In 2021, Google publicly pressured Apple to support Rich Communication Services (RCS).

The reason given by Google is to improve the messaging experience among its users.

And the story continues.

It all started with an article in the

Wall Street Journal

.

On January 8, the newspaper revealed how American teenagers turned Apple's iMessage into a status symbol excluding Android users.

The WSJ describes a cultural stigma in the United States that allegedly ostracizes Android users.

According to the latest Consumer Intelligence Research Partners survey, 70% of 18-24 year olds in the United States use iPhones.

Thus, choosing to use an Android telephone or an iPhone to communicate would constitute a certain social marker.

Incidentally, Apple's iMessages app labels Android users' texts with green bubbles.

In response, Hiroshi Lockheimer, the boss of Android, accused Apple of “using peer pressure and intimidation to sell products”.

Make Android Mail Available on iOS

Hiroshi Lockheimer would like Apple to take a more open view on messaging systems integrated into iOS.

In other words, that the apple brand integrates RCS messaging into iOS.

"We're not asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android. We are asking Apple to support the Industry Standard for Modern Messaging (RCS) in iMessage, just as they support older SMS/MMS standards,” the Google executive explained in a tweet. In the thread of the tweet, Hiroshi Lockheimer then erects a list of reasons why Apple should adopt RCS: secure 1:1 messages between Android and iPhone users, improved group texting, and cross-platform keystroke indicators, etc.

Finally, according to the leader, RCS support would improve the experience and privacy of iOS and Android users.

According to him, by refusing to adopt RCS, Apple is "holding the industry back" and preventing iPhone and Android customers from having the best possible messaging interactions.

What is RCS?

The Rich Communication Service, RCS, represents a new communication protocol intended to replace the current SMS standard.

Google does not own this service.

RCS supports higher resolution audio messages, photos and videos, larger file sizes, improved encryption, and more.

Thus, RCS is intended to replace SMS only.

It is therefore not a competitor for iMessage or WhatsApp.

Many features unique to iMessage or other messaging services cannot be duplicated by RCS.

Several RCS profiles are available with different features.

For example, some RCS communicate with each other, some do not, some are end-to-end encrypted, some are not, etc.

Little hope for Google

Apart from Apple, other US carriers including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have already started adopting RCS support for Android devices.

Following Lockheimer's enquiries, Apple has not commented on plans to add RCS support in the future.

The position of the company is still unknown.

As evidenced by internal communications revealed by the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit, the company is highly motivated to keep its users on iOS.

Confidential emails between Apple executives showed the company intentionally making iMessage an Apple exclusive and feature.

So features like bubble reactions, iMessage games, and higher-quality group chats will remain exclusive to Apple users.

Ultimately, Apple still wants to keep iMessage as a reason to switch to iPhone.

Apple will therefore not offer iMessage services to Android.

A good thing since that's not what Hiroshi Lockheimer is asking.

What's less clear is whether iOS will ever integrate RCS.

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  • Gafa

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