In a tweet earlier in the present day, Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer referred to as on Apple to help RCS, the next-generation texting commonplace that’s imagined to supplant SMS. He provided an “open invitation to the oldsters who could make this proper” and stated “we’re right here to assist.” Translation: the “people” are Apple and “we’re right here to assist” is Google’s provide to help Apple in implementing the brand new commonplace.
RCS is lastly beginning to achieve traction around the globe. Its largest champion has been Google, which lastly landed on utilizing it because the default texting answer for Android telephones after attempting each different answer. RCS is much from excellent, nevertheless it’s clearly superior to SMS (which is, in fact, a low bar). After securing offers from US carriers to decide to the usual within the subsequent yr, Google is setting its sights on a brand new goal for evangelism: Apple.
Apple has but to answer with remark to any inquiry from The Verge over a number of years on whether or not it intends to help RCS on the iPhone, and declined to touch upon this story. It appears unlikely that RCS is coming to iOS anytime quickly.
Group chats need not break this manner. There exists a Actually Clear Resolution. This is an open invitation to the oldsters who could make this proper: we’re right here to assist. https://t.co/4P6xfsQyT0— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) October 7, 2021
Lockheimer’s tweet adopted a cheeky chain of tweets that began with a narrative about how professional golfer Bryson DeChambeau was breaking iMessage group chats along with his inexperienced bubbles, which led to the official Android account cringingly drawing a parallel between inexperienced bubbles and the well-known Masters inexperienced jacket. Lockheimer jokes that there’s a “Actually Clear Resolution” (RCS) to group chats not breaking.
RCS has had a protracted, convoluted (and unfinished) slog in the direction of changing into the default texting expertise on Android. Starting in March 2021, Google started securing offers from US carriers to get them to decide to utilizing Google’s Android Messages app because the default on all Android telephones bought on their networks. It began with a blockbuster take care of T-Cell, adopted later by smaller offers with AT&T and Verizon. As soon as all these offers are carried out, Android customers who textual content one another will swap over to RCS, which helps typing indicators, higher group chats, and greater multimedia messages.
Importantly, RCS on Android Messages additionally helps end-to-end encryption for one-on-one chats. That may imply Android customers texting one another can have the next stage of privateness and safety than after they textual content iPhone customers — and vice versa. A current hack on SMS firm Syniverse is simply the newest instance of why encryption is vital in messaging — particularly for the default.
RCS has issues of its personal, although. As with iMessage, it’s attainable for messages to get misplaced in limbo when switching telephones. It’s additionally a normal that’s championed by Google however theoretically agreed upon by carriers around the globe. The affiliation with Google has tainted RCS within the eyes of many, and naturally requiring carriers to agree on something is a recipe for issues. There are additionally technical limitations, as Ron Amadeo explains right here.
However, it appears inevitable that RCS will exchange SMS ultimately — however provided that Apple decides to help it. As extra carriers undertake it and as extra customers notice that SMS is inherently much less safe, Apple might start to really feel sufficient stress to undertake RCS. So far, nonetheless, it hasn’t proven any indicators of that.