Apple Didn’t Announce RCS for iMessage at WWDC

Apple iMessage RCS

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Google really wants Apple “to fix texting.” Their campaign to try and convince Apple to include RCS within iMessage has not slowed and is very much an ongoing focus of their messaging pitch. In fact, at Google I/O a couple of weeks ago, Google once again made it clear that they would love to see Apple adopt the advanced messaging capabilities that have taken over texting on Android.

Today, at Apple’s own developer conference, WWDC, we thought for all of three seconds, “Hey, I wonder if they’ll surprise the world and announce RCS for iMessage?” Folks, they didn’t. They talked a lot about Messages on iOS and some upcoming changes, but they absolutely did not announce RCS support.

They dedicated an entire section to what’s new in Messages, talking through fancy new stickers made from all the emoji, a person-to-person Check In tracking feature, search filters, and a new menu that remembers your most-used stuff. Apple continues to advance Messages on the iPhone without needing to consider those without an iPhone, which is what Google wants them to do.

RCS, again, was not a part of the conversation.

As Apple walked through everything new, with each pause I kept hoping for an, “And guess what, we don’t want anyone to experience hate or bullying because of the color of their messaging bubble, so we’re adopting a text messaging standard that those without an iPhone utilize.” They didn’t. They could have. But we know their stance on it. Apple and its executive team are well aware of the power of iMessage and the way it keeps users on Apple devices. They want you to buy your mom an iPhone rather than do the right thing in messaging.

There’s always a slim chance that Apple will adopt RCS at some point in the future. The problem is that I’m not sure there is much of a benefit for them to do so. Google needs to sell them something beyond just, “You could fix texting for Android users and to stop teenagers from bullying each other!” Because Apple won’t ever care about Android users, and for the teens, they probably know that most will eventually just switch to an iPhone to fix that green and blue bubble problem.

Maybe next year.



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