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We now know when Apple is adding RCS to the iPhone

The iPhone 14 Plus held in a man's hand.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Last November, Apple made a surprise announcement when it confirmed that RCS was coming to the iPhone in 2024. It’s something iPhone and Android phone users alike have been waiting years for, but there was just one small problem: Apple never said when in 2024 RCS was coming. Thanks to Google, of all companies, we now have a better idea of when RCS is heading to the iPhone.

As spotted by 9to5Google, the Android website was recently updated with a new page dedicated to Google Messages. If you click on the “See more features” button for the section talking about RCS, there’s a section titled “Better messaging for all” with the following text: “Apple has announced it will be adopting RCS in the fall of 2024. Once that happens, it will mean a better messaging experience for everyone.”

When Apple announced RCS support in November, all it said was that RCS was coming “later next year.” Google’s statement of this fall doesn’t provide an exact date, but it does give us a tighter release window. Assuming Apple’s plans don’t change between now and then, this means we should expect RCS to arrive on the iPhone in September, October, or November.

A screenshot of the Android website, showing information about RCS coming to the iPhone in fall 2024.
Google

This means RCS will almost certainly be a part of Apple’s upcoming iOS 18 update. Apple is expected to announce iOS 18 during WWDC 2024 this June, with the public release likely to coincide with the iPhone 16 launch in September. It’s possible we may have to wait until a “point” update like iOS 18.1 or iOS 18.2, but it shouldn’t go beyond that.

When RCS arrives on the iPhone, texting between iPhones and Android phones will be a much better experience than it is today. RCS will make conversations with Android users very similar to iMessage ones — adding things like typing indicators, read receipts, high-resolution photo sharing, better group chats, and more. There’s still a while to go before we get to fall and can finally use these things, but the light is finally at the end of the tunnel.

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Joe Maring
Section Editor, Mobile
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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