Skip to main content

Apple Likely Adopting RCS Messaging Standard to Comply With Chinese Law

Apple's surprise decision to bring RCS support to its Messages app for iPhone later this year was not a result of impending EU legislation, but an about-face caused by Chinese political pressure, claimed a report over the weekend.


In November 2023, Apple announced that it planned to bring RCS (Rich Communication Services) support to Messages alongside iMessage, a move that seemingly came out of the blue, given Apple's staunch resistance to pressure from Google and Samsung to adopt the communication protocol.

In the weeks that followed, one popular theory for Apple's reversal was that its hand had been forced by the EU's Digital Markets Act, which would have required Apple to make changes to iMessage to make it interoperable with other platforms.

That theory has since been debunked for two reasons. First, the DMA does not specifically mention RCA as a requirement of interoperability between messaging platforms. And second, the EU earlier this month concluded that iMessage does not hold a dominant enough position to be brought under the DMA's strict rules for services provided by big tech's so-called digital "gatekeepers."

A more plausible theory has since been offered by John Gruber, who says "little birdies" (Gruber's code for sources at Apple) tell him that "iOS support for RCS is all about China."

Writing on his blog Daring Fireball, Gruber points to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which in July 2023 solicited feedback for upcoming rules that would require new 5G devices to support RCS (an English translation of the law can be found on Reddit).

"I can't say for certain," admits Gruber, "but after spending the last few months periodically poking around the trees inhabited by little birdies, I do have good news for fans of coercive government regulation. Apple's hand was effectively forced. But by China, not the EU."

As Gruber notes, reports that Apple's decision was influenced by inbound EU regulations subsequently make "zero sense." Apple would prefer, says Gruber, "simply to continue ignoring RCS, on the grounds that they want to support neither any new non-E2EE protocols, nor any new carrier-controlled protocols (whether encrypted or not). But when the [Chinese Communist Party] says device makers must jump to sell their products in China, Apple asks 'How high?'"

Gruber's full piece is worth a read over on Daring Fireball. As for RCS coming to the Messages app, support for the protocol should result in several improvements to the default messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices, such as higher-resolution photos, audio messages, read receipts, improved group chats, and typing indicators.

Apple said RCS support in Messages would arrive "later" in 2024, which corresponds with the timeframe we expect iOS 18 to be released, suggesting it could be a feature of Apple's next major software update.
This article, "Apple Likely Adopting RCS Messaging Standard to Comply With Chinese Law" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums



Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

Apple and Meta Reportedly Discussed AI Partnership for iOS 18

Apple has held discussions with Meta about integrating the Facebook owner's AI model into iOS 18 as part of its Apple Intelligence feature set, according to a report over the weekend. Meta launched Llama 2, its large language model, in July 2023, and in April, the company released the latest versions of its AI models, called Llama 3 . The Wall Street Journal reports that the two longtime rivals have held talks about offering Meta's model as an additional option to OpenAI's ChatGPT. The paywalled report notes that the discussions haven't been finalized and could fall through. As part of Apple Intelligence, Apple has announced a partnership with OpenAI that will allow Siri to access ChatGPT directly in iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia to provide better responses in relevant situations. Using ChatGPT will be optional, so users with concerns about the technology can abstain and still make use of Apple's own new AI features. Speaking at WWDC 2024, Apple's

Apple Wasn't Interested in AI Partnership With Meta Due to Privacy Concerns

Apple turned down an AI partnership with Facebook parent company Meta due to privacy concerns, according to a report from Bloomberg . Meta and Apple had a brief discussion about a possible partnership in March, but the talks did not progress and Apple does not plan to integrate Meta's large language model (LLM) into iOS. Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal suggested that Apple and Meta were in active discussions about integrating Llama, Facebook's LLM, into iOS 18 as part of Apple Intelligence. The report suggested that the discussions were ongoing had not been finalized, but Bloomberg 's follow-up indicates Apple never seriously considered a partnership. Preliminary talks happened at the same time that Apple began discussions with OpenAI and Google parent company Alphabet, but Apple decided not to move on to a more formal discussion because "it doesn't see that company's privacy practices as stringent enough." Apple did end up signing a d

iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 16 Pro: 60+ Upgrades to Expect

The iPhone 16 Pro is set to succeed 2023's iPhone 15 Pro , introducing over 25 new features and improvements to Apple's high-end smartphones. With many users adopting three-year upgrade cycles, plenty of iPhone 13 Pro owners will be looking to upgrade to the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ later this year, so this guide breaks down every major difference you should be aware of between the two generations based on rumors. The ‌‌iPhone 13‌‌ Pro debuted in 2021, introducing a brighter display with ProMotion technology for refresh rates up to 120Hz, the A15 Bionic chip, a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, macro photography and photographic styles, Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field, ProRes video recording, a 1TB storage option, and up to five hours of additional battery life. Three years later, the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ is expected to offer over 60 upgrades. All of the changes the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ models are expected to feature compared to their 2021 predecessors

Here Are the macOS Sequoia Features Intel Macs Won't Support

When Apple released macOS Monterey in 2021, some key features required a Mac with Apple silicon. The same scenario played out with macOS Ventura in 2022, and then again the following year with the release of macOS Sonoma. With macOS Sequoia set to arrive in the fall, which new features can Intel Mac owners expect to be unavailable to them this time around? Apple says that macOS Sequoia is compatible with the same Macs as macOS Sonoma, but Apple's fine print reveals that certain new features won't work on Intel machines. If you're still on an Intel Mac, here's what you won't have access to. Apple Intelligence Apple Intelligence , a deeply integrated, personalized AI feature set for Apple devices that uses cutting-edge generative artificial intelligence to enhance the user experience, won't be available on Intel Macs. Apple says the advanced features require its M1 chip or later, so if your Mac was released before November 2020, you're out of luck. T