Apple iMessage might not be as popular as WhatsApp in India; however, its native messaging app remains a popular mode of communication in the US, where iPhones dominate the phone market and has a large young userbase. Apple extended its FaceTime to Android users last year amid the COVID pandemic, but its iMessage app is yet to reach Android users. Hiroshi Lockheimer, who oversees all of Google’s operating systems as Senior Vice President of Platforms and Ecosystems, has now criticised Apple for not using available tech that can make iMessage available to everyone. He argues that Apple is even “using peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products.”
ALSO READ: Google Messages Adds RCS For Texts, Emojis And More, But What Is It And How It Works
Lockheimer also remarked the same in an article on Washington Post titled ‘Why Apple’s iMessage Is Winning: Teens Dread the Green Text Bubble.’ The report essentially argues that Apple treats iMessage texts from iPhones and Android phones differently, which creates a divide in society. This peer pressure is more palpable among teenagers. For starters, iMessage can receive messages from Android phones, but it gets delivered as a text message, and the chat bubble is green. Similarly, Android users cannot send memojis to iMessage as it remains exclusive to iPhone users. If two iPhone users are communicating via iMessage, the chat bubble is blue.
In the Washington Post article, Lockheimer argues, “There are no real technical or product reasons for this issue. The solutions already exist and we encourage Apple to join with the rest of the mobile industry in implementing them. We believe people should have the ability to connect with each other without artificial limits. It simply doesn’t have to be like this.”
Android’s official Twitter handle also criticised Apple and said, “iMessage should not benefit from bullying. Texting should bring us together, and the solution exists. Let’s fix this as one industry.”
Unified iMessage Solution in the form RCS, But What is It?
The technology Lockheimer is referring to is RCS or Rich Communication Service that Google rolled out on Google Messages globally in 2020. In another tweet, Lockheimer says, “Group chats don’t need to break this way. There exists a Really Clear Solution. Here’s an open invitation to the folks who can make this right: we are here to help,” clearly indicating to RCS. To quickly understand, RCS is a messaging standard that aims to upgrade standard SMS tech. It essentially transforms the native messaging app into a WhatsApp or iMessage-like service that uses Wi-Fi and allows sending multi-media files, creating group chats, and more. If iMessage adopts RCS, Android users would be able to share these benefits.
iMessage should not benefit from bullying. Texting should bring us together, and the solution exists. Let’s fix this as one industry. 💚💙 https://t.co/18k8RNGQw4— Android (@Android) January 8, 2022
Apple argues that opening up iMessage to other platforms would make iOS and iPhones more vulnerable to hackers. However, experts argue that iPhone users around the world already use other services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and the argument is currently invalid.
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