- Apple has confirmed that it will bring RCS universal profile support to iPhone devices next year.
- The company says it will work alongside iMessage, but did not detail when it will arrive in 2024.
- It will soon make messaging on iPhone devices on par with the standards that Android have adopted.
The stubbornness of Apple appears to be weakening of late. After the company finally adopted USB Type-C ports on the iPhone 15 series, the company has now confirmed that it will support RCS on its mobile devices from next year.
The announcement follows continued pressure from regulators and major players within the Android ecosystem like Samsung and Google, with Apple set to adopt the standard used by most Android phone makers these days.
“Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association,” Apple spokesperson Jacqueline Roy told The Verge in an official statement.
“We believe RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS. This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users,” they added.
This is a significant announcement as it means the potential to add encryption, read receipts, typing notifications, sharing of hi-res images and video, as well as texts displaying in green outside of those on the iMessage platform on iPhone, which is something the company refused to allow previously.
That said, this is not an integration of iMessage with RCS, as the two will exist separately on iPhone devices, 9to5Mac confirmed when originally breaking the announcement.
“iMessage isn’t going anywhere. It will continue to be the messaging platform used for all communication between iPhone users. RCS will simply supplant SMS and MMS and exist separately from iMessage when available. SMS and MMS will also continue to be available as a fallback when needed,” the publication shared.
“This is not Apple opening up iMessage to other platforms. Instead, it’s the company adopting RCS separately from iMessage,” it continued.
Precisely when Apple intends to add the support next year remains to be seen, but the annual WWDC developer conference that’s usually held in June each year seems a likely platform to detail how the change will work.
Either way, though, some changes are coming in the great green bubble versus blue bubble debate.