Touting 500 million-plus Android users using RCS, Android product-management vice president Sameer Samat said in that May 11 keynote: “We hope every mobile operating system gets the message and upgrades to RCS.” iOS 16 release details: The six most important updates coming to iPhones this fall Samat didn’t have to say “Apple.” While Google has lined up U.S. smartphone vendors and wireless carriers to ship its Messages app after a shaky 2019 RCS rollout here, Apple hasn’t added RCS to the iMessage service it launched in 2011 and keeps exclusive to other Apple devices.
Pegoraro, Rob Between Apple’s iMessage service and Google’s newer “RCS,” the quaint medium of text messaging has evolved tremendously in iOS and Android. However, text conversations between those two platforms are about as sophisticated as Nokia flip phones in terms of technology. They still need encryption to keep snoopers at bay, as well as interactive capabilities to spice up the conversation. Google encouraged Apple to address this at its I/O conference last month by supporting the Rich Communications Services (RCS) standard, which its Messages app utilises to encrypt and improve messaging.
But neither interoperates with the other. A text from an Android user to an iPhone user and vice versa gets sent “in the clear,” arriving in a blue bubble on an iPhone and in a light-gray bubble on Android devices.
And at its WWDC conference Monday, Apple ignored Google’s plea, instead announcing such new iOS messaging features as options to recall or edit recently-sent messages. Both iMessage and RCS scramble messages in transit (which requires a data connection), but where RCS can encrypt individual chats end-to-end (keeping them scrambled everywhere but the actual phones), iMessage does that for both individual and group chats. Both also support features like typing indicators and “tapback” emoji.