Apple has announced plans to integrate RCS (Rich Communication Services) into its iPhone messaging app starting in 2024.

This decision marks a significant shift in Apple’s approach to messaging, as it has long resisted adopting RCS, which is the standard messaging protocol used by most Android devices.

“Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association,” an Apple spokesperson tells 9to5Mac. “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.” Apple spokesperson Jacqueline Roy shared the same statement with The Verge.

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The adoption of RCS by Apple will bring a plethora of benefits to users, including improved interoperability between iPhone and Android devices. Messages sent between iPhones and Android devices will no longer be limited to SMS and MMS, which lack many modern messaging features.

Instead, users will be able to enjoy features such as read receipts, typing indicators, high-resolution image and video sharing, and group chat capabilities.

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