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Apple finally gets the message: RCS goes live for iOS 18 beta users

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers running iOS 18 beta 2 can now enjoy the upgraded messaging experience.

Published onJune 26, 2024

Apple iMessages on iPhone stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • iOS 18 beta 2 includes a new RCS option in the iPhone’s Settings app, allowing testers to toggle it as desired.
  • Despite the RCS toggle being on by default, the feature itself didn’t work on iPhones for a couple of days.
  • US carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, have now rolled out support for RCS on iPhone, enabling testers to finally use it.

Following multiple “Help Apple get the message” campaigns by Google, the iPhone maker announced last year that it would adopt RCS in 2024. Well, the wait is finally over — for some, at least. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have now rolled out RCS support to US users running iOS 18 beta 2.

As spotted by multiple Reddit users, the RCS functionality finally works for those using a compatible US carrier. While iOS 18 beta 2 was released on Monday, RCS wasn’t initially working. That’s because individual carriers must manually update their bundles that ship with iOS.

If you have installed iOS 18 beta 2 and are an AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon customer, the new RCS toggle should be on by default. You could double-check by heading to the Messages section of the Settings app. Notably, some users have had to reboot their iPhones to get the feature to work. So, if it’s still not active on your end, you could try restarting your device.

For those unfamiliar, RCS relies on an internet connection to enable more advanced texting features. These include typing indicators, read receipts, emoji reactions, high-quality media, voice notes, and more. It’s similar to iMessage, WhatsApp, and other instant messaging apps that rely on Wi-Fi or mobile data.

Perhaps the best part about RCS is its cross-platform availability and not prompting users to install third-party apps. However, given that iOS 18 requires carriers to individually support the feature, some iPhone users may not be able to use RCS for the foreseeable future.

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