Google launches a public plea asking Apple to add RCS to iPhones

The search giant is continuing its efforts to beg Apple to bring RCS to iPhones - but it's unclear if it'll work.

It’s nothing short of ridiculous, the situation surrounding messaging between iPhones and Android phones. It has been for years – blue bubbles versus green bubbles, group chats getting destroyed, photos and videos arriving blurry. This is all essentially Apple’s fault for refusing to adopt RCS, a new messaging standard that’s replaced SMS and MMS and has landed on virtually every major Android phone brand.

RCS offers a lot of features that make iMessage great such as high-quality photo and video sharing, typing indicators, end-to-end encryption, and emoji reactions. I enjoy using it every time I slot my SIM card in an Android phone because of how much more enjoyable it is to use compared to SMS. I understand why Apple refuses to adopt RCS – if it offered such similar features to iMessage between iPhones and Android phones, it would cannibalize the tight grip it has on people who stay on iPhone simply to access iMessage. But it clearly drives a poor user experience, both on iOS and Android, and Google is starting to get tired of it.

The new “Get the Message” page from Google which lets you know everything wrong with messaging between iPhones and Android phones. | Google

The search giant has publicly advocated for RCS to make its way to iPhones in the past, and today, it took another stab at convincing the Cupertino tech giant that it’s the right thing to do. A new “Get the Message” page has gone live which lists various reasons why RCS adoption on iPhones will simply make messaging better.

“It’s not about the color of the bubbles. It’s the blurry videos, broken group chats, missing read receipts and typing indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi, and more,” the page reads. “These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards when people with iPhones and Android phones text each other.”

Everything Google points out on the page is true. SMS messaging is an incredibly old standard, dating back to the 1990s well before the age of the modern smartphone. When put in that perspective, it’s a little crazy to think that Apple is still forcing iPhone-to-Android conversations to rely on that standard. But again, anything remotely close to iMessage on Android spells doom for the ecosystem lock-in that comes with using iMessage.

By the way, the “Get the Message” page features this TikTok from my buddy, Max Weinbach, which I highly recommend watching if you want a quick refresher on the difference between all of these messaging standards.

Will this new public plea from Google get Apple to respond and bring RCS to iPhones? I honestly doubt it. The company has been reluctant to do it so far, so why do it now? They know the advantages to RCS, which is likely the reason why it hasn’t floated over to iOS.

Yes, I long for the day where I don’t send and receive crappy photos and videos with my Android friends on my iPhone. I want end-to-end encryption as much as the next guy, and I really don’t want group chats to get disrupted like they do now whenever you add someone with green bubbles to the mix. But I don’t want to force everyone I know to use a third-party solution – you should be able to just use your phone’s built-in texting app and achieve all of that.

Maybe one day. Until then, I don’t see Google slowing its attacks anytime soon. Let’s just hope it’s not all for nothing.