It’s time for Apple to fix texting, some say…and apparently, that time has finally come.
In a statement sent to 9to5Mac, Apple has confirmed that it is finally adopting Rich Communication Services (RCS), that little messaging standard from the GSMA that’s used by practically every Android user these days, backed by Samsung, Google, and other tech giants.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, claimed last year that Apple had no plans to bring RCS support to its devices, but clearly, the company has had a change of heart, having sent the publication this statement:
Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association. We believe RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS.
Apple, however, goes on to clarify that iMessage is still king, so it’s unclear whether that whole green bubble drama (i.e., text messages of Android users showing up as SMS/MMS on iDevices) might finally end, or continue to piss certain people/companies off:
This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.
Google, one of those companies, went so far as to launch a “fix text messaging” site last year in an attempt to get Apple to switch to RCS, but while it’s been fun to look at, credit for Apple’s new stance appears to go to the Europeans, having spearheaded a Digital Markets Act that would have apparently prompted Apple into adopting RCS:
Some large online platforms act as “gatekeepers” in digital markets. The Digital Markets Act aims to ensure that these platforms behave in a fair way online. Together with the Digital Services Act, the Digital Markets Act is one of the centrepieces of the European digital strategy.
This act dictates that “gatekeepers,” meaning, big companies like Apple, are expected to do the following:
- allow third parties to inter-operate with the gatekeeper’s own services in certain specific situations
- allow their business users to access the data that they generate in their use of the gatekeeper’s platform
- provide companies advertising on their platform with the tools and information necessary for advertisers and publishers to carry out their own independent verification of their advertisements hosted by the gatekeeper
- allow their business users to promote their offer and conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s platform
“Texting shouldn’t feel like a pager,” Google said on its website about Apple’s refusal to adopt modern texting standards.