any kind of problem. It doesn’t matter whether a user is using a device Android or iOS. This happens because data is transferred across the Internet, using the service and protocol of each messaging app.
However, there is a “hard core” of users who still use the classic applications for SMS/MMS management. If an Android user sends a multimedia-rich message to an iOS user using traditional methods, regardless of the rates applied by the telecommunications operator, the quality It will really leave something to be desired.
Apple iMessage encloses the contents received from Android terminals in a “colored bubble” which cannot be viewed with the same quality as a message coming from Apple devices. The problem of poor video quality from Android to iOS and vice versa is well known, at least when you are not using the main messaging apps.
To solve this problem, it would be enough for Apple to embrace the use of RCS because, on its side, Google is already ready. The response from Tim Cook, Apple CEO, was ugly, replying to a journalist he simply suggested buying an iPhone to solve the problem of exchange of multimedia content between Android and iOS.
Samsung urges Apple to use RCS
To try to get Apple out of its hole, too Samsung wanted to echo Google’s positions by strongly suggesting that Apple start using RCS as soon as possible. In a curious video, Samsung describes the RCS issue as a sort of love affair between Romeo and Juliet. The two wish to be together and talk to each other without restrictions: the invitation is addressed to Apple which according to the Korean company should finally support RCS to facilitate a more universal messaging experience.
The video created and disseminated online by Samsung positions the iPhone user as Juliet and the Android user as Romeo. Juliet’s parents, represented by Apple, do not allow the two lovebirds to communicate using modern chat features such as RCS.
Google also blamed Apple’s lack of RCS support for issues such as the lack of encryptionunreliable group chats, and low-quality media sharing between iOS and Android users.
In September 2023 the company led by Sundar Pichai ridiculed Apple’s choice: in a video titled “Meet iPager“or “here’s the Apple pager,” Google is mocking the fact that iPhones still rely on SMS and MMS instead of RCS for chats with friends Android users.
While Apple continues to maintain that RCS support is not considered a priority, especially based on the positions expressed by users, the issue could be resolved by European Commission. Apple is in fact one of the gatekeepers who, according to the DMA regulation (Digital Markets Act) are required to open their services making them interoperable with those of other manufacturers and developers.