After years of persuading from Google, Apple plans to adopt the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard. An Apple spokesperson told TechRadar and 9to5Mac that support for RCS will be coming next year.
According to Apple, RCS will “work alongside iMessage" and will improve communication between iPhone and Android users. iMessage will continue to be the default for iPhone to iPhone communication, with RCS serving as a replacement for the existing SMS and MMS standards. SMS and MMS will remain available as a fallback when necessary, though.
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Apple to Adopt RCS Messaging Standard for Better Interoperability With Android Devices