Replace broken

“It’s time” to repair text messages between iPhones and Android smartphones

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 public domain

Google sends a message to Apple again: Fix text messaging issues between Android devices and iPhones.

For years, consumers have expressed annoyance with the way text messages on smartphones are managed between the two main messaging platforms: Apple’s proprietary iMessage app and Google’s Messages app, which uses Rich Communications. Services (RCS).

Both platforms amplify regular text messages, enabling features like higher quality images, read receipts, text effects, improved security, reactions, and other benefits. But since the platforms are not compatible, text messages between iPhone and Android revert to regular, outdated text messages.

This lack of interoperability is a major annoyance for some. Texts from Android devices to iPhones display in a green bubble on an iPhone while iPhone to iPhone messages arrive in blue bubbles (standard texts display in light gray on both platforms).

Messages between Android and Apple phones are transformed into SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), which Google accuses of “obsolete technology from the 90s and 00s”. As a result, images sent in messages between Android and iPhones are compressed, Google says, and users can’t tell whether the messages have been received and read. Google claimed the distinction led to “peer pressure and bullying” in favor of iMessages and iPhones.

Google is back on the offensive with a site urging Apple to adopt RCS for messaging systems to interact.

“It’s not about the color of the bubbles. It’s blurry videos, interrupted group chats, missing read receipts and keystroke indicators, no texts over Wi-Fi, and more” , says the Google site. “These issues exist because Apple refuses to embrace modern texting standards when iPhone and Android phone users text each other.”

When Google’s “Apple should fix what’s broken” website went live Tuesday, tech news site Business Insider wrote that “Some users have long lamented the green message bubbles that come with multi- devices, as well as low-quality compressed videos, lack of read receipts, and other headaches.”

If Apple adopted RCS instead, Google says, messages between Android and Apple smartphones would look better and be encrypted.

Apple did not return US TODAY’s request for comment on Google’s campaign. But in the past, the company has found flaws with RCS, citing the fact that it doesn’t provide full end-to-end encryption.

This is not a new campaign for Google. At the tech giant’s I/O conference in May, Vice President of Android Product Management Sameer Samat touted that Android had more than 500 million RCS users and pushed the competition: “We hope that every mobile operating system will get the message and switch to RCS.”

However, Apple didn’t bite. The following month, at its own WWDC conference, Apple didn’t mention RCS and announced new features for its messaging platform, including options to recall or edit recently sent messages.

Apple could increase interoperability between Android and iOS devices, but that may not be in the company’s interest, CNET editor Mike Sorrentino said in a column. “Apple often touts its control over iOS as a selling point to consumers, and moving away from iMessage could jeopardize that.”


Google says Apple’s iMessage and its blue message bubbles dominate because of bullying


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Quote: Google to Apple: “It’s time” to repair text messages between iPhones and Android smartphones (August 15, 2022) retrieved August 15, 2022 from https://techxplore.com/news/2022-08-google-apple -text-messages-iphones.html

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