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Here’s how your conversations with Android users will look in iOS 18

The release of the second iOS 18 developer beta this week brought the first look at one of the most anticipated new features: RCS messages. And now that carriers have begun flipping the switches on the service, users are eagerly testing out the feature with their Android friends—and everyone is loving it.

While it’s not nearly as full-featured as iMessage (and non-Apple devices will still be designated with green bubbles), RCS messaging brings several features users have wanted for years, including:

  • Typing indicators
  • Read and Delivered receipts
  • Tapback replies with any emoji
  • High-quality photos and videos
  • Large file sharing
  • Audio messages

The new features also extend to group chats, which no longer bring the whole conversation back to SMS levels. Now conversations with a mix of Android and iPhone users will be “more reliable,” according to Apple, but users will only notice that basic iMessage features will no longer be unavailable.

Of course, Android users still won’t have access to exclusive iMessage features, including editing and deleting messages, stickers, and message effects. Messages also won’t be end-to-end encrypted at launch, though Apple says it is working with the GSM Association “to evolve RCS and make messaging more equitable and secure.”