Google SMS RCS chats with iPhones have some quirks

Earlier this week, Apple introduced iOS 18 Beta 2 With support for Rich Communication Services (in the US), the experience of using Google Messages to talk to someone with an iPhone over RCS is very simple, although it is 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 carrierLike AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon. Currently, RCS can’t be enabled on iOS if you’re using an MVNO, like Google Fi. However, it doesn’t matter which carrier your Android recipient uses once you’ve enabled 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 mark a conversation that is not end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) with a padlock icon with a slash. The message details will indicate the type as “Rich Communication Service message” instead of “Encrypted Rich Communication Service 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, there is also an option to “leave the group”.

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Before iOS 18 launches in the fall, Google will supposedly update Messages to address these inconsistencies. Other than that, the experiment is pretty simple, and should have happened much sooner.

More about Google Messages:

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