Google says Apple is bringing RCS to the iPhone in fall of 2024

18/04/2024

The Android website has added a new landing page for Google Messages that talks about the first-party messaging experience, while also noting that RCS on the iPhone is coming in fall 2024.

A section describing the benefits of RCS — high-res photos/videos, typing indicators, and a better group chat experience — talks about how it’s “Coming soon on iOS.”

Apple has announced it will adopt RCS in the fall of 2024. Once that happens, it will mean a better messaging experience for everyone.

When Apple made the RCS announcement in November of 2023, it provided a “later next year” timeline. Most people have assumed that to mean iOS 18 rather than iOS 17. Google’s mentions today more or less confirms that. Meanwhile, it’s not clear whether it will arrive with the initial 18.0 release or a .X/point update in the last few months of 2024.

In this section, Google also states that animated emoji reactions are “Coming soon with RCS.” The current approach is handled by the Google Messages client, while iOS has something similar. This might suggest that reactions will be part of the RCS specification in the future.

This is actually the second product page for Google Messages, with the original being messages.google.com. (That site hasn’t been updated to reflect the removal of the Google Photos integration.)

Meanwhile, Google identifies Screen Effects and Custom Bubbles as “currently in beta.” In talking about Voice Moods, there is curiously no beta label. Updates: Some people have received Voice Moods, but it is not yet widely rolled out to the beta program. This includes a redesigned voice recorder UI, which opens a half-pane instead of requiring you to long-press.

Elsewhere, Google makes a big deal about highlighting Photomoji, blocking spam, end-to-end encryption, Magic Compose, the Wear OS app, tablet experience, nudges/reminders, and voice transcription.

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