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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple CEO Tim Cook has shot down the idea of iOS adopting RCS messaging, a format that would make it significantly easier for iPhone and Android users to send high-quality messages, videos, and photos to each other within the Messages app on iOS.


During a panel at Kara Swisher's final Code Conference yesterday, Cook was asked why iOS has not yet adopted support for the RCS standard and how Steve Jobs would feel about it (via The Verge), despite repeated calls from the industry for the company to do so. "I don't hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy in on that at this point," Cook said in response to the question.

The lack of RCS support on iOS makes it more difficult for iOS and Android users to communicate, forcing them to in some cases use third-party messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or Telegram. The reporter who asked the question pushed Cook on his response, saying he and his mother find it difficult to send photos and videos to each other because she uses an Android device while they use an iPhone. "Buy your mom an iPhone," Cook told the reporter who posed the situation.

Android has supported and led the industry in adopting RCS, while Apple has kept only iMessage and the SMS standard available on the iPhone. Google recently started a public campaign in an attempt to convince Apple to adopt RCS, but Cook's recent comments show Apple is not likely to budge anytime soon.

As noted by The Verge, emails from the Epic Games vs. Apple trial revealed that Apple's senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said that bringing iMessage to Android and making it easier for the two platforms to communicate would "simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones."

Article Link: Tim Cook Shoots Down Idea of iOS Adopting RCS Messages: 'Buy Your Mom an iPhone'
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macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2015
Makes sense, Tim knows they aren't coming out with much new things when it comes to iPhone hardware these days and if there weren't any iMessage barriers in place a lot more people would leave for Android devices. They are basically trying to lock people in instead of coming out with fun new hardware.

I can understand not jumping on RCS but if they cared about their users they'd make an iMessage app for Android.


macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2020
Greensboro, NC
I mean, I get it from a business point of view, since tons of people want the “blue bubbles” to look cool, but from a technology stance it really doesn’t make sense

Apple always talks about being “innovative”, yet they are still adamant on using a 30-year-old protocol when there are way better options available as a standard.

Not saying that they can’t continue to develop exclusive features for iMessage, but I think it’s a bit ridiculous that in 2022 I’m still limited to sending someone a text or image if they don’t have an iPhone.


macrumors 65816
May 16, 2017
The problem with RCS is that it's scarcely available network side in many places. Google gets around that by offering RCS directly over a data connection, but at that point the system is just another type of service like iMessage, WhatsApp, or Signal.


macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2022
It’s a bit Marie Antoinette and let them eat cake. A multibillion dollar company wanting people to buy a product of theirs because they want to eek every last bit of money out of those in less privileged situations.

What happens if they cannot afford to buy their parents new iPhones? And just want to be able to have that convenience which is easy for Apple to implement.

Nor is it very eco friendly or good for the planet to advocate buying new products when Apple could easily integrate the software to all existing iPhones. This would involve reducing e-waste.

I am sure that RCS could be implemented in a way that would enable cross communication and maintain if not enhance security in messaging while also encouraging Apple to make iMessage as good as services like telegram. Text messaging is effectively an equivalent to the disparity in capabilities that could be there to encourage iPhone adoption/retention. The problem for Apple is that it would involve investment in making iMessage a better service, which Apple is reluctant to do as it wishing to produce products for the least amount of input. I understand this is capitalism, but as the saying goes… with great power comes great responsibility, Apple is in a position to change lives for the better because of its dominance, we should all encourage and want Apple to make those changes.


macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2020
Montebello, CA
As someone that's been using iPhone since 2007, I will never understand other iPhone users unhinged loyalty to iMessage and "blue bubbles". All my communication is done through Discord/Telegram/Messenger or hell, even IRC lol

maybe Android users should start bullying iPhone users that exclusively use iMessage.


macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2019
This is anticompetitive. I get it, Apple is a business and has a big interest in not doing it. But it’s bad for the consumer.
It’s not anticompetitive. There are dozens of messenger apps that allow iPhones and Androids to seamlessly sent texts, videos, and photos. No company is obligated to support a competitor’s preferred standard or technology.
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