ios 18 rcs


  • RCS support will arrive as part of iOS 18 this fall.
  • This is expected to be the RCS Universal Profile 2.4, which differs a little from Google’s current version.

In a blink and you’ll miss it moment, Apple confirmed RCS messaging support will officially arrive as part of iOS 18 later this fall. The new standard will replace SMS as the default protocol when communicating between Android and iPhone devices, hopefully putting an end to the dreaded green bubble drama. In fact, Apple didn’t talk about it all, simply adding a reference to RCS support into a single slide about iOS 18.

It’s no shocker that Apple isn’t making a song and dance about this. It’s been dragging its feet on embracing RCS, despite nudges from the EU and various other regulatory heavyweights. Late last year, it finally caved, admitting it would adopt RCS eventually but gave us the bare minimum on the details. It was largely expected Apple would reveal RCS details here, but Apple events are usually more about the cheers than the jeers. Frankly, Apple doesn’t want to highlight what feels like a concession, so they opted for a slide mention — smooth, Apple, real smooth.

What little we do know about RCS support on Apple comes to us through a Google business development manager. Earlier today, Android Authority exclusively revealed that Apple will use the RCS universal profile 2.4. This is significant as it’s different from the standard used in Google Messages, which adds some extra features like end-to-end encryption.

The good news is even the universal standard should still be a notable upgrade. Right now Android and iPhone users can only communicate together through SMS texting, and so image and video quality is either much lower or sometimes not included at all. Although we’d love to have seen Apple and Google work closer together to ensure the best RCS support possible, we can’t say we’re too surprised to learn that Apple is doing its best to make RCS an afterthought. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more about Apple’s plans for RCS on iOS 18.

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