iPhone SE 2022 5G review (14)

Apple has no reason to make iMessage work better with Android

Last week, Google launched a new campaign calling on Apple to “fix texting” by using RCS messages on iPhones, highlighting the various ways Apple’s insistence on keeping SMS as a fallback to iMessage harms the texting experience for everyone, including iPhone users. It’s the latest in the longstanding green bubble controversy, and Google makes some good points (yet). But it will take more than some sponsored public shaming by Vanessa Hudgens to make Apple change its mind about this.

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When an iPhone texts another iPhone, messages are delivered through Apple’s iMessage platform, which includes all the modern messaging conveniences we know, such as type designations, read receipts, message responses, and high-quality photos and videos. But if the person on the other end of that text isn’t using an iPhone (or has iMessage turned off), messages will be sent via SMS or MMS instead.

If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you’ve probably at least heard of the green bubble drama surrounding texting from iPhone to Android. One-to-one conversations between Android phones and iPhones are old-fashioned SMS exchanges without any of the newer conveniences mentioned above. Google has made it so that its Messages app can interpret the Tapback spam texts generated when iPhone users “respond” to text messages as correct inline responses. Still, there is no way to graft most modern messaging features onto the existing SMS framework.


The situation in group texts is even more dire. If only one person who is not on iMessage participates in a multi-participant iMessage chat, the entire chat will be downgraded to MMS, making the experience worse for everyone involved. In addition, participants who are not using an iPhone will not be able to leave the conversation. In countries like the US, which still rely heavily on pre-installed texting apps for communication, it’s easy to see how the added hassle of texting an Android user can gently put some iPhone users off. to talk to people who don’t also have an iPhone, especially when it comes to inviting them to more extensive chats.

Google also draws attention to the fact that SMS and MMS are older and less secure than the RCS standard now common on Android phones: while one-to-one RCS conversations are encrypted, SMS and MMS conversations are not that.

All this is good for Apple.

A new Get the Message page on Android.com describes all this in simple terms and highlights where Apple’s reliance on SMS for iMessage’s fallback is horrendous, not just for Android users but for Apple’s customers as well. It’s hard to find fault with Google’s arguments, but they all seem to ignore an important fact: this is all good for Apple.

Falling back to RCS instead of SMS would indeed provide a better SMS experience for both iPhone and Android users – with support for features such as large media files and read receipts, RCS offers much of what makes iMessage desirable and could alleviate most of the friction. involved in including Android users in iPhone group chats. But that friction is also part of what keeps iPhone users returning upgrade after upgrade. If buying a Pixel 7 means everyone you want to talk to will become harder to communicate with overnight, you’re probably buying the latest iPhone.


While many major tech companies offer complete ecosystems of products (as I write this, I’m using a Samsung phone hooked up to both a Samsung watch and Samsung earbuds), Apple is extremely notorious for its ecosystem lock down. The hardware business is largely based on making customers want to buy more Apple products — not necessarily because they love the products they already have, but because buying anything else would be a hassle.

RCS in iMessage would be a crack in Apple’s garden wall big enough for some customers to slip through. No debt from Google, however appropriately placed, will make that an attractive proposition for the sixth largest company in the world.


#Apple #reason #iMessage #work #Android

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