Apple to Finally Replace Outdated SMS Protocol with Modern RCS in iOS 18

Apple Adopts RCS Protocol in Messaging App from iOS 18

Apple has announced its decision to begin support for the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol in its ‘Messages’ app starting from iOS 18. This will fundamentally alter the way messaging happens between iPhone users and Android-based smartphones.

The Advancements from RCS Protocol

Long positioned as the successor to the obsolete SMS protocol, RCS allows users to send higher-quality multimedia files, longer texts, as well as view delivery and read statuses. This essentially mimics the functionality of iMessage for iPhone users, but in a more modern and superior manner. Despite Google and Android smartphone manufacturers’ active promotion of the standard, Apple has long ignored RCS.

Communication Between Apple and Android to Improve

The incompatibility between iMessage and RCS protocol led to issues such as unencrypted messages and multimedia loss when iOS and Android users communicated. This created confusion and inconveniences. However, with the adoption of RCS, communication between Apple and Android ecosystems will significantly improve.

Possibilities Behind Apple’s Decision

According to unconfirmed sources, Apple’s decision might have been influenced by pressure from European Union regulators. Surprisingly, in 2023, the company announced it would be adding RCS support by 2024. While this could have been a strategic move to avert accusations of unfair competition and violations of EU’s antitrust laws, it may also have stemmed from many criticisms about how the iPhone’s messaging protocol made the device resemble a 90s pager.

Fine Details of RCS Support for iOS Remain Unknown

Details about how, specifically, RCS support will be implemented in the iOS ‘Messages’ app remain unknown. The main features of the protocol are expected to be available, but the specifics have yet to be disclosed. The hope, however, is for a smooth integration that will end iOS users’ inconveniences in cross-platform conversations with Android smartphone owners. Experts also predict that this move will substantially boost customer loyalty towards Apple.

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