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Does APPLE support RCS Messaging?

First of all, what is RCS messaging? RCS is a communication protocol between mobile telephone carriers and phone users aiming at replacing SMS messages with a text message system with added features like phonebook polling and in-call multimedia transmission. RCS, an acronym for Rich Communication Systems, is an upgrade from normal, regular text messaging. With RCS technology, individuals, brands, digital advertising agencies and wireless operators can actually send multimedia files like high definition image messages, audio files, video files and lots more. The opportunities RCS present can actually revolutionize personal messaging and text message marketing . Imagine being able to send clear, high definition images of a product to a prospective client, send an audio file explaining the usage, advantages, and factors affecting the usage of that product, and even send a high definition video perfectly explaining how the product works, all as a text message. RCS is a digital technology that is ready to greatly impact the advertising world if utilized to its full potential.

In the United States, and in several other parts of the world, there are diverse types of mobile devices. With every passing day, mind-blowing advancements in technology are making smartphones even smarter. Over the past decades, several new technologies that have been incorporated into the world of mobile phones have transformed these handheld digital companions from simple devices for calling and texting to powerful communication devices capable of intense gaming, multimedia exchange and even word processing and worksheet preparation. With the help of the web, people no longer have to leave the comforts of their homes to shop; they can now purchase almost anything in the world with their debit or credit cards, and their mobile phones. Even though smartphones have developed to such an extent, one technology that is still in its incubation stage, though it can actually revolutionize our use of smartphones forever, is RCS technology. There is a little glitch though.

Statistically, roughly 50% of the American population that use mobile phones use Apple’s iPhone, while the other 50% use smartphones that run on the Android operating system developed by Google. The Operating System a phone runs on is a key determining factor of the phone’s software properties, and to a large extent, decides what the phone can and cannot do, in conjunction with a number of other factors like the phone’s Random Access Memory, its processor speed, the kind of processor it runs on and a bunch of other hardware and software factors. But, the operating system is very important. The operating system the mobile device runs on usually determines whether the device can or cannot perform a particular function. The operating system also determines the device’s layout.

Apart from the iOS owned and used by Apple, and the Android OS owned by Google and used on Android phones, Blackberry and Windows phones also have their own operating systems with their own peculiar features, but neither of them are quite as popular as iOS and Android. Now, how is RCS messaging concerned with a phones’ operating systems? It’s quite simple. Apple’s iOS, because of the way it has been constructed, does not support RCS messaging. This means that due to some inner technological incompatibility between iOS and RCS messaging technology, as of now, RCS messaging cannot work on mobile devices manufactured by Apple and run on iOS.

But does the fact that an operating system, which constitutes the backbone of a phone brand used by 50% of the American population, is incompatible with RCS messaging, which is hoped to be the future of text message marketing, such a huge problem? The fact that RCS is not yet compatible with Apple devices is actually not such a huge problem. Since RCS is merely an alternative platform to several other platforms like the electronic mail, short messaging service and a bunch of other communication forms, the fact that RCS and Apple devices are not compatible is not a major problem.

If a brand desires to utilize RCS technology in sending its text messages to its consumers, all it has to do is organize a query into the phone and messaging software of its customer’s phones, and find out which ones can receive RCS messages, and which ones can’t. Once the advertisers or senders figure that out, all they have to do is utilize RCS technology in sending their intended messages to their customers who have RCS-friendly devices, and use an alternative platform to send the same message to people whose devices do not support RCS technology at that point in time.

Most mobile companies, especially the tech-giants with lion shares in the consumer market usually tend to evolve over time to meet the needs of their teeming consumers, to boost sales and to avoid losing customers. It is likely, therefore, that if there is a general desire by Apple consumers for RCS compatibility, with time, Apple phones may eventually be designed to allow for seamless RCS.

(Inspired by Tatango)

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