Apple was unnecessarily mentioned during the Google I / O 2022 in non-deceptive criticism about their lack of RCS support for iPhone customers. RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is the latest addition to the SMS messaging that Apple pioneered a decade ago with iMessage. “We expect that every mobile device receives a message and upgrades to the RCS, so your messages are private regardless of the device,” a business executive said during the launch. Google currently uses this security feature on a regular basis.
RCS enhances basic SMS with support for features such as read and receive encryption. Apple built these features into iMessage when it was debated as part of iOS 5 in 2011, but Apple’s messaging service is not available on non-Apple devices. The messaging between iPhones (indicated by blue bubbles) has been a major marketing victory for Apple compared to the static experience of the iPhone to Android phones (indicated by the green bubbles). Next time without iMessage, RCS will be an easy upgrade for Apple to deliver to iPhone users. In fact, Apple solved the problem for RCS iPhone users solved for Android users a decade ago.
Should Apple also support RCS on the iPhone for text messaging that does not use iMessage? I think the only good argument for RCS indifference is that you can sell more iPhones. For Apple, that may be reason enough to ignore RCS, unless and until the company is forced to change its mind through carrier services, controllers, or customers.