Google may have just revealed when the iPhone is getting RCS message support

iPhone 15 Plus review front straight
RCS is on the way to phones like the iPhone 15 Plus (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Apple has already told us it's going to add support for the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging standard on the iPhone at some point this year, and now Google may have just revealed when in 2024 the update is going to happen.

A new landing page for Google Messages (via 9to5Google) says Apple "will be adopting RCS in the fall of 2024", so we're looking at September, October, or November. It'll be spring for those of you in the southern hemisphere, of course.

Or at least, that's what the landing page originally said: it seems this particular bit of information has now been removed. Perhaps Apple would rather it was able to make the announcement itself, when the time comes.

That time window is of course when we're expecting the iPhone 16 and iOS 18, so it makes sense that RCS support would get added at the same time that Apple is unveiling its latest smartphones and its latest software upgrade for those smartphones. We should hear more about iOS 18 at Apple's WWDC 2024 event on June 10.

The benefits of RCS

The rest of the Google Messages landing page highlights the various features you get with the app on Android. One bit of blurb says dynamic reactions are "coming soon" with RCS, suggesting you'll be able to react to messages with a variety of visual effects across both Android and iOS (this is currently handled by the app itself, not RCS).

There are also mentions of some of the other features we've seen rolled out to Google Messages recently, including Photomoji (using photos as stickers) and the option to have AI write your messages for you, if you're lacking inspiration.

Spam blocking, end-to-end encryption, and support for Wear OS devices are given shout outs too. It's a comprehensive overview of everything you get with RCS, which Google is pushing as a major improvement over the old SMS standard.

Having RCS support in the Messages app on iOS should mean a more seamless experience if you're chatting to people who aren't on the same mobile platform as you – though Android users will still show up as green bubbles on the iPhone.

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.