Google is appealing to Apple to do away with “out of date technologies from the 90s and 00s” and adopt RCS (Rich Communications Services) which would make texting between Android and iPhone users a lot easier, higher quality and more secure.
iPhone users are familiar with the blue iMessage bubbles from fellow iPhone customers while green indicates a message from an Android user.
iMessages between iPhone users includes things like read receipts, effects, higher security and higher quality attachments.
But if you send a message between from iPhone to an Android and vice versa – these messaging features are not available.
Instead they are diverted to the iPhone using older technologies like SMS (short messaging service) and MMS (multimedia messaging service) which not only shows it in a green but also compress images and videos that are shared in this way.
SMS messages between iPhone and Android cannot be sent over wi-fi (iMessage to iMessage can) which can leave some sent messages bouncing around the ether.
And there is no encryption between with Android to iPhone messages, so texts are not secure (iMessage to iMessage is).
There are no read receipts or typing indicators iPhone to Android so there is no way of knowing if the person on Android received the message or if they are responding.
This is why Google is appealing to Apple yet again to fix the messaging issues between the platforms.
In fact, Google has launched a campaign to put added pressure on Apple to adopt the RCS cross-platform messaging protocol.
The search giant has launched a dedicated website designed to educate customers and to convince Apple to make a change.
There is even a shortcut to post a tweet mentioning @Apple and saying “stop breaking my texting experience” with hashtag #GetTheMessage and a link back to the site.
So you think the blue bubble and green bubble is no big deal? Think again.
The Wall Street Journal says Apple has built iMessage into a powerful social network and cemented the iPhone as the dominant choice for young smartphone users.
The WSJ article mentions cases of ostracism because a person’s text in a group chat is green and cases of rejection from people matched on dating apps after exchanging text messages that weren’t blue.
What the messaging mismatch has done is make the Facebook-owned WhatsApp a very popular alternative and one that treats iPhone and Android users equally.
Whenever Tech Guide has to review an Android smartphone after using the iPhone, I have to follow a bit of a routine to ensure I can still send and receive messages.
The first thing I need to do is switch off iMessage in the settings while my SIM card is still in the iPhone before putting the SIM card into an Android device.
If I don’t do this my messages would bounce around iMessage and not go anywhere and I would not be able to receive messages from iPhone users on the Android device.
And the first person I message is my wife (who uses an iPhone) to ensure she got my message and if I received her reply.