In what is probably one of the most unexpected developments of this year, Apple has finally – and officially – announced that it will be bringing RCS (rich communication services) chat support over to iPhones, addressing long-standing disputes between the Cupertino-based company and several industry giants including Google and Samsung.
An Apple spokesperson made the announcement via an official statement to the team over at 9to5Mac, saying:
Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association. We believe RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS. This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.
As seen in the statement, RCS compatibility for iPhones will work alongside iMessage, which continues to serve as Apple’s flagship communication platform. The pressure on Apple to adopt a more modern and secure messaging standard has long been pursued by Google, which recently turned to EU regulators to try and prompt Apple into adopting RCS compatibility.
This news also follows Nothing’s recent announcement of its upcoming Nothing Chats app, which gives Nothing Phone 2 users connectivity with iMessage services and features. The Nothing Chats app launches tomorrow via the Google Play Store.
Apple has infamously resisted adopting RCS compatibility in the past, although this new development does show that change is possible, especially given the advantages of RCS over iMessage, such as enhanced multimedia features, wider compatibility between devices and carriers, and more advanced group chat features.