Major RCS update will improve messaging between iPhone and Android users — here’s how

Google Messages on Android phone next to Messages app on iPhone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

GSMA, the association responsible for maintaining Rich Communication Services (RCS) has released a new update aiming to improve communication between Android and iPhone users

According to a recent report from 9to5Google, the update, known as Universal Profile 2.7, was finalized in June with support for “more engaging messaging experiences.” The update includes enabling Replies and reactions, including Custom Reactions, to both sent and received messages. The update will also allow the message sender to edit, recall and even delete messages that were sent earlier for themselves and the message recipient. 

Currently ,iOS Messages and Google Messages convert the reactions in SMS conversations so that the emoji appears on the screen. This new update means that the apps will not have to translate each reaction, making the whole process much smoother. There’s also support for Custom reactions, for instance, Genmojis or photomojis. iOS users will also see support for threaded RCS messages in conversations with Android users.

iOS 18 home screen customization features

(Image credit: Apple)

The ability to easily delete and edit messages has been a part of apps like Discord and WhatsApp for years, and its inclusion in RCS messaging will be a big bonus for users. Users will also be able to recall a recently sent message instead of deleting it. Finally, the new update will extend spam reporting to person-to-person messaging, making it much easier to report scammers. 

RCS communication between iPhone and Android is relatively recent, with Apple only announcing the feature for iOS 18 during its WWDC presentation. For many years Apple denied including RCS in its systems, instead focusing on pushing iMessage. Apple originally stated that this was due to security concerns, with RCS messaging not requiring end-to-end encryption (even though SMS is the same.) 

RCS’ inclusion in iPhones is still relatively new, so there are bound to be some bugs that need ironing out. This recent update proves that both companies are working with the GSMA to better improve the customer experience. RCS communication wasn’t the only thing announced for iPhones, so for more information have a look at our full WWDC iOS 18 breakdown for all the new features coming to the best iPhones

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.