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Why Is Google Pushing For RCS Messaging & Why Apple Should Use It?
The iOS vs Android debate is a never-ending story in the tech space, but the bone of contention keeps changing. Sometimes it’s about the hardware-software integration, sometimes it’s about the security features or the overall performance. But this Apple-Google debate recently got a new conflict to stir up things -- RCS support.
For the unversed, Google believes cross-platform texting is yet to function at its full potential, Currently, cross-platform texting is devoid of features such as typing indicators, emoji reactions, read receipts, and end-to-end encryptions. While all these features are present on Apple’s iMessage, the company’s SMS services lack them. And, Google is on a mission to change that, saying Apple’s refusal of adopting RCS standards is putting shackles on cross-platform messaging.
What’s This RCS Messaging?
RCS or rich communication system is an attempt to offer an app-like service for the SMS market. The GSM Association took over a decade to build RCS before launching it officially in 2016. And, Google is among the first OEMs to embrace the system for its Android-powered phones.
Devices running RCS will be able to text normal SMS like feature-welcoming apps, share high-res videos and images, react to messages, checking read receipts without having to worry about security, as these conversations are end-to-end encrypted.
Why Is Google Pushing Apple To Adopt It?
It’s pretty evident that Google is pushing other OEMs to adopt RCS for its own benefit, as it has opted for RCS for its own Messages app. Apple hasn’t been very vocal or committed to dropping SMS in favor of RCS.
RCS advocates might claim it can fix issues, but it doesn’t put an end to all of them. Besides, RCS has its own setbacks; end-to-end encryption only works for one-on-one conversations. Moreover, RCS can also make way for spam messages instead of curbing them.
Apple, on the other hand, has no real incentive to shift to RCS, especially if it creates a way for iPhones and Android phones to connect seamlessly. Well, Apple isn’t the only non-RCS player in the market. WhatsApp, the biggest messaging app, also doesn’t support RCS. But Google has yet to have them on its crosshairs.
Should Apple Give It A Try?
As a fallback for iMessage, Apple still uses the normal SMS functionality, which isn’t very pleasing, including iOS users. If the company agrees to jump on Google’s wagon, users can have features like typing indicators, read receipts, high-res media sharing, and end-to-end encryption.
Currently, there’s no way of knowing if the message from an iPhone has been delivered to an Android device or vice versa. Similarly, there is no way to know if a person is typing a message. RCS can put an end to both of these pain points. Not just that, the new system will also enable users to share high-quality media up to 10MB per message.
While there is end-to-end encryption available for RCS, it only works for one-on-one chats. This might be enough for Apple to opt out of RCS, as the company centers all its products around user security, and Google’s service doesn’t really align with Apple’s ideology.