In a fierce new publicity campaign, Google has called on Apple to get rid of its old SMS and MMS system, and implement Rich Communication Services (RCS).
It is the latest in a string of digs the Alphabet-owned company has made towards the iPhone maker recently.
The Get The Message campaign has been launched by Google to lay out arguments as to why RCS will greatly increase user service quality for iPhone users and those contacting them.
The Mountain View-headquartered company argues that RCS is considered the industry standard for messaging and is supported by almost every mobile carrier and device except Apple.
The iPhone uses Apple’s iMessaging service, which enables iPhones to send texts to each other with a range of essential modern features like group chat support, high-quality image sharing and encryption.
However, the problems start when the Cuptertino-headquartered firm’s devices send messages to smartphones from other developers.
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Most iPhone users have probably noticed how messages sent from iPhones to Android have those green little bubbles.
Mountain View claims that an iPhone sending a text to an Android device uses an outdated SMS and MMS system – snatching away all of the modern messaging features.
It is against this background that Google has not taken its grievances public, claiming “iMessage should not benefit from bullying” – and mobile users seem to agree.
“Apple only cares about Apple,” says one disgruntled Twitter user in response to Google’s new RCS campaign.
Last in a long line of digs from Google against Apple
The news comes after the company has taken a series of not-so-subtle digs at Apple over the last few months, The Verge reported.
At its annual developer conference earlier this year, the search engine giant cheekily said it hoped “every mobile operating system upgrades to RCS”.
On the newly launched Get The Message website, the company slams: “Apple creates these problems when we text each other from iPhones and Android phones, but does nothing to fix it.
“Apple turns texts between iPhone and Android into SMS and MMS, out-of-date technologies from the 90s and 00s.”
It’s clear that some iPhone and Android users are sick of being torn apart by the hellish green text bubbles too.
“Aren’t Apple meant to care about the security of their users? Why are they using unsecure SMS?” questioned one Twitter user.
Another wrote: “Apple messages in [Android] should [be] coloured as ‘drab dark brown’ until [Apple] moves to RCS.”
Will Apple listen to Google’s campaign and adopt RCS?
It seems unlikely Apple will budge to Google’s campaign as the number of incentives of not changing its systems arguably outweigh all of the rival’s arguments.
Firstly, Apple’s iMessage system has managed to lock its users into iOS.
In a way, Apple has created its own social network, which Cupertino can upgrade and change without waiting on the rest of the industry.
Apple executives have even admitted in internal emails that bringing iMessage to Android would “hurt [Apple] more than help us,” as The Verge reported.
In terms of the green bubble fiasco, it’s something that iPhone users have come to know and expect. It’s now part of iPhone’s DNA and has become a beloved meme in the “iPhone vs Android” battle.
However, it is not as if RCS is without setbacks and faults of its own.
While the rollout of RCS on Android has been applauded by many, there has also been reports of service outages that have locked users out of their texts.
Researchers warned in 2019 that they had found a number of vulnerabilities caused by the implementation of RCS that could compromise users’ location data, allow their calls and text messages to be intercepted, and that these security weaknesses could allow phone numbers to be spoofed.
Given these issues and that Cupertino is deadset on protecting its bottom line, it looks like the iPhone maker will continue to look after itself.
GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.