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  • Ben Lake

Geek Speak: SMS, MMS, RCS, & iMessage

I remember back when texting first became popular. My cell phone plan at the time cost me $0.25 for each message so I was a late adopter. These days we all seem to text, but the technology behind it has developed to support our insatiable appetite for short snippets of text. SMS stands for Short Message Service and is the original texting technology: no more than 160 characters. It’s still around, but any group text or text containing an image is sent by MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service. SMS and MMS are the bedrock of our texting obsession, but in certain cases are being replaced by two more modern versions. iMessage is a text service exclusive to Apple products. It sends its data through Apple’s servers and offers features like end-to-end encryption and knowing when a message is delivered. RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is Android’s answer to iMessage and offers similar features. The good news about all these texting technologies is that your phone will automatically decide which method is the best option at the time – no user input needed!


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