The Green Bubble Nightmare Is Over, Apple Messages Supports RCS

The Green Bubble Nightmare Is Over, Apple Messages Supports RCS

If you’re running the iOS 18 developer beta, you may have noticed your Android friends aren’t the same green bubbles as they used to be. Carriers have been steadily rolling out RCS support on the backend, and plenty of iPhone-wielding folks have already reported decade-long feuds being solved due to Apple acquiescing to the existence of the messaging protocol. It’s a beautiful time to be alive!

The second iOS 18 developer beta features the new RCS capability quietly announced at WWDC 2024. Those bravely braving the developer beta on a daily driver can now send rich messages to their Android brethren. Audio and video sent between devices will no longer be compressed down.

Group chats will no longer be butchered and broken as friends and family attempt to find common ground, such as who will bring the dessert to the gathering. And you’ll see when an iPhone user has left you, dear Android user, on read.

If you are, for some reason—besides developing an app—running the developer beta of iOS 18, you might see an option to toggle it on in the settings panel under Settings > Apps > Messages. If it’s not there, your current provider hasn’t turned it on yet. Keep waiting! And maybe revert to a stable version of iOS!

What will be interesting to see is whether users will migrate back to the default messages app for inter-platform communication. For instance, I’ve preferred my WhatsApp experience for sharing high-res messages with my iPhone-using peeps. But I also think they likely want to go back to Apple Messages to chat with me, their one Android-using best friend, where they already chat with everyone else. We’ll see how it lands when iOS 18 hits iPhones this fall.

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