Apple has a big change planned for the messaging functions of its iPhone lineup in 2024, according to CBS News on Monday.
The tech company announced that it plans to bring certain iMessage features to Android users. These changes include:
- Read receipts
- Typing indicators
- Better support for group chats
- Higher quality media sharing across platforms
According to reports, Apple is expected to add support for the new standard — dubbed “Rich Communication Services” (RCS) — in 2024. This standard would replace alternatives like SMS and can work over both wi-fi and mobile data.
However, there are no plans to address its color-coded text bubbles, which appear either green (indicating users of Androids or other types of phones) or blue (indicating Apple users) when messaging between different platforms.
“The blue bubble is a badge of the Apple tribe, and this distinctive identity, as well as the company’s iMessage platform, is not going anywhere anytime soon,” said Dipanjan Chatterjee, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. “Instead, RCS support will enable a smoother and better customer experience of iPhone users communicating across platforms. The company hopes that’s a win-win for all -- their customers get to inhabit Apple’s world, but also play nicely with others.”
The planned changes follow pressures from regulators in the E.U. and competitors like Google, the latter of which already has support for RCS in its messaging app.
Meanwhile, the E.U.’s Digital Markets Act requires companies to make core services operable across different platforms, and regulators have investigated iMessage to determine whether it counts.
“Both the adoption of the USB-C for the new iPhones as well as the support for RCS messaging is Apple’s way of getting ahead of European Union regulations which would likely have forced its hand in any case,” Chatterjee said. “Better the company own it and market it to their advantage.”
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