Here's your first look at iOS 18 RCS support, but you'll have to wait for a later beta release to try it for yourself

Beeper Mini iMessage on Android
(Image credit: Future / Apple / Android)

We already knew that RCS messaging support was coming to the iPhone this year but Apple finally confirmed that it would be part of iOS 18 when the software was unveiled at WWDC on June 10. That update won't arrive until the fall, but someone is already testing RCS out right now.

Apple released the first developer beta of iOS 18 immediately following the software's unveiling last week but while RCS support will be part of the final update, it isn't yet available in this build. At least, not officially.

But that hasn't stopped some people from finding a way to unlock it right now and by all accounts it works pretty much as you'd expect it to. Of course, that isn't to say that there aren't some caveats at the moment.

Getting the message

Screenshots of the unlocked and functioning RCS feature were shared to the X social network by @dhinakg alongside some details of what's working and what isn't.

The first thing to note is that RCS support appears to work only on AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States, but that will obviously change by the time iOS 18 is available to the world. We also know that group chats work as do file transfers, but some other components aren't yet working properly —including replies, which seems like a big one.

Apple hasn't yet confirmed exactly when it will make RCS available to beta testers, but with iOS 18 set to be released in public beta form next month, it's possible the two things could coincide.

iPhone 15 Pro | $999 at Apple

iPhone 15 Pro | $999 at Apple

The iPhone 15 Pro is still the best iPhone that Apple has ever made, and it'll remain that way for a little while yet. It's fast, sleek, and gorgeous, and you can get yours from Apple right now.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.