Today, T-Mobile is announcing its expansion of the infamous Rich Communication Services, or RCS. This is important because it gives Android users a successor to SMS (iOS already has iMessage) so that customers can have a better default messaging experience. RCS features include read receipts, typing notifications, and the ability to send much larger attachments over regular messaging so photos wont degrade over MMS.
Anyway, T-Mobile is announcing that it will start updating phones that it sells as of Q2 so that customers can take advantage of the GSMA Universal Profile which enables cross-carrier compatibility and runs on Googles back end. Non T-Mobile phones would be able to do this once Google enables some changes. Google took initiative with its Jibe platform a couple of years ago to facilitate carriers adoption of RCS and this is the year that it starts to take effect.
Last month at MWC, Google announced RCS for Business that would allow businesses to communicate with customers with more interactive messages, making customer support easier for businesses and consumers alike while also being able to accept payments over the platform. While this was happening, Google also announced OEMs that would rely on Android Messages as their default SMS apps so they may take advantage of the RCS update.
T-Mobile phones are already equipped with RCS compatible default SMS apps in phones that the carrier sells. Magenta customers send over 250 milion RCS messages a day. Currenly, there are 160 million active monthly RCS users, globally, and this number is expected to grow to 350 million by Q4.
Even though there has been all this up talk about RCS, in its current state, there is no discussion of RCS ever making it to iPhones. iOS already has iMessage, so for the foreseeable future, default messaging between Android and iOS would still rely on the outdated SMS platform.
What do you think? Since Apple will probably never bring iMessage to Android, do you think Apple would be open to supporting RCS on its iMessage app? Let us know what you think in the comments.