In a tweet earlier today, Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer known as on Apple to assist RCS, the next-generation texting commonplace that’s supposed to supplant SMS. He supplied an “open invitation to the people who could make this proper” and mentioned “we’re right here to help.” Translation: the “people” are Apple and “we’re right here to help” is Google’s supply to help Apple in implementing the new commonplace.
RCS is lastly beginning to acquire traction round the world. Its greatest champion has been Google, which lastly landed on utilizing it as the default texting resolution for Android telephones after making an attempt each different resolution. RCS is much from excellent, however it’s clearly superior to SMS (which is, of course, a low bar). After securing offers from US carriers to commit to the commonplace in the subsequent yr, Google is setting its sights on a brand new goal for evangelism: Apple.
Apple has but to reply with remark to any inquiry from The Verge over a number of years on whether or not it intends to assist RCS on the iPhone, and declined to remark on this story. It appears unlikely that RCS is coming to iOS anytime quickly.
Lockheimer’s tweet adopted a cheeky chain of tweets that began with a story about how pro golfer Bryson DeChambeau was breaking iMessage group chats with his green bubbles, which led to the official Android account cringingly drawing a parallel between inexperienced bubbles and the famous Masters green jacket. Lockheimer jokes that there’s a “Actually Clear Answer” (RCS) to group chats not breaking.
RCS has had an extended, convoluted (and unfinished) slog in the direction of turning into the default texting expertise on Android. Starting in March 2021, Google started securing offers from US carriers to get them to commit to utilizing Google’s Android Messages app as the default on all Android telephones offered on their networks. It began with a blockbuster deal with T-Mobile, adopted later by smaller offers with AT&T and Verizon. As soon as all these offers are applied, Android customers who textual content one another will swap over to RCS, which helps typing indicators, higher group chats, and greater multimedia messages.
Importantly, RCS on Android Messages also supports end-to-end encryption for one-on-one chats. That can imply Android customers texting one another may have the next stage of privateness and safety than once they textual content iPhone customers — and vice versa. A recent hack on SMS company Syniverse is simply the newest instance of why encryption is vital in messaging — particularly for the default.
RCS has issues of its personal, although. As with iMessage, it’s doable for messages to get misplaced in limbo when switching telephones. It’s additionally an ordinary that’s championed by Google however theoretically agreed upon by carriers round the world. The affiliation with Google has tainted RCS in the eyes of many, and of course requiring carriers to agree on something is a recipe for issues. There are additionally technical limitations, as Ron Amadeo explains here.
Nonetheless, it appears inevitable that RCS will substitute SMS ultimately — however provided that Apple decides to assist it. As extra carriers undertake it and as extra customers understand that SMS is inherently much less safe, Apple may start to really feel sufficient stress to undertake RCS. Up to now, nonetheless, it hasn’t proven any indicators of that.