Home Apple Google is urging Apple to use RCS in iMessage.

Google is urging Apple to use RCS in iMessage.

by Joseph Richard
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For the integration of RCS messaging on iPhone, a Google executive makes a toe call to Apple. Google’s Messages app already supports the protocol to replace SMS and MMS, but Apple does not.

What exactly is RCS?

Google has begun to implement the RCS (Rich Communication Services) protocol in its “Messages” app, available on any Android smartphone running Android 5.0 or above.

RCS’s goal is simple: to replace SMS and MMS as we know them with this far more comprehensive technology. The goal is to be able to provide everyone with instant messaging similar to Apple’s iMessage, as well as file transfers of all types, availability notifications, group chat, video calls, geolocation sharing, and more, all over any cellular or Wi-Fi connection, in short, a much more comprehensive SMS system.

The RCS’s main benefit is its independence: the technology does not belong to Facebook, Microsoft, or Apple, and it does not belong to Google (even if the latter is striving to make it a new standard) because the GSM Association consortium created it. End-to-end encryption was not possible on RCS until June, but Google has implemented it through its Messages app (except for group chats).

iMessage is one of the features that many people admire about Apple iPhones. It’s been around for a long time and lets you accomplish everything the RCS does, but only between two Apple devices: iPhone, iPad, Mac, and so on. The issue is that iMessage and RCS are incompatible, resulting in two very similar technologies that are each limited to their own “environment,” especially when more carriers begin to adopt this new messaging system by default.

This is a terrible scenario, as Google’s senior vice president, Hiroshi Lockheimer, recently stated. He appealed to Apple on Twitter, urging them to join the adventure and, like SMS, synchronize the flow of messages between users of various devices once more.

Even if no direct reference is made to Apple, the use of the two “heart” emojis confirms the theory. Why? When a message is sent using iMessage, it is blue, and when it is sent by SMS, it is green. Because iPhones do not support the RCS protocol, messages received from an Android smartphone are shown in green at Apple, causing all harmony during a group discussion to be broken. For the sake of a humorous tale, iMessage might have been released for Android in 2013, but Apple declined.

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