Google is launching a new ad campaign today to pressure Apple into adopting RCS, the cross-platform messaging protocol it’s supposed to succeed the aging SMS and MMS standards.
The search giant has a new Website “Get the message” which lays out a familiar set of arguments for why Apple should support the standard, centering around smoother messaging between iPhone and Android devices. Naturally, there’s also a #GetTheMessage hashtag to really get those viral juices flowing.
For most people, the issues Google describes are most familiar in the form of green bubbles that mean messages to Android users in Apple’s Messages app. While the iPhone app uses Apple’s own iMessage service to send texts between iPhones (with modern features like encryption, group chat support, and high-speed image and video transfers). quality), they revert to old-school SMS and MMS when texting an Android. user. Not only are these messages displayed in a green bubble with contrasting colors, but they also break many modern messaging features that people rely on.
iMessage shouldn’t benefit from bullying. Texting should bring us closer, and the solution is there. Let’s settle this as one industry. https://t.co/18k8RNGQw4
—Android (@Android) January 8, 2022
To fix this, Google has dropped a series of not-so-subtle hints in recent months for Apple to support RCS, which offers most (but not all) of iMessage’s functionality in a usable protocol at the same time. on iOS and Android. The company said it hopes “every mobile operating system…moves to RCS” on stage at its annual developer conference this year As good as inside various tweet Over the month.
The iPhone maker has everything to gain from the current situation, which has a blocking effect for customers. It provides seamless communication (but only between iMessage users) and turns Android’s green bubbles into subtle class markers. That’s why Apple executives admitted in internal emails that introducing iMessage to Android would be “hurt [Apple] more than helping us.”
Google’s arguments for RCS were not helped by the standard slow and piecemeal deployment, which initially depended on carriers to add support. But the situation has since improved. Google effectively took matters into its own hands in 2019, which means RCS is now readily available almost anywhere in the world. This year has even seen the world’s largest Android maker, Samsung, switch to using Google’s RCS-enabled Messages app default in its flagship Galaxy S22 lineup.
RCS has also slowly gained parity with iMessage’s encryption. It now supports end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in one-on-one discussionsand E2EE in group chats is due later this year.
So, will Google’s new ad campaign finally be what gets Apple to see the light and roll out RCS support to its phones? Given the huge incentives that Apple has for not playing ball, I have to say that the search giant’s chances don’t look good. At this point, Apple adopting RCS seems about as likely as the United States collectively ditch iMessage and switch to an encrypted cross-platform messaging service like WhatsApp or Signal.