The green bubble-blue bubble divide may be getting smaller soon. 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple has confirmed it will support the RCS messaging standard that it’s long eschewed. That’s not to say that messages from Android devices will no longer appear green on Apple’s iMessage app. It does mean that texts from iPhones to non-iOS devices will support the newer Rich Communication Services protocol, meaning they will not have to go through the aging SMS (and MMS) system. In the statement provided, Apple said “We believe RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS.”
That support will “work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.” With new features like voice memo transcriptions and check-in that aren’t available on RCS, iMessage could still outshine default text messaging apps on Android. It also means there might not be change to any of the colors of the conversation bubbles.
Google has long taken potshots at Apple for not supporting RCS, saying the texting experience between iPhones and non-iPhones is so outdated it might as well be using a pager. With RCS support, messages between Android and iOS devices will be more secure (than over SMS), while media can be shared at higher quality.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.