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Apple finally adds support for RCS in latest iOS 18 beta
June 27, 2024

Apple finally adds support for RCS in latest iOS 18 beta

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Apple has finally added support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) to its Messages app. The feature arrived as part of the second developer beta of iOS 18 earlier this week.

RCS is a messaging protocol that uses the internet to let you send and receive files and high-quality images, see typing indicators, get read receipts, start group chats and more. Until now, iPhone users could only send SMS or MMS messages from the Messages app to people who didn’t have an Apple device — you could share media, get read receipts and use other features only with other Apple device users via iMessage. With this update, iPhone users can start texting and sharing files with anyone who uses a device that supports RCS, which includes most Android phones.

However, messages from Android devices will still show up as green bubbles in iMessage.

Support for RCS seems to be limited to U.S. carriers like T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon for now. While users can see the toggle if they have installed the iOS 18 developer beta, the feature will only work if their mobile carrier supports RCS and has updated their network bundle for iOS 18. We’ll update this story when we hear of the protocol being supported in other regions.

Apple briefly mentioned that iOS 18 would get RCS support during its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote earlier this month.

‘When messaging contacts who do not have an Apple device, the Messages app now supports RCS for richer media and more reliable group messaging compared to SMS and MMS,’ Apple said in its press release detailing iOS 18.

iPhone and Android users alike have been asking Apple to support RCS for ages, since it makes it easier to message and share things with people regardless of what device they use. Google has also been pushing Apple to break the blue and green bubble divide for years.

The developer beta also brought the ability to mirror iPhones on Mac displays.


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