RCS messaging has been enabled for some iPhone users

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With iOS 18, Apple is finally bringing the RCS (Rich Communication Services) protocol to the iPhone and it looks like support has already been enabled by some US carriers.

Late last year, Apple decided to embrace RCS, something Google has been pestering it to do to improve the messaging experience between iOS and Android users. Without RCS support, texting between iOS and Android users is broken as it relies on SMS. As a result, photos and videos appear blurry, messages are sometimes shortened, and messages are not end-to-end encrypted.

All of this will soon be in the past as Apple announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that it would bring support for RCS to the iPhone. This will improve texting with Android users by bringing features such as higher-quality media sharing, read receipts, and typing indicators – features that are currently unavailable in Android to iPhone conversations.

Some users on the social media website X, which was known as Twitter not too long ago, report that RCS has now been enabled on their iPhones. The feature is only available to those who have downloaded the iOS 18 beta 2 and are with either AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. To enable RCS on your phone, go to Settings, navigate to Apps, and then tap on Messages.

To bring RCS to the iPhone, Apple depends on carriers and apparently, the latest iOS 18 beta only includes updated carrier bundles for the three largest US carriers. Users on other carriers and MVNOs will likely have to wait a bit more for a smoother cross-platform messaging experience.

RCS messages will continue to have green bubbles, but they will be labeled as “Text Message – RCS.” Also, even though RCS has many of the same features as iMessage, both iMessage and Google Messages will continue to have some exclusive features.

This is one of the most Apple moves ever. The company hasΒ yielded to pressure to embrace RCS but it has maintained the divide between Android and iPhone users by allocating different colored bubbles to each.


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