This Modest Proposal Solves the Apple-Google ‘Green Bubble’ Debate

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Apple and Google are locked in a battle over messaging. Google wants Apple to implement RCS (rich communication services) in its Messages app on iPhones to improve the feel of “green bubble” texting to Android users. Apple says, well, no.

RCS is the industry-standard replacement for SMS, the 25-year-old text messaging system. It adds meliorate security, read receipts, improve media handling, and diverse other features you expect from a messaging organization non made in the 1990s.

I want to point out that I’yard a primary Android user. I’ve never personally had an iPhone. Only I too know Apple tree, and Apple doesn’t do something if information technology isn’t in Apple’s interest. Google has shown admittedly no reason this move would be in Apple’due south interest.

Apple tree’s not going to buckle and add a new messaging protocol considering Google wants it to, but Google is correct! SMS is insecure, lousy with group messaging and media, and in general it should exist retired.

“It’s the blurry videos, broken group chats, missing read receipts and typing indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi, and more than,” Google says. That’due south correct—texting in Apple tree’south Letters app to Android users is pretty bad. Security researchers and technologists generally agree: if possible, nobody should be using SMS anymore.

All Apple needs to practice is brand SMS read-merely in the Messages app.

iOS users demand to read SMS to receive configuration messages from their carriers and to get two-gene hallmark messages from services they sign up for. But there’s no real reason any iOS user needs to send an SMS.

There are a lot of ways to get in touch with people; SMS doesn’t take to exist 1 of them.

2 Answers, Neither From Google

messaging bubbles with a lock next to them

(Credit: René Ramos)

Apple has two articulate, consistent answers for people who complain most texting groups of mixed Android and iOS phones. It merely needs to put its software where its oral cavity is, by disabling SMS and letting the chips fall where they may.

The first answer is great for competition and innovation: utilise a messaging app, such every bit WhatsApp, Viber, Line, Kakao, Signal, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, or Matrix. Many people outside the US already exercise this; the obsession with still sending SMS is largely an American thing, dating dorsum to our carriers’ early adoption of unlimited texting buckets.

What near businesses that want to communicate over text messaging? Apple has a Business organisation Chat product(Opens in a new window)
for them.

Aye, you’d lose the piece of cake default of knowing that everyone yous know is on the same messaging arrangement. Apple has a simple answer for that: tell them to get an iPhone.

From Apple’south perspective, information technology doesn’t want to make the iMessage experience with Android users easier. As Apple exec Craig Federighi suggested in a 2016 email, iMessage is a “glutinous” app that keeps people on the iOS platform and helps them convince their families to sign upwards for information technology, too.

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Apple tree telling Android users to option a third-party app also sticks it to Google; it’s a “we’ll pick whatever solution but yours” solution. And yes, Apple tree can be that petty.

Families Won’t Really Exist Shattered

An SMS-complimentary iMessage would exist a huge boon to third-party messaging app developers. Information technology would reduce the usage of an insecure protocol, and it would only be some temporary annoyance for families as everyone has a quick debate about what app to use.

Every family in Europe had this argument years ago. They’re all on WhatsApp now. Every family in Korea did, as well. They’re all on Kakao. In Nippon, they’re on Line.

In fact, Apple may meet a large drop in iMessage usage as, over fourth dimension, families just start chats on their third-party messenger because many families are cantankerous-platform, they don’t want to have to negotiate, and they enjoy high-quality, family-wide messaging.

And then it may realize it wants to implement RCS in iMessage.

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