Today, many applications send text messages irrespective of whether you’re using an iPhone or Android. You probably have also learned of various acronyms such as SMS and MMS, but there’s also the next generation RCS. We will address what those terms mean, the rise of RCS, and how RCS will change the text messaging landscape.
The Differences and Similarities Between SMS and MMS
SMS means Short Messaging Service. It was developed in the 1980s and established in the GSM specifications of 1985, and is one of the oldest texting technologies. It is also the most widely used. MMS is an acronym for Multimedia Messaging System. It was developed using the same technologies as SMS to allow multimedia content to be sent to SMS users. It is most used to send images, but can also be used to send audio, contacts, and video files.
Since SMS and MMS are sent over a cellular network, the telecommunications providers only need a wireless service to get going. The length for each SMS message is limited to 160 characters. If a message meets this limit based on its length, it is broken up into multiple fragments of 160 characters each. Many carriers now string these messages together instantly to make sure that they arrive in order. There is no minimum limit to the MMS texts. Although their maximum size varies on the carrier and the device, there is often talk of 300 KB as the largest size that most carriers can accommodate efficiently.
What about RCS?
Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a new online text messaging standard, selected by the GSMA Association for the 2008 implementation and is intended to replace the current SMS messaging standard. All these companies took a while to accept the new protocol and so the GSMA couldn’t come up with something similar to the norm until 2016. According to GMSA, the so-called Universal Profile reflects a “single, industry-agreed set of features and technical enablers.”
How is RCS Better Than SMS?
RCS brings more multimedia features such as sending GIFs, high resolution images, and videos. You will know if your contact is available, and you can send a receipt to confirm their acceptance of your message. You can write longer messages and add bigger files. RCS makes group messaging easier to answer than SMS. In short, RCS functions much like iMessaging.
Is RCS Available Yet?
For now, Google supports RCS, but the phone carriers are responsible for pushing it out. When Apple fully adopts RCS, SMS can presumably be used in the Messages app on the iPhone. At most. it ensures that you will not have to wait for “green bubble” friends to send and receive messages, and that you will also enjoy full multimedia messages. But, as iMessage and many other Internet communications systems do, RCS will not use encryption from one end to the next.
Just a few carriers and even smaller applications are available in RCS, which ensures that most users are not yet able to make use of it. This next step of text messaging will be critical and will facilitate communication.