What you need to know
- Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer has offered to help Apple add RCS support to its devices.
- All major U.S. carriers have committed to make RCS the default texting solution on Android devices next year.
- RCS can truly replace SMS only if Apple adds support for the texting standard to iPhones.
Google senior vice president Hiroshi Lockheimer offered to help Apple add RCS support to iPhones in a tweet posted earlier today.
💚 Group chats don't need to break this way. There exists a Really Clear Solution. Here's an open invitation to the folks who can make this right: we are here to help. 💚💙 https://t.co/4P6xfsQyT0💚 Group chats don't need to break this way. There exists a Really Clear Solution. Here's an open invitation to the folks who can make this right: we are here to help. 💚💙 https://t.co/4P6xfsQyT0— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) October 7, 2021October 7, 2021
The tweet was posted in response to a story from Golf Digest about golfer Bryson DeChambeau being the "green-text guy ruining iMessage group chats." Lockheimer jokingly added that there is a "Really Clear Solution" to group chats not breaking this way.
While RCS didn't have a great start, Google managed to convince all major U.S. carriers to help make it the default texting solution on Android phones on their networks earlier this year. Starting 2022, Google Messages will be the default messaging app on all Android phones sold by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
Several carriers around the world have also extended support for the messaging standard. Samsung, which is the biggest Android OEM, added RCS Chat features to its Messages app late last year.
The Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol enables several useful features such as enhanced group messaging, animated stickers, read receipts, as well as end-to-end encryption. It also allows users to easily share high-resolution photos and videos, just like the best Android messaging apps.
Google enabled end-to-end encryption for its Google Messages app in June this year. Currently, encryption works only when both the users are using Google Messages with RCS Chat enabled. The feature is expected to be extended to group chats as well in the future, but there's no word on exactly when that will happen.
While there's no doubt that RCS is a much more secure messaging standard than SMS, it needs to be supported by Apple before it can universally replace SMS. Despite increasing pressure from carriers, Apple hasn't announced any plans of adding RCS support yet.
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