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This is our best look yet at RCS working on an iPhone

This is our best look at RCS on iPhone, yet.
By

Published onJune 17, 2024

apple iphone 15 app drawer on table
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • One crafty iOS 18 beta tester has managed to get RCS working.
  • The experience is currently a little rough as some features still don’t fully work, but file transfer and group chats work well already.
  • RCS is only supported on AT&T and T-Mobile for now, though this likely won’t be the case by the time the feature fully launches with iOS 18.

Last week, Apple confirmed that rich communication services (RCS) support is on its way to iOS 18 and that it would eventually arrive in the beta as well. Although the current iOS 18 beta technically doesn’t support RCS, there’s always someone who manages to turn these features on anyway. This time around, it was X (formerly Twitter) user @dhinakg who appears to have got it working first.

You’ll notice that the green bubble denoting Android users is still very much present, but now iMessage at least offers features like delivery status. File transfers also work great, supporting higher resolutions and sizes than SMS.

rcs ios18
Dhinak G

Although it works well enough in most cases, RCS on iOS 18 is still a work in progress. Android users can send messages to iPhone users and even participate in group chats, though there’s no end-to-end encryption (E2EE) support between the two platforms yet. Additionally, the iPhone doesn’t send read receipts for group chats, and the receipts sent by Android phones in groups are not visible either. These receipts work fine in single chats, however.

For now, the ability to turn on RCS in the iOS 18 beta is pretty much reserved for extreme tinkerers, but at least we have a better idea of what it will look like now. Even if you could get it to work, the feature currently only works on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. Of course, carrier support is expected to widen by the time the iOS 18 stable build rolls out.

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