Apple’s Weird RCS Announcement: We Need Better Messaging Than This

Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote included a brief and somewhat puzzling announcement regarding RCS support coming to iOS 18. RCS (Rich Communication Services) is a messaging standard that has been available on Android devices for several years. It offers a number of advantages over traditional SMS/MMS messaging, including higher-quality image/video sharing, better group chats, typing indicators, read receipts, and more.

During the keynote, Apple confirmed that RCS is indeed coming to the iPhone as part of iOS 18. However, the company provided very little detail about the feature. Apple didn’t mention RCS until the very end of the iOS 18 segment, with Craig Federighi quickly mentioning “RCS messaging support” in passing. And that was all Apple had to say – just those three words. Nothing more.

This lack of information is disappointing, given the importance of RCS for improving communication between iPhone and Android users. RCS has the potential to make text conversations between iPhone and Android users much more seamless and feature-rich. However, it’s clear that Apple is not particularly enthusiastic about adding RCS to iOS. The company has been resistant to adopting RCS in the past, and it’s likely that Apple only added RCS to iOS 18 because it was forced to do so by the European Union.

Despite Apple’s reluctance, RCS is a major new feature for iPhone users. It’s a shame that Apple didn’t take the opportunity at WWDC to properly introduce RCS to its users. Hopefully, Apple will provide more information about RCS in the coming months. In the meantime, iPhone users will have to wait and see what RCS looks like and how it works when iOS 18 is released later this year.

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