google has repeatedly mocked apple's iMessage for not supporting the RCS (rich text messaging) service. In June 2022, Google released a teaser mocking Apple for not supporting RCS. This year, it has already released two teasers doing the same thing, one in March 2023 and the other in May 2023. Apple takes the mature route and does not respond to all the jabs Google throws at it. At the 2023 I/O Developers Conference, Google said that over 800 million people worldwide use RCS SMS. This does not include Apple iPhone users. Despite the various jabs at Apple regarding RCS, Apple insists on maintaining its standards.
Just a few months after Google released its last teaser mocking Apple for not supporting RCS, the company has released another. Google has released a new ad for a fake gadget called “iPager” that takes a jab at Apple for not supporting the RCS messaging service. It shows a BP machine called an “iPager”, a reference to Apple's conversion of iMessage messages sent to android and other platform devices into old-fashioned SMS, and mocking MMS text messaging. In this article, we'll discuss what RCS is, why iMessage doesn't support it, and whether Apple is right to ignore it.
In the video description on YouTube, Google said
“iPager isn't real, but the problems Apple is causing with SMS are real,” … “Let's make SMS better for everyone and help Apple #GetTheMessage upgrade to RCS.”
What is RCS?
RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is an update to the SMS standard that brings modern features like typing indicators, read receipts, and high-resolution image support to regular texting. RCS is a messaging protocol created by Google to replace SMS, which is old, limited, and not secure. It is an open standard that brings modern features to regular texting, such as group chats, read receipts, and high-resolution images and videos. RCS is essentially the next generation of texting for Android, replacing SMS or MMS with a more feature-rich messaging experience.
While Google has promoted RCS for all Android users, Apple has chosen not to promote the same service for iOS. This is because Apple already has iMessage, its alternative to SMS, which is only available on Apple devices. The truth is that Apple will do what it thinks is right for its users and will not support a feature because of a few jabs.
Reasons why Apple do not support RCS
CNET claims that one of the reasons iMessage doesn't support RCS is that not all carriers and devices support it yet. Verizon won't support it until 2022, while T-Mobile won't support it until 2020. This lack of support has made it difficult for RCS to gain traction among Android users. CNET claims that this is why it hasn't reached the same level of ubiquity as iMessage.
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Another reason why iMessage doesn't support RCS is that Apple has its own messaging service, iMessage, which, according to 9t05mac, is exclusive to Apple devices. iMessage is a tool that helps to lock customer groups into the ecosystem and serves as a way to differentiate Apple devices from Android devices. But iMessage is only available on Apple devices. This ultimately affects chats between iPhone and Android users who use the default Messages app on their respective devices. Apple has shown no interest in adopting RCS for iOS, and it is unclear whether it will do so in the future.
Google has been pushing Apple to adopt RCS, arguing that Apple's support for RCS would help prevent some of the problems that arise when iPhone users text with Android owners. However, Apple continues to ignore RCS on the iPhone. Apple has not adopted RCS on iOS, despite Google's push for every Android user to use it.
iMessage is very important to Apple and they will not do anything to jeopardise it. A court document in the lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple shows that Apple's iMessage platform is a key service that locks users into its ecosystem. The court document also shows that Apple believes that moving iMessage to Android “would do more harm than good”.
Is Apple right to ignore RCS?
According to an article in Digital Trends, Apple is right to ignore RCS on the iPhone. The article argues that RCS doesn't solve any problems for users and that Google is simply making a transparent Hail Mary pass. RCS has been around for so long that even defunct Windows Phones can support it, provided they have an RCS-compatible SIM card. Google didn't implement RCS at the time, and only after it failed to push one proprietary messaging app after another did it finally switch to RCS as the new best thing.
Whether Apple is right to ignore the RCS messaging service is a matter of debate. Some argue that Apple is right to ignore RCS because it doesn't solve any problems for iPhone users. Only 20% of Android users have access to RCS, so it wouldn't be a universal solution. Also, Apple's iMessage already offers many of the same features as RCS, such as read receipts and support for high-resolution images. On the other hand, some argue that Apple should support RCS as a fallback mechanism for iMessage to ensure customer privacy and security. Ultimately, whether Apple is right to ignore RCS depends on your perspective and priorities.
RCS is a messaging protocol created by Google to replace SMS, bringing modern features to regular text messaging. Apple has not adopted RCS on iOS, despite Google's push for every Android user to use it. Apple has its own SMS replacement, iMessage, and it is unclear whether it will adopt RCS in the future. While RCS has its advantages, it is unclear whether it solves any problems for users, and Apple may be right to ignore it.
Phone brands such as samsung have adopted RCS technology, but Apple's insistence on its own iMessage standards has caused discontent with Google. In January last year, Google senior vice president Hiroshi Lockheimer criticised Apple for “impeding the user experience”. But Apple's position has not wavered. At last year's developer conference, Tim Cook said that anyone frustrated by “green information bubbles” should buy an iPhone. So you can see it's a double-edged sword. Google wants Apple to use RCS for obvious reasons, it will have more users. But for Apple, iMessage offers the same services as RCS. So there really is no need for RCS.
This article does not in any way reflect negatively on Apple or positively on Google. It neither supports nor opposes the use of RCS. We believe that Apple has the right to decide what is best for its users. This article simply presents Google's latest attempt to get Apple to support RCS.