Apple did one thing bizarre at WWDC 2024

The Apple logo on the back of an iPhone 14.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Apple’s WWDC 2024 keynote has come and gone. As we anticipated, it was a huge one. From a lot of UI modifications in iOS 18 to Apple’s huge wager on AI with Apple Intelligence, it’s protected to say that this 12 months’s convention was one of the crucial memorable.

Of the 1 hour and 47 minute keynote, Apple spent quarter-hour speaking about iOS 18. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot of time, however the firm was going by means of new options quickly and coated a whole lot of floor. iOS 18 includes some pretty major changes for the iPhone and one of many greatest — RCS — was barely talked about.

Apple’s bizarre RCS announcement

Yes, it’s official. After announcing plans last November so as to add RCS to the iPhone, Apple confirmed right now that RCS is coming to your iPhone as a part of iOS 18. And it’s an enormous deal! RCS will carry many iMessage-like options to your conversations with individuals who have Android telephones. That means higher-quality picture/video sharing, higher group chats, typing indicators, learn receipts, and extra. It’s not an understatement to say it’s one of many greatest new iPhone options in years — regardless of how lengthy overdue it’s.

But I wouldn’t blame you in case you missed this piece of reports. Why? Because Apple barely mentioned something about it.

Apple didn’t point out RCS till the very finish of the iOS 18 phase, with Craig Federighi shortly mentioning “RCS messaging support” on the very finish of it. And that was all Apple needed to say — simply these three phrases. Nothing extra. It’s an analogous affair in the iOS 18 press release. Apple writes, “When messaging contacts who do not have an Apple device, the Messages app now supports RCS for richer media and more reliable group messaging compared to SMS and MMS.” That’s extra useful, however there’s no additional rationalization about what RCS options are supported, what RCS messaging will seem like, and so on.

We realize it’s coming, however that’s fairly actually it.

We want higher messaging than this

Close-up photo of the Messages app on an iPhone.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

On the one hand, I get it. Apple is barely including RCS to the iPhone because the European Union forced its hand to. If it have been as much as Apple, this in all probability by no means would have occurred. But it’s, and it’s an essential new function Apple wants to inform its customers about in a correct method.

Did RCS want an enormous, long-winded phase throughout this keynote? No, however we completely ought to have gotten extra than simply three phrases. We ought to have seen what it seems to be like and been given a correct rationalization about the way it works and what this implies for folks’s textual content conversations with non-iPhone customers.

I perceive Apple not eager to shine an enormous highlight on a function it was doubtless pressured into including. However, the reasoning for RCS being added to iOS 18 doesn’t matter. All that issues is that it is a main new function for iPhone customers in all places, and they need to be informed about it in a transparent, direct method — not in a approach that makes it seem like Apple is making an attempt to comb the information beneath the rug.

When iOS 18 arrives on iPhones later this fall, RCS goes to be an enormous deal, whether or not Apple likes it or not. You and I could perceive how essential that is and have already got an concept of the way it will work, however folks not obsessive about textual content messaging protocols could not have a clue about what RCS is, what it does, or why they need to care about it. It’s as much as Apple to verify these folks know easy methods to use RCS and are conscious of all of the options it would add to their iPhone.

Google Messages app on a Pixel 8 Pro, showing an RCS Chat message thread.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

If WWDC 2024 wasn’t the time Apple needed to offer that messaging, nice. But I actually hope it does finally present a correct rationalization and introduction to the world of RCS on the iPhone. Maybe it is going to be later this summer time when the iOS 18 public betas turn out to be accessible. Maybe we’ll get one alongside the iPhone 16 announcement later this 12 months. Maybe we gained’t get one in any respect! I actually hope that’s not the case, however contemplating how Apple skirted round RCS throughout its WWDC 2024 keynote, I wouldn’t be shocked if that occurred.

Personally, I can’t wait to get RCS on my iPhone. For my dad and mom and different relations who’ve Android telephones, it’s going to make textual content conversations with them infinitely higher than they’re right now. I simply hope Apple embraces this alteration and accepts how huge of a deal it’s relatively than brushing it off prefer it’s nothing in any respect.

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