What is RCS, the Successor to SMS?

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Key Takeaways

  • RCS, aliases Rich Communication Service, is nan early of texting and adds a richer acquisition to matter and multimedia messages pinch features for illustration publication receipts and higher image and video quality.
  • Many carriers already support RCS, acknowledgment to nan Universal Profile, which ensures compatibility betwixt different carriers. Apple is group to adopt RCS for nan iPhone successful 2024.
  • Google is starring nan complaint to bring RCS to nan masses pinch its Google Messages app, providing a unified chat acquisition and eliminating nan request for aggregate messaging clients.

SMS (Short Messaging Service) has been astir for a agelong time, but it's been slow being replaced by a newer and overmuch amended modular for matter messaging called "RCS." You whitethorn person heard this mysterious acronym before, but what is RCS each about, and much importantly, really will it impact you?

What is RCS?

RCS stands for "Rich Communication Service," and it's often referred to arsenic nan "future of texting" connected your phone. As its sanction suggests, this work adds a overmuch richer acquisition to matter and multimedia messages. We're talking higher image and video quality, publication receipts, typing indicators, and more.

To make this a small much clear, deliberation astir instant messaging apps for illustration Facebook Messenger aliases Whatsapp. Unlike accepted texting pinch a telephone number, these apps let you to spot erstwhile personification sounds your connection aliases is typing, images are shared astatine overmuch higher quality, and truthful on. RCS brings a akin acquisition to matter messaging.

Another measurement to deliberation of it is for illustration Apple's iMessage service, but alternatively of a proprietary strategy that requires everyone to person an iPhone aliases iPad, RCS fundamentally useful pinch immoderate telephone number, conscionable for illustration SMS did. And if some parties don't person RCS yet, it will simply default backmost to SMS, truthful nary messages are lost.

What Phones Support RCS?

First off, RCS isn't conscionable thing your telephone gets, like a caller Android characteristic aliases app update. Your bearer plays a large domiciled successful whether aliases not you tin return advantage of RCS.

Here's nan bully news: galore carriers already support RCS, and they person for galore years already. However, successful nan early days of RCS, location wasn't a circumstantial group of mandatory features successful spot upon implementation, truthful it was benignant of a mess. Some carriers offered definite features of RCS but not others, and galore of those features weren't moreover compatible betwixt carriers.

In bid to hole this, nan Universal Profile was born. This laid retired a wide group of features and functionality that RCS supports, and everyone who's connected committee agrees to support each these features.

Fortunately, nan number of carriers, manufacturers, and OS providers that are connected committee to support nan Universal Profile is vast. That intends you really don't person to interest astir whether you'll person nan aforesaid RCS features arsenic personification else. There is, however, 1 cardinal sanction missing from nan database of companies supporting RCS: Apple.

What About RCS connected nan iPhone?

While RCS has been rolling retired to much and much people, Apple has been ignoring nan development. iPhones person 2 methods for matter messaging: iMessage and SMS. iMessage chats are successful blue, while everything other is green. Up until 2024, those greenish messages could only beryllium SMS.

Android users, successful particular, person been very irritated by this fact. Since nan iPhone only supported SMS, immoderate matter connection from a non-iPhone to an iPhone was forced to usage nan older, outdated standard. That meant low-quality photos and videos, which iPhone users would past blasted connected nan sender. Apple had nary inducement to hole nan greenish bubbles (an unnecessary favoritism that they intentionally created).

In precocious 2023, Apple officially announced that it would yet support RCS connected iPhones successful 2024. Google had been putting a batch of nationalist unit connected Apple to adopt RCS, but it was astir apt nan potential for regulatory action that caused nan institution to alteration course.

iMessage will still beryllium alongside RCS, and nan bluish and greenish bubble business isn't going anywhere. iPhone users apt won't moreover announcement nan move from SMS to RCS for their greenish bubble chats, but moreover conscionable higher-quality photos and videos will beryllium an improvement.

Google is Leading nan Charge to Bring RCS to nan Masses

A screenshot of nan Chat features paper showing a Connected status

Since it takes a batch of activity to get each nan carriers and manufacturers connected committee pinch supporting a caller standard, Google has taken nan liberty of getting nan shot rolling. It built a caller modular named "Jibe" that's based connected RCS pinch Universal Profile—this is nan early of RCS and nan early of matter messaging.

You whitethorn beryllium wondering why Google is truthful willing successful getting RCS pushed retired to nan masses. The reply is simple: because it needs a unified chat experience. Google has had galore grounded chat apps complete nan years. The institution is hoping RCS tin beryllium nan eventual hole for this long-standing problem.

Instead of having aggregate messaging clients for different reasons, you conscionable request nan Google Messages app, which already comes pre-installed connected nan mostly of Android devices. And since astir carriers support RCS, that's automatically a awesome built-in messaging app that requires nary other activity for users. In different words, nan aforesaid point that iMessage does for iPhone users.

When Will RCS Be Available For My Phone?

The short reply is you astir apt already person RCS enabled connected your Android phone. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Rogers, and galore different carriers support RCS. Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel phones travel pinch nan Google Messages app pre-installed. And if that's not enough, Google has taken matters into their ain hands by enabling it for astir Android phones themselves. If you're unsure, you tin easy cheque if your telephone has RCS. The early is looking agleam for telephone number-based messaging.

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