Apple has just released iOS 18 beta 2 and it includes RCS support, finally!

With iOS18, expect your iPhone to be more personal, capable, and intelligent than ever with AI support and a Rich Communication Services (RCS) on iMessage.

2 Min Read

Apple has introduced Rich Communication Services (RCS) to its Messages app, a feature included in the second developer beta of iOS 18 released earlier this week.

This RCS support was briefly announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote earlier this month.

RCS, a messaging protocol leveraging the internet, enables sending and receiving files, high-quality images, viewing typing indicators, receiving read receipts, initiating group chats, and more.

In a press release about iOS 18, Apple stated, “When messaging contacts who do not have an Apple device, the Messages app now supports RCS for richer media and more reliable group messaging compared to SMS and MMS.”

Before now, iPhone users could only send SMS or MMS messages to non-Apple devices from the Messages app, with media sharing and other features limited to iMessage between Apple device users.

With this update, iPhone users can now text and share files with any device supporting RCS, including most Android phones. Despite this integration, messages from Android devices will continue to appear as green bubbles in iMessage.

Currently, RCS support is restricted to U.S. carriers such as T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. Users who have installed the iOS 18 developer beta can see the RCS toggle, but the feature will only function if their carrier supports RCS and has updated their network bundle for iOS 18.

The addition of RCS to the Messages app addresses a long-standing request from both iPhone and Android users, who have been advocating for a more seamless messaging experience across different devices.

For several years, Google has been urging Apple to bridge the blue and green bubble distinction. Currently, RCS is not supported in all regions. However, this is expected to change in the coming months as more iOS 18 updates are rolled out.

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