Home / iOS / Tim Cook explains why Apple refuses to adopt RCS: ‘Buy your mom an iPhone’

Tim Cook explains why Apple refuses to adopt RCS: ‘Buy your mom an iPhone’

Apple CEO Tim Cook sat down with Kara Swisher at Code Conference today alongside Jony Ive and Laurene Powell Jobs. During the question and answer section of the interview, Cook was asked about Apple’s refusal to adopt the Rich Communication Services standard, or RCS. Cook’s answer was unsurprising…

Tim Cook on RCS for iPhone

Cook said: “I don’t see our users asking us to put a lot of energy into that at this point. I would love to convert you to an iPhone.”

The questioner then proceeded to explain that because his mom uses an Android device, he can’t send her certain videos due to the reliance on SMS. Cook’s response was telling the person simply to “buy your mom an iPhone.”

Apple has long refused to adopt RCS, which would bring many iMessage-like features to cross-platform communication between iPhone and Android devices. RCS offers a number of upgrades over traditional SMS. This includes things like typing indicators, improved group chats, higher-res and larger size attachments, and much more.

In fact, Google recently launched a wide-ranging advertising campaign pressuring Apple to adopt RCS. “Apple should fix what’s broken,” Google says in the ads.

It’s time for Apple to fix texting.

It’s not about the color of the bubbles. It’s the tiny photos and videos, no texting over wifi and no read receipts. Apple creates these problems when we text each other from iPhones and Android phones, but does nothing to fix it.

Apple has no incentive to adopt RCS and instead continues to make upgrades to its own iMessage platform. The company has made minor improvements to the SMS experience between iPhone and Android devices, including better support for Tapbacks in iOS 16. Other than that, it’s clear Apple has no intention of spending time on the RCS technology.

What do you think? Should Apple adopt RCS? Let us know down in the comments.

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