Apple has announced its adoption of the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging standard, set to launch via a software update next year. The move is seen as a response to regulatory pressure and competition from Google and Samsung. RCS will bring iMessage-style features to messaging between iPhone and Android users, including read receipts, typing indicators, high-quality media sharing, and location sharing.
However, iMessage will remain the primary messaging platform for iPhone users, as RCS replaces SMS and MMS separately. Apple emphasizes that iMessage is more secure and privacy-friendly than RCS, being end-to-end encrypted. The decision follows years of pressure from competitors and aims to improve the RCS protocol, including enhancing security and encryption. Apple will collaborate with GSMA members to further develop the RCS standard.