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Google for the last several years has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS, which is designed to replace the current SMS standard. RCS offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file size, improved encryption, and more.

General-Apps-Messages.jpg

For the last few months, Google's senior vice president of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has been publicly trying to persuade Apple to adopt support for RCS, and over the weekend, he once again took to Twitter to speak out on Apple's lack of RCS support for iMessages.

On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal published an article about teens with iPhones ostracizing peers who have Android phones with "green bubble" chat messages. Lockheimer tweeted the story and accused Apple of using "peer pressure and bullying" to sell products, stating that Apple could implement RCS to solve some of the messaging issues that exist between iPhone and Android users.


Today, Lockheimer tweeted again to offer some clarification on the statement, which had sparked quite a bit of discussion on Twitter. According to Lockheimer, Google is "not asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android," the company simply wants Apple to "support the industry standard for modern messaging," aka RCS.


Lockheimer's Twitter thread offers a list of reasons why Apple should adopt RCS, such as cross-platform read receipts and typing indicators, secure 1:1 messages between Android and iPhone users, and improved group texting.


"Supporting RCS would improve the experience for both iOS and Android users alike," Lockheimer said. "That's right, RCS will also improve the experience and privacy for iOS users." By not adopting RCS, Apple is "holding back the industry" and preventing both iPhone and Android customers from having the best possible messaging interactions.

Lockheimer ended his Twitter thread by stating that Google is happy to "work with Apple" to make RCS interoperability a reality, which is something that he's said before.

Apple is the last major RCS holdout, as U.S. carriers that include Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have already started adopting RCS support for Android devices. Apple has not commented either way on whether it plans to add RCS support in the future, so the company's position is still unknown.

Article Link: Google Exec Pushing RCS Adoption Says He's 'Not Asking Apple to Make iMessage Available on Android'
 
Last edited:

bcollett

macrumors member
May 5, 2015
52
33
I wouldn’t expect support until the yearly iOS upgrade. No matter how often he calls them out in tweets. I’m guessing this kind of change will be marketed heavily by Apple. I’m also guessing Apple will still make non-iMessages green. So the, “think of the children,” arugment probably won’t land with them.
 

BuffaloTF

macrumors 65816
Jun 10, 2008
1,387
1,612
I wouldn’t expect support until the yearly iOS upgrade. No matter how often he calls them out in tweets. I’m guessing this kind of change will be marketed heavily by Apple. I’m also guessing Apple will still make non-iMessages green. So the, “think of the children,” arugment probably won’t land with them.

I wouldn't expect support, period. RCS is a stream of other closed-user groups, deployments that only talk to themselves and none of the others - it's just a catch-all term of expected functionality. In order to get inside Google's version, they'd need to give Google access to Messages, or allow Google access to SMS -- another app. Google doesn't make it's API available, it's totally closed. In both scenarios, Google would be able to read at-rest data and harvest it... which is kinda what their real business is and what they really want. The data.
 

motm95

macrumors 6502
Aug 19, 2010
346
1,379
127.0.0.1
Clearly, SMS as a basic "default" messaging platform needs major improvement, and RCS is at least a viable option with more modern features. Apple can keep RCS messages green but it would be beneficial to everyone Apple and Android users alike if the RCS features were available as the fallback on iOS Messages instead of or in addition to SMS. Apple should not care if the green messages are SMS or RCS or both.
 

swm

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2013
457
779
just wondering whether RCS messages still count as SMS on operator side so users can be charged?
 
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Macintosh TV

Suspended
Nov 3, 2021
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Aaaaah the old, "Make your rival look bad because they won't adopt your platform and play the we're just looking out for the good of the public (and by that we mean our own customers)."

Google knows that people leave Android to get iPhones just for iMessage and the integration.
 

LeadingHeat

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2015
901
2,229
I’d like to see how RCS is actually better, instead of someone pushing it as hard as he is, clearly biased in his reasoning. I’d want to make sure that RCS is actually end-to-end encrypted like he alluded to, and that it’s not readable at rest. Granted I know SMS is not secure as is, but I don’t want to trade one closed-sourced standard for another. Even if it is slightly better.
 

RONS67

macrumors member
Aug 15, 2016
90
98
He's asking for Google to be able to provide an iMessage for Android--not much difference. Except if Apple were to build iMessage for Android, users wouldn't be tracked as much.
Google would also like to remind you that any of your data you store on its servers is still owned by you, just pay no attention to the fact that you're giving them a perpetual license to mine your data.
 

PygmySurfer

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2006
330
63
Wellesley, ON
I wouldn't expect support, period. RCS is a stream of other closed-user groups, deployments that only talk to themselves and none of the others - it's just a catch-all term of expected functionality. In order to get inside Google's version, they'd need to give Google access to Messages, or allow Google access to SMS -- another app. Google doesn't make it's API available, it's totally closed. In both scenarios, Google would be able to read at-rest data and harvest it... which is kinda what their real business is and what they really want. The data.

None of what you said is correct.
 

PygmySurfer

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2006
330
63
Wellesley, ON
He's asking for Google to be able to provide an iMessage for Android--not much difference. Except if Apple were to build iMessage for Android, users wouldn't be tracked as much.
Google would also like to remind you that any of your data you store on its servers is still owned by you, just pay no attention to the fact that you're giving them a perpetual license to mine your data.
No, he's asking Apple to support RCS, just like Apple supports SMS/MMS currently.
I look down on and don't read people's messages if there is a green bubble. It's been a policy that has worked out for the better more times than not.
Hope you don't hurt yourself when you fall from that high horse...
 
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