What’s RCS and what makes it higher than SMS?

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What’s RCS and what makes it higher than SMS?

SMS has been with us for over 1 / 4 of a century and it received’t go away anytime quickly. Nevertheless it’s actually displaying its age and plenty of have moved to instantaneous messaging – WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk – for the handy options these apps provide over plain SMS.

Not too long ago Google has began (with the assistance of carriers) to push RCS – Wealthy Communication Companies. If we needed to describe it in three phrases they might be “iMessage for Android”.

RCS vs. IM

Why not simply maintain utilizing WhatsApp or one of many others? That’s why – SMS is a core characteristic of cellular networks and each telephone helps it, there are not any “others”, no competing and incompatible requirements. If somebody has a cell phone quantity, they will obtain an SMS and it’s that reliability and ubiquity that retains the previous texting system alive.


RCS takes plenty of inspiration from instantaneous messaging apps. Enhancements over SMS embody the apparent issues: no message size restrict and native help for group chats. However there’s extra.

You possibly can ship recordsdata over RCS, which suggests full decision pictures, a marked enchancment over the heavy compression in MMS (even some IM apps compress pictures earlier than sending them). This can be used for basic file sharing, so you’ll be able to ship somebody a PDF with out going by means of electronic mail.

Since RCS is a service characteristic, they will detect when a telephone isn’t RCS-compatible and fall again to plain SMS. This ensures that messages might be delivered, even when they lose the superior performance.

RCS is adopting many features we're used to from instant messaging apps
RCS is adopting many features we're used to from instant messaging apps
RCS is adopting many features we're used to from instant messaging apps

RCS is adopting many options we’re used to from instantaneous messaging apps

RCS will even have an online interface, so you’ll be able to seamlessly transfer between texting in your telephone and on a pc (should you’re utilizing Google’s Messages app, you’ll be able to already do that with SMS too).

Nonetheless, the place RCS actually shines is how companies need to use it.

RCS for companies

RCS can ship custom-made content material and provides interactive options. Think about this: you purchase a ticket, the corporate sends you an RCS message with a QR code boarding cross. A button will deliver up further choices (e.g. a lunch menu) and if additional cost is important, you’ll be able to full all of it with out leaving the Messages app.

Or a supply firm sends you a message about an incoming parcel and there are helpful buttons to trace the supply or redirect it if wanted. Or a lodge reservation with a map to get you there and call information.

RCS messages can deliver app-like functions
RCS messages can deliver app-like functions
RCS messages can deliver app-like functions

RCS messages can ship app-like features

Okay, these items may be carried out over SMS and electronic mail too. Nonetheless, RCS guarantees a unified and streamlined expertise – and the shine of a brand new, trendy platform.


RCS verifies the sender of every message, which ought to assist combat phishing and different scams. Nonetheless, the system has been criticized for not supporting end-to-end encryption (like iMessage, Telegram and others), which raises privateness considerations.

RCS vs. iMessage

Google doesn’t have the most effective historical past in relation to launching messaging platforms, however RCS is an trade commonplace with service help. It’s coming, the one query is how shortly it’s going to exchange SMS.

We guess Apple might have a significant affect on how shortly RCS is adopted – no help on iPhone would imply folks in western markets (the place Apple has a big market share) will follow WhatsApp when they should chat throughout platforms. However RCS on iPhone may spell doom for iMessage, so we will see why Tim Cook dinner & co. is likely to be reluctant to undertake the brand new system.

Can I exploit RCS right this moment?

If you happen to’re in Japan, completely. North America and a few European nations have a number of RCS-enabled carriers too. This is the official checklist of carriers that help RCS.

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