At 9to5Mac, Chance Miller writes:
In a surprising move, Apple has announced today that it will adopt the RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging standard. The feature will launch via a software update “later next year” and bring a wide range of iMessage-style features to messaging between iPhone and Android users.
Vast amounts are being written about this online (Ars Technica, Daring Fireball, Six Colors, TechRadar), but it sounds like it comes down to green-bubble friends being able to send higher-resolution photos and videos and remove themselves from group chats. Plus, green-bubble conversations will support pass-along of location data, typing indicators, and read receipts. Currently, Messages falls back on the crufty SMS and MMS standards for text messages. Apple has confirmed that RCS conversations will continue to use green bubbles, compared with iMessage’s blue bubbles, so I suspect most iPhone users won’t notice the change.