July 24, 2024

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Google SMS RCS conversations with iPhones have some quirks

Google SMS RCS conversations with iPhones have some quirks

Earlier this week, Apple introduced… iOS 18 Beta 2 With support from Rich Communication Services (in the US). Trying out using Google Messages to talk to someone with an iPhone via RCS is pretty simple, though it’s clearly a first experience.

After updating to iOS 18 Beta 2, the RCS Messaging toggle (Settings > Apps > Messages) is enabled by default if you use Compatible carrier, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. Currently, it is not possible to enable RCS on iOS if you are using an MVNO, such as Google Fi. However, it doesn’t matter which carrier your Android recipient uses once you activate RCS on your iPhone.

In Google Messages, opening a conversation on your iPhone will show “RCS Message” in the text field. Delivery/read receipts and typing indicators, as well as high-resolution photos and videos, work fine.

iPhone and Android Chat via RCS

Google Messages will indicate that the conversation is not end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) with a padlock icon with a slash. The Message Details will indicate the Type as “RCS Message” instead of “RCS Encrypted End-to-End Message.”

Google is introducing its E2EE feature for one-on-one and group conversations in the Messages app on Android. Apple wants to add encryption to the RCS Universal Profile standard, so Google will presumably move on to whatever the industry group comes up with in the future.

Meanwhile, going to the conversation details page reveals some missing settings. When talking to someone using an iPhone, there is no “Send SMS and MMS only” on/off switch for this. There is also no card showing the E2EE status in most cases (unless the SIM cards were switched from Android to iOS and were previously active).

Android vs iOS

In group chats, you can change the name and sync it with all members, while there is also an option to ‘Leave Group’.

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Before iOS 18 launches in the fall, Google is expected to update the Messages app to address these inconsistencies. Otherwise, the experience is pretty straightforward, and should have happened much sooner.

More about Google Messages:

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