Apple CEO Tim Cook rejected the idea of adopting RCS messaging. This would eliminate the need for green bubbles around messages that are sent by iPhone users to Android devices.
During the recently held Vox Media’s Code 2022, Cook was asked how Steve Jobs would feel about the RCS standard being used in iMessage.
Cook replied, “I don’t hear our users asking about that at this point.”
However, LiQuan Hunter, who asked the question, returned with a complaint.
He claimed that his mother cannot see the videos he sent her.
The problem is due to a lack of interoperability between Apple’s iMessage and RCS (Rich Communication Service), the two messaging systems that can allow higher-quality videos and images shared — if they work together.
You’ve probably tried to send videos from Android to iOS or vice versa using your regular text messaging apps. The result was completely blurry on the other side.
Cook’s solution to this problem? “Buy your mom a new iPhone.”
Despite it being silly, the bubble color used in iMessage to distinguish Android users from other iPhone users (blue), has become a matter of contention. Google’s attempt to publicly shame Apple into adopting this standard has not had an effect on Cook who is now claiming to ignore it because of the opinions of iPhone users.
But there are many reasons behind Tim Cook giving a damn to Google’s complaint related to not adding RCS to iPhone. One of those reasons has Apple’s benefit as well which could possibly become problematic for the company if authorities decide to take note of it. Emails that came to the public domain in the Epic Games trial revealed that Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, sees it as one of the major factors that drive iPhone sales.
“iMessage for Android would simply serve [to remove] an obstacle to iPhone families giving to their children Android phones,” Craig wrote in one of those emails.
And, guess who is benefiting from the fight between Apple and Google? It’s Meta (Facebook).
Rich text and video Messaging between the two platforms have become a pain in the butt for millions of users belonging to different ecosystems. As a result, the majority of them have resorted to Whatsapp for sending such messages, allowing the world’s most popular mobile messaging app to acquire even those users who are not so fond of third-party messaging services due to privacy and other reasons.
As far as Apple is concerned, it has almost shut the doors for companies like Meta who are completely dependent on users’ data tracking and targeted advertising, hence the impact on its users due to the availability of Whatsapp on the iPhone is negligible. However, for Google and Android users it could be a matter of concern. Although WhatsApp has assured users of their messages’ privacy by claiming to adopt an end-to-end encryption mechanism, given the shady history of Meta when it comes to harvesting users’ data, nothing can be guaranteed.
Anyways, the possibility of Apple adopting RCS for iPhone and iOS is almost dead after the recent statement by Tim Cook. However, it would be interesting to see how long Apple would continue to use the barrier as a tool to make Android users jump off the ship.