Google seems to have leaked Apple's timeframe for bringing RCS to the iPhone

A statement that briefly appeared on the official Android website seemed to indicate we can expect RCS messaging to arrive on iOS in fall 2024.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus in hand
June Wan/ZDNET

The iOS and Android debate will never end, but texting between the two platforms is set to get a lot better thanks to Apple grudgingly planning to adopt RCS messaging. Apple announced in November 2023 that RCS is coming to iOS in 2024, but we didn't get a timeframe beyond that.

Now we have a little more specificity, but not from Apple.

Google recently unveiled a new Google Messages landing page on the Android website that briefly indicated RCS messaging is coming to iOS later this year. Given that iOS 18 is also set to arrive later this year, it seems to be all but confirmed the new messaging standard will be available first to iPhone 16 owners. This would be in line with Apple releasing new features once a year instead of throughout the year, like Google does.

Also: Apple is finally adding an iOS home screen feature that Android has had for 15 years

The now-removed statement read as follows: "Apple has announced it will be adopting RCS in the fall of 2024. Once that happens, it will mean a better messaging experience for everyone."

Apple hasn't made any such announcement, nor has the company shared what devices RCS would be coming to.

What does "a better messaging experience for everyone" mean, exactly? Users can currently text between the two operating systems, but there's no typing indicator, no read receipts, images and videos are sent at a lower resolution, and there's the oft-maligned color difference in chat bubbles. RCS won't fix the bubble color issue, but it could address everything else.

In November 2023, Apple said RCS would "offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS." The company added that RCS will work alongside iMessage, "which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users."

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