One of Apple’s biggest competitive advantages in the USA is the colour of the text bubbles on the iPhone, with those with green bubbles being marked out as those sporting inferior Android phones who break group chats and cant take advantage of the multi-media features available in iMessage.
When Android users message iPhone users, they get blurry videos, broken group chats, missing read receipts and typing indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi, and more. These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards when people with iPhones and Android phones text each other, and Google thinks it’s time for Apple to fix it.
Apple turns texts between iPhones and Android phones into SMS and MMS, out-of-date technologies from the 90s and 00s. Google thinks the resolution is RCS—the modern industry standard—and that Apple should adopt the technology and make messaging better for everyone.
Google thinks it will not just help Android users, but also improve the bad texting experience for iPhone users.
- Photos and videos are often tiny and blurry because iPhones continue to use SMS/MMS.
- Outdated tech for group conversations with Android, so you can’t leave the chat—even when you want to.
- Texts from iPhones can’t always be sent to Android over Wi-Fi, leaving your messages unsent and convos hanging if you don’t have cell service.
- SMS and MMS don’t support end-to-end encryption, which means your messages are not as secure.
- iPhones make texts with Android phones difficult to read, by using white text on a bright green background.
- Without read receipts and typing indicators, you can’t know if your Android friends got your text or if they’re responding.
Google says there is increasing pressure on Apple to fix the issue and make everyone’s experience better.
If not, Google is encouraging iPhone users to switch to 3rd party cross-platform messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Signal. It is exactly these apps which make Apple’s green bubbles a non-issue outside of the USA, as 3rd party apps dominate the messaging landscape there.
While Google has launched a whole site and campaign advocating for Apple to fix messaging for individual users, the solution has always been simple – buy an iPhone instead of an Android handset, and for this reason, Apple is very likely to do nothing at all.