Friday, June 28, 2024

RCS in iOS 18 Beta

Ryan Haines:

Then, it was time to jump into an RCS-powered future, and by that, I mean flipping a toggle in the Settings app. Seriously, that’s all there is to it right now for beta testers on the most recent build.

From there, it was time to send my first RCS text message on an iPhone, so I figured I’d start with an easy one — a dig about Apple finally getting the message. Then, it was time to test a few RCS basics: the ability to react to messages and send read receipts from Android to iOS. I asked my dad to respond to my first message, and he sent back a thumbs up — both to my original message and my request for a reaction. Both reactions popped up smoothly and immediately, a massive improvement over the generic SMS alert on iOS 17 and older, and far closer to what we see from Apple’s iMessage service between Apple devices.


Once I finished shaking my head, I realized that both had come through just the same as if they’d been sent from another iPhone. The comic was crystal clear, and the video came out much better than the Patterson-Gimlin resolution I often get when he sends me a clip. It’s a vast improvement over the SMS and MMS struggles both sides have been used to and a sign that Google was probably right all along.

Via Dave Mark:

Note that the only currently supported carriers are Verizon, AT&T, & T-Mobile, though that’s pretty much everyone I know.


Update (2024-07-02): Chance Miller:

Curious if your carrier supports RCS on iPhone yet? Here’s how to check.

Update (2024-07-09): Tim Hardwick:

Think of it as SMS 2.0 – a major upgrade to the traditional text messaging we’ve been using for years.

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Fun fact I just learned: Google runs the RCS hubs/infrastructure for the three major US carriers.

Google acquired Jibe Mobile back in 2015, which powers Google’s RCS (and is the base layer for their own customizations), and all the big US carriers gave up on their own (sometimes proprietary) RCS implementations and signed up with Jibe Cloud. Not sure how it is in other countries.

Not sure what Google’s long term play is… they could maybe be happy running the cloud infrastructure as a common carrier… but I’m sure it’s awfully tempting to turn that into their own social network/communications/behavioral advertising platform.

Knowing this puts their green blue bubble taunting ads in a different light for me.

Gods. Another Monopoly... It's as if capitalism was designed to create them

As long as the standard is open and can be implemented by anyone, I don't really care who "owns" it. There's no reason we shouldn't have a cross platform messaging system. Only tech people think the current unfederated mess of competing standards is progress.

I use Messages. With some friends Whatsapp. With others Signal. With few Wire. And so on. Another option is certainly welcomed. Until is not forced on to me by Goog.

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