Apple switches to RCS format, the successor to SMS

In a press release sent to several American media, Apple announced the upcoming adoption of the format Rich Communication Services (RCS) for iPhones. For years, the Apple brand has been reluctant towards this successor to SMS, largely supported by Google.

Next year we will add support for the RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSMA. We believe that RCS will provide a better interoperability experience compared to SMS or MMS.

This decision follows in particular the adoption of the DMA by the European Union, which requires large companies to offer services that are interoperable with other platforms. The firm emphasizes, however, that RCS will work in addition to iMessage, which will remain “the best and most secure email experience for Apple users”.

What is RCS format?

Developed by the GSMA, an organization representing the interests of mobile network operators, the RCS protocol is a standard. It is designed to be integrated into any application from any manufacturer, promoting interoperability between devices and operators. Unlike traditional SMS which uses cellular telephone networks, RCS uses the Internet to transmit messages. Thus, it offers functionalities similar to those of applications such as WhatsApp or Messenger, including the following:

  • Creation of group conversations,
  • Transfer of large files,
  • Access to receipt and reading acknowledgments,
  • Viewing keystroke indicators (” (…) is writing “).

The RSC format also benefits from better security, as it allows the sending of encrypted messages. Transfer via the Internet also limits the inconvenience relating to overcharging for messages sent from abroad.

RCS on iPhone: what changes?

For several years, Google has established the RCS format as a pillar of the Android ecosystem. But Apple had until then shown marked opposition, favoring SMS and MMS for communications with Android devices, and iMessage for exchanges between Apple devices. From now on, messaging on iPhone will work as follows:

  • From iPhone to iPhone: no changes are planned. iMessage will remain the service used. It offers similar functionality to the RCS format. The message bubbles will retain their blue color.
  • From iPhone to Android device (and vice versa): the RCS protocol will now be adopted. This form of communication will therefore benefit from the functionalities mentioned previously, which were not available with the SMS format. The message bubbles will remain green.

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Source : mezcalistas

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