Apple Reportedly Brings RCS Messaging Support to Canada, Spain and Other Countries With iOS 18 Developer Beta 3

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Apple has expanded the support for RCS (Rich Communication Services) to Canada, Spain, France, and other countries, weeks after introducing it in the US, as per a report. For years, the Cupertino-based tech giant faced flak from its competitors, which mainly comprised Android smartphone makers, for not supporting this relatively new messaging standard and prioritising its proprietary iMessage service instead. At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024, Apple finally revealed that it would be introducing support for RCS starting with iOS 18 – its new operating system update for the iPhone.

RCS Messaging Expanded

According to a 9to5Mac report, RCS messaging is now available in Canada, France, Germany, and Spain following the rollout of iOS 18 Developer Beta 3 on Monday. Consequently, it now supports more carriers too. In Canada, Videotron, Telus Mobility and Bell are reported to support RCS, while users in France may be able to access it with SFR. O2 and Telefonica are also said to bring RCS support in Germany and Spain respectively.

This development comes weeks after Apple introduced RCS support in the US with the iOS 18 Developer Beta 2 update. A new toggle for the feature was reported in the iPhone’s settings. While the feature was suspected to be still inactive, users on social media claimed they can now access it. Messages sent with RCS appear to have an RCS banner within the chat window.

In the US, only three carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are said to support the RCS messaging standard, which was developed by Google.

Notably, RCS is a messaging protocol that is claimed to bring better interoperability for cross-platform messaging, supporting GSMA’s Universal Profile. According to Google, it provides better features compared to standard SMS, with users having the option to share high-resolution media and larger files. It also brings typing indicators, the ability to make video calls and an improved group chat experience.

While RCS messaging can be done using the default message app on smartphones, it also works with the Google Messages app, if the former does not have support for RCS. As of 2020, RCS is said to support 90 telecom operators across 60 countries.

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