Happy birthday and farewell, SMS! It’s time for RCS

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Tomorrow marks 30 years since a software engineer sent the world’s first SMS message. Let’s just say texting’s come a long way. Not to date myself, but I’ve been texting for a pretty long time — before there were even smartphones. When I first started texting, my messages were super pixelated and grayscale, and emoji were but a twinkle in emoticons’ eyes. Remember 😉 and <3 ? I sure do.

While I’m all for nostalgia, in this case I also want to look in the other direction. Phones today are capable of so much more; my current phone is a completely different device than my first. Texting should — and could — be even better than how it started, too, with the help of RCS. (Frankly, most people outside the U.S. already know and experience this!) RCS stands for Rich Communication Services, and it’s what nearly the entire industry has adopted as the next generation of cross-platform texting.

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