RCS is coming to iPhones in 2024

From The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/16/23964171/apple-iphone-rcs-support

Glad to see this. Hopefully extended family group chats are a more pleasant experience with this compared to MMS!


I would have paid good money to have been a fly on the wall when Apple made that decision.


Just saw it on my RSS. As Craig Frederighi said: We truly live in an age of wonders. USB-C, multiple timers and maybe even alternative app stores (in the EU). :exploding_head:

What does this actually mean? I’m not a power user. But it’s very annoying to talk to people with android phones that are in a group chat, or try and send them pictures or videos. I always have trouble. Will it fix that?

It’s supposed to.

According to Samsung’s website, RCS has a file size limit of 100MB compared to 2-5MB on MMS so photo and video sharing should be a much better experience. I’d think it would also fix the weirdness SMS/MMS causes, but that remains to be seen. I’m sure a lot of us have been in a group chat where someone’s phone sends individual messages when they reply instead of replying to the group chat.

It’s subtle - Apple is implementing the carrier standardized version of RCS, the successor to SMS/MMS.

They are not implementing Google’s proprietary extensions/version of RCS.

Remains to be seen where the friction points will be.

News reports have stated that messaging with people via RCS will still show green bubble of shame.

If so, clearly indicates Apple is implementing MVP version and chose to use the vanilla “standard” while still, effectively, making non-iPhone/non-iMessage users second-class participants.

If so, indicates Apple is doing this purely as a pro-active defensive move to defuse pending forced arm-twisting from the EU legal mandates and not any love of cooperation/integration with open standards.

Very common in many industries to fight standards when one has a market leading proprietary edge and when forced, adopt the “letter of the law”, not the spirit, of any actual industry standards.

Will it be incrementally better or a nothing burger? Probably have to wait until shipped to find out.


If you are a company with enough marketing clout, standards have never meant much. If Apple implements “standard” RCS, whatever that is, will Google gracefully fall back to the standard?

It seems that a potential outcome of this is that much of Google’s spec, specifically the end-to-end encryption, will be integrated into the standard spec before Apple rolls it out.

IMO, yes. “iMessage amounts to serious lock-in” , was how one unnamed former Apple employee put it in an email in 2016"

So, the standard is whatever one of the market leaders with enough clout says it is? Yup. Standards will always be a see-saw battle between innovators, market leaders, and standards bodies (which are made up of manufacturers without enough clout on their own). The wild card is the government, but only when political winds favor regulation.