Published on 2024-05-16Apple iPhone with title suggesting Apple will announce RCS with iOS18

Apple announces RCS support with iOS 18: A game-changer for messaging this fall

Apple has finally announced the date for supporting RCS messaging on iPhone, which will be with the upcoming iOS 18 update this fall.

During the WWDC 2024 (Worldwide Developers Conference), Apple revealed that the new iOS 18 operating system will include support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) within its messaging app. This update, available this fall, promises to transform the messaging experience between iOS and Android devices by addressing many current limitations and significantly improving cross-platform communication. Although Apple did not delve into details in its keynote, the presentation of RCS signaling makes its intentions very clear.

What is RCS and why is Apple's announcement important?

RCS is a mobile messaging standard designed to enhance the capabilities of text messages. These messages are natively sent on Android phones and offer a range of improved features such as images, videos, read receipts, support for longer messages, and the ability to include emojis. Essentially, RCS provides a messaging experience similar to iMessage but with the added advantage of cross-platform compatibility.

Currently, RCS messages can only be sent between Android devices. Any RCS messages sent to iPhones are received as an SMS, without the ability to view the enriched content. It is estimated that there are approximately 1.46 billion iPhone users worldwide today, constituting a 28% market share compared to 72% for Android phones.

Benefits of the RCS update

Apple's adoption of RCS represents a significant improvement in the interoperability between iOS and Android devices. Although RCS has been considered the SMS 2.0 for several years, the lack of adoption on iPhones has been seen as a major limitation preventing this channel from fully taking off.

This update is also expected to benefit businesses that use RCS to send notifications to their customers. This type of business messaging is growing in popularity due to the ease of sending notifications, promotions, or important information to customers. It is anticipated that by the end of 2024, the number of businesses using this channel for notifications will increase.

Phone with promotional RCS message on

Nearing unification

The arrival of iOS 18 with RCS support will mark a new era in mobile communication. iOS and Android users will be able to enjoy a unified, enhanced, dynamic, and secure messaging experience. This long-awaited advancement not only resolves technical issues but is also a significant step forward in the evolution of mobile messaging, which in recent years has become one of the primary forms of communication between people and now also with businesses.

How to get involved!

At LINK, we are mobile messaging specialists with years of experience helping businesses communicate with their customers, in particular with RCS too. We host a lot of great technology that helps brands engage audiences efficiently and cost-effectively. Learn more about our RCS Business Messaging here.

Why not also check out our Chatbot x RCS solution that allows you to automate or manage two-way conversations with your audience using RCS?

If you are looking to understand more about RCS, get in touch today! We can have you set up and sending in time for Apple's release of RCS, making you one of the first brands to send your customers on iOS an RCS message!