Google would like Apple to support RCS with its Messages app

During last Wednesday’s Google I/O keynote, the company pointed out that its Rich Communication Service (RCS) has over 500 million active users worldwide. For those unfamiliar with RCS, it’s the platform used by Google for its Messages app and offers many of the same features that iOS users enjoy with iMessages. In particular, it allows you to send much larger messages than the small messages authorized by SMS on Android.

Because RCS uses a data connection instead of a cellular connection, messages can be sent and received over Wi-Fi. Higher quality videos (not to mention longer videos) can be sent with RCS, as well as acknowledgments reception, and RCS now offers users end-to-end encryption. These are things that are available to iPhone users when they message other iOS users in a group chat.

But as soon as an Android user is part of an iOS group chat, iMessage becomes an SMS and the blue text bubbles turn green. This is a big problem for iOS users because it means that thanks to that Android user who dares to join their group chat, all those great features of iMessage cannot be employed. The images shared aren’t high quality, there’s no encryption or acknowledgment and it’s all that pesky Android user’s fault.

It became a significant problem as Android users were bullied for not having an iPhone and because text bubbles in a group chat had turned from blue to green. There is something Apple can do to fix this problem and that is to enable its Messages app to support RCS. At the Google I/O conference this week, Google said, “We hope that all mobile operating systems will get the message and switch to RCS. So your messages will be private no matter what device you’re using.“.

Keeping its customers’ messages private isn’t the only reason Google would like to see Apple add RCS to its Messages app. This would put an end to blue/green text bubble bullying, meaning teens could buy Android smartphones without fear of being bullied. But, Apple fears losing customers if it fails to make iMessages feel special.

The status-co

Interestingly, when RCS users come together for a group chat, they all see blue text bubbles and are able to take advantage of the special features available on RCS which include longer videos, acknowledgments , and the ability to share longer video clips and higher quality photographic images. But as soon as an iOS user joins the group, guess what happens. The blue bubbles turn green and all those great RCS features disappear, replaced by SMS capabilities.

In other words, ruining a group chat isn’t something only Android users can do. It turns out that iOS users can impact Android users and do the same things to their group chats that iOS users accuse Android users of doing to them.

No matter what Google says or does, Apple won’t be persuaded to make a change that could hurt iPhone sales.

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