Google Is Pressing Apple to Fix Android-iPhone Texting (But It’s Complicated)


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Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

iMessage is among the strongest promoting factors for the iPhone, but it surely falls again to utilizing common SMS when somebody within the dialog doesn’t have an Apple gadget. Google needs Apple to repair the issue, but it surely’s not that straightforward.

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Get The Message

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Google has launched into a advertising and marketing marketing campaign referred to as #GetTheMessage, which goals to stress Apple into supporting Rich Communication Service (RCS for brief) on iPhones. RCS is a more moderen normal for textual content messaging that helps bigger file attachments, reactions, various ranges of encryption, learn indicators, and different options frequent in trendy messaging providers. Android units can use RCS by the Android Messages software, which is the default texting app on most Android telephones.

Theoretically, if Apple built-in RCS help on the iPhone, conversations between individuals with iPhones and folks with Android units would have lots of the similar advantages of the Apple-exclusive iMessage service. No extra low-resolution picture sharing between iPhone and Android, or repetitive notifications that someone liked a messageor different frequent issues with utilizing outdated SMS texting.

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Get it? Got it? Good. #GetTheMessage

— Android (@Android) August 11, 2022

Google has already partnered with some celebrities and influencers to advertise the marketing campaign, together with Madelaine Petsch, Vanessa Hudgensand ATTN, and extra adverts are seemingly on the best way. So, is it actually Apple’s fault that texting with Android units is tough?

A Quick Refresher on RCS

Rich Communication Services just isn’t a brand new know-how, as the primary model was launched in 2008 — the identical 12 months the iPhone 3G was launched, and some years earlier than iMessage even existed. It was an improve over SMS texting, but it surely wasn’t suitable throughout completely different networks or units. That solely began to alter with the introduction of the RCS Universal Profile in November 2016which made it technically potential for RCS conversations to work throughout completely different cell networks.

The first functioning version of RCS Universal Profile arrived in 2016, but it surely solely labored with Google’s personal Android Messages app (firms like Samsung and LG had their very own texting apps on their telephones on the time), and solely between Sprint clients. Rogers in Canada joined the party later that yearand different worldwide networks adopted, however adoption with networks within the United States remained gradual. T-Mobile didn’t support it until May 2020and AT&T followed in June 2021, Verizon started pre-installing Android Messages on all its units this 12 months.

The Android Messages app Google

There are many, many, many different elements in play. Most of the world makes use of providers like WhatsApp and WeChat for cell messaging as an alternative of iMessage or SMS, so this particular downside is generally irrelevant to thousands and thousands (and even billions) of individuals. RCS additionally isn’t as open of a platform as Google would possibly lead you to imagine — it doesn’t work with third-party messaging apps on Androidand it doesn’t matter what cell community you’re on, your messages normally cross by Google’s Jibe servers.

After a number of years of combating with cell networks, Android Messages is the default messaging app on most Android telephones, which in flip permits the telephones to make use of RCS messaging. The subsequent problem for Google is working with Apple to help RCS.

The Battle with Apple

So, is Apple blocking RCS from engaged on iPhones? Technically, there’s nothing stopping Apple from integrating RCS into its iMessage infrastructure. Apple might additionally side-step the issue and make an iMessage app for Android telephones, giving each platforms an equal texting expertise.

However, Apple has many incentives to not try this. iMessage is why many individuals purchase an iPhone over an Android gadget, a lot in the identical method that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was a powerful promoting level for BlackBerry telephones within the 2000s. iMessage’s options solely work in group conversations if each individual has an iPhone, which incentivizes iPhone owners to keep Android people out of chats or make jokes about “green bubbles” (SMS messages seem as inexperienced on iPhone, as an alternative of blue).

The advertising and marketing marketing campaign mirrors different disputes between giant firms we’ve seen in recent times. TV providers and networks often fight over distribution rights, which normally entails every firm complaining in regards to the different one in public, and calling on clients to stress the opposite celebration into signing a extra agreeable deal. Epic Games a #FreeFortnite campaign in 2020, after Fortnite was faraway from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, with the objective of framing Epic as waging a conflict towards unjust app retailer guidelines. The firm even made a mock model of Apple’s well-known ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ Super Bowl commercial, framing Apple as a Big Brother-type villain.

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It can be nice for everybody, besides Apple executives and shareholders, if textual content messaging was much less of a ache between iPhone and Android telephones. However, RCS isn’t that nice of an answer — there’s limited support for end-to-end encryption, and messages can cross by servers owned by any variety of firms and cell networks. Android units can also solely use RCS with the Android Messages app, so in actual world utilization, it’s not that completely different from everybody being caught with WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

There’s no motive for Verizon, Google, and even Apple to know the contents of your conversations — we ought to be pushing for a fully-encrypted messaging future. If you need an amazing messaging expertise throughout all of your family and friends’s units, your greatest guess is convincing everybody to make use of Signal, Telegram, or one other service that doesn’t contain iMessage or SMS in any respect.


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