Google publicly calls for Apple to support RCS in iMessage, citing green bubbles as source of ‘bullying’
The company's senior VP of Android has had it with Apple's most prominent method of keeping people locked in their ecosystem.
Google is going on the defense of those who have been wondering when Apple would finally bite the bullet and bring RCS support to iMessage on iPhones. The company’s senior VP of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has publicly called for the Cupertino company to drop its old ways of locking users into its products with iMessage by relying on “peer pressure” and “bullying” to convince users that having blue text bubbles instead of green is better.
Lockheimer later specified that he’s not calling for Apple to bring iMessage to Android, but for the nonsense of making Android users feel less-than because their texts come up green on iPhones to stop.
The official Android Twitter account also commented on the issue, saying “iMessage should not benefit from bullying” and that “texting should bring us together, and the solution exists.”
Over the years, it’s become no secret that a certain subset of iPhone users believe receiving blue text messages from someone is a sign of their social status or financial wellbeing, while those who send green texts tend to be perceived as less-than or, in some cases, poor. It’s all thanks to Apple’s way of displaying how messages are sent, whereas iMessage users get the fancy blue color way while standard SMS gets a neon green.
Google believes a way to solve the social issue at play (or at least reduce its significance) is by Apple bringing RCS support to iPhones. The Android world has moved on from relying on SMS to send texts, instead adopting RCS which supports modern messaging features such as read receipts and HD video. The experience of two RCS users messaging each other is very similar to two iMessage users, which could be a reason why Apple hasn’t brought the standard to its own devices in order to protect iMessage’s dominance.
In emails uncovered by the infamous Epic v. Apple trial, the company was confirmed to be considering bringing iMessage to Android at one point in the past, but ultimately decided it would hurt them more than help them. It doesn’t seem like RCS will have the same effect, however, since it doesn’t have everything Apple packs into iMessage such as full-screen effects and games.
That being said, it’s hard to deny that Apple refusing to support RCS seems a little outrageous, especially considering how long it’s been available on Android. Whether the company ever brings the messaging standard to its own devices remains to be seen, but with Google’s public pleas for it to happen, there’s a chance the iPhone maker will reevaluate its practices in the texting world.