RCS on iPhone: Will your Google Pixel messages finally appear as blue bubbles?
It’s finally coming folks! RCS support on iMessage is happening after years of back and forth between Google and Apple that saw the former go on a recruitment spree across Europe and Asia to help pressure the latter to cave in. It just paid off, as Apple has confirmed that the iPhone will finally get RCS messages beginning next year.
In a statement that has sent shockwaves across the tech world, Apple says it intends to adopt the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging standard. Support for RCS messages will arrive through an update “later next year” and introduce iMessage-style features to messages sent between iPhone and Android users. This decision comes at a time when RCS has significantly developed and subsequently matured into a platform that Apple can finally trust with one of its most prized assets.
But will RCS make green bubbles on iPhone go away?
One of the most dividing aspects of Android and iPhone users in the U.S. is the blue vs. green bubbles debate. If you haven’t already, popular YouTuber MKBHD has a great explainer of the blue vs green bubbles situation that you should watch. But for a quick lowdown, messages exchanged between iPhone users on iMessage appear in blue bubbles. But when sent from an Android phone, the messages appear in green bubbles in the iMessage app basically to indicate the message wasn’t sent from an iPhone.
Not only this, but photos exchanged between iPhone and Android users through the respective default messaging apps are a complete eyesore. Exchanging large files is also impossible, among other rich-text features. Google hoped to change this narrative with the push for RCS adoption on the iPhone, a goal they have finally achieved. However, the search giant may have won the battle, but the war is far from over.
According to 9to5Mac, your iPhone friends will still know that you sent them a message from a Google Pixel. Sure, you will be able to react to messages, send larger files, exchange high quality photos and so on, but messages sent from Google Pixel and other Android phones will still appear in green bubbles on iPhones. This is such a bummer considering the disdain between teens just for using an Android phone (green bubbles) over an iPhone (blue bubbles). But it’s also a huge marketing advantage that Apple wouldn’t want to let go.
Either way, it’s great to see that Apple finally got the message that Google and the rest of the tech community have been sending them for years. Support for RCS messages on the iPhone will likely be bundled with the update to iOS 18.