All phones have a built-in SMS text messaging app, but Android smartphones allow users to send text messages through something called RCS. But what is the difference between SMS and RCS Messages ?
SMS and RCS are communication protocols, and while SMS relies on simplicity and provides limited features, RCS offers additional features and provides a richer messaging experience.
When using SMS, you are limited to writing short, straightforward texts, while RCS lets you send photos, videos, GIFs, locations, and more. On the other hand, SMS relies on the cellular network, while RCS works through the cellular data network or Wi-Fi connection.
Here are some more details, to show you the difference:
SMS text messages:
SMS stands for Short Text Message Service, and is used to send and receive short text messages over the mobile network, and does not need mobile data or Wi-Fi to operate.
This service offers features that seem very outdated in the age of instant messaging and social media apps. For example: SMS only allows sending SMS messages that do not exceed 160 characters, including numbers and symbols, and you cannot exceed this number within one SMS, and if you exceed it, your message will be separated into two messages.
On the other hand, you cannot send pictures, videos, audio, or GIFs via SMS.
RCS is the abbreviation of the term (Rich Communication Services), and it is a communication protocol that differs from SMS in many aspects, as it allows adding a greater number of characters in each message. You can also add all kinds of media to your messages, allowing you to share photos, videos, and GIFs. You can also send location data, create group chats, and encrypt your messages as well.
The only advantage that SMS has over RCS is that it is available on almost every mobile phone, whether it is a regular phone, an Android smartphone, or an iPhone. While using RCS requires a phone that supports this feature, and dealing with a carrier that supports RCS. The other party you want to message must also have the same capabilities, and only then will the conversation be through RCS.
On the other hand, iPhone phones do not support RCS at all, as Apple relies on its iMessage service for text messaging between iPhone phones, which makes all text communications between iPhone and Android phones be via SMS only.
What are the benefits of using RCS instead of SMS?
As mentioned, RCS has several advantages over SMS. The main benefit of RCS is that you get a seamless chatting experience similar to messaging apps like: WhatsApp and Telegram. In addition, RCS greatly expands the richness of your conversations, as you can add photos and videos, share your location, and more.
These features are excellent for companies that want to use RCS for marketing because instead of relying on short, boring text, they can write more creative advertising and promotional materials.
On the other hand, RCS messages can be sent completely free of charge, while carriers charge a fee for the SMS you send.
Who can use RCS?
Most of the major carriers around the world support RCS. As for smartphones, all Android phones are capable of using RCS, but you need to deal with a carrier that supports RCS.
As for messaging applications, the Google Messages application supports RCS and comes pre-installed in most new Android smartphones, and if not, you can download it from the Google Play Store .
In addition, Samsung Messages supports RCS. As for iPhone users , they cannot use RCS because their phones do not support this protocol as mentioned earlier, but they rely on iMessage for messaging.
|SMS & MMS||OTT Messaging Apps (Messenger||RCS|
|Messaging supported on all carrier cellular networks||✅||🚫||✅|
|Unlimited message sizes||🚫||✅||✅|
|Support for larger photo and video media files||🚫||✅||✅|
|Support for video calls||🚫||✅||✅|
|Verified message senders||🚫||✅||✅|
|Inline action buttons like “schedule appointment”||🚫||🚫||✅|