Apple plans to add support for the RCS standard on iOS next year, the iPhone-maker said Thursday in a major reversal that would resolve the widespread issue of compatibility in text messaging between iPhones and Android devices, a concern affecting millions worldwide known colloquially as the “green bubble” dread.
In an abrupt announcement, Apple said it believes “RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS.” The company added: “This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.”
Apple’s longstanding unwillingness to support RCS has perpetuated fragmentation in messaging ecosystems, particularly affecting Android users, critics have argued over the years. Apple’s stance, often seen as maintaining ecosystem exclusivity, stirred debate in the tech community over interoperability and user convenience.
The company hasn’t also been shy about its feeling on RCS. Responding to a query about Apple’s plans to adopt RCS, Apple chief Tim Cook told an individual to, “Buy your mom an iPhone.”
More to follow.