Apple Embraces RCS, But Keeps iMessage Secure
Apple has surprised users by quietly announcing plans to add RCS (Rich Communication Services) support to its Messages app. This move is expected to improve texting between iPhone users and Androids. However, while RCS texts will appear green on iPhones, the messages will not be encrypted like iMessage texts. Apple is sticking to its end-to-end encryption for iMessage, ensuring the security of its users.
Apple Adopts GSMA's RCS Standard, Not Google's
It's worth noting that Apple is embracing the GSMA-developed RCS standard, rather than Google's RCS standard. This means that the blue vs. green chat bubble war between iPhone and Android users will continue, as Apple is not adopting the encryption-supported RCS experience developed by Google.
Apple's Statement on RCS Adoption
Apple has stated that it plans to add support for the RCS Universal Profile, the standard published by the GSM Association. Apple believes that this profile will offer a better interoperability experience compared to SMS or MMS. However, Apple will not support other companies' proprietary RCS encryption, indicating that it won't adopt Google's RCS encryption, for example.
Why is Apple Doing This?
One possible reason for Apple's adoption of RCS is to appease regulators, particularly in Europe, where iMessage is under investigation. The European Union is looking into whether iMessage should be classified as a gatekeeper. Google and some European carriers have already asked regulators to categorize iMessage as a gatekeeper. By embracing RCS, Apple could potentially address these regulatory concerns.
What Does This Mean for Google?
While some may see Apple's adoption of RCS as a victory for Google, it's important to note that Apple is not supporting Google's proprietary RCS encryption. Google's blue vs. green chat bubble campaign may still continue, but Apple's decision to stick to its own encryption standards could make it more difficult for Google to advocate for its version of RCS.
The Impact on Users
For iPhone users, the adoption of RCS means that they will be able to receive SMS, MMS, and RCS texts on their devices. The green bubbles will help differentiate these texts from iMessage texts. RCS also supports higher-resolution photos and videos, but it won't change the color of iMessage texts, which will remain blue. The impact of RCS adoption on users' texting experience may not be significant, especially for those who already use messaging apps like WhatsApp.
Overall, Apple's decision to add RCS support to its Messages app is a notable development, but it comes with limitations. While it may address regulatory concerns and provide better interoperability, it may not have a major impact on users' daily texting experience. Only time will tell how this move will play out and whether it will lead to further developments in the messaging landscape.
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