Apple confirms the blue versus green bubble battle won’t be over just because of RCS.
The blue iMessage text bubble is meant to tell the user when they are talking to another iPhone user. However, this handy tool has turned into a social weapon used by teens and others to shun non-iPhone owners.
Since RCS and iMessage bring users of Android and iPhone onto more equal messaging footing, some assumed this would end the green and blue bubble distinction. That won’t be the case, which was confirmed by 9to5Mac.
Apple will still use the same green bubbles when iPhone users are texting Android users over RCS. The blue bubbles continue to represent iMessage and end-to-end encryption.
RCS doesn’t support encryption with the existing Universal Profile. Google created an extension of RCS with end-to-end encryption for Google Messages, but Apple isn’t supporting that system.
Even if RCS eventually gets encrypted messaging, Apple will still likely want to distinguish iMessage from competing standards. Dropping stickers into chats, iMessage games, and other features won’t work with RCS.
Despite that, RCS will be useful for iPhone users who frequently text Android users. It means improved photo and video quality, plus improved group chat functionality.
RCS isn’t coming to iPhone until later in 2024, likely with iOS 18. Google welcomes Apple’s adoption of the standard since it will mean improving chats for all smartphone users, not just Apple customers.
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