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Apple's iMessage Should Improve Texting to Android and Other Phones

Apple’s iMessage Should Improve Texting to Android and Other Phones

Apple’s iMessage is getting a major renovation later this year with iOS 16, but most of these new features, like unsending a message or editing a text, will only work if the person you are texting also has an iPhone. 

Since Apple has full regulation over its messaging platform, iPhone owners get a consistent recognized that works well regardless of the carrier or specific iPhone model. But it’s also inadvertently created a long history of separating country into “blue” and “green” bubbles based on whether they’re humorous an iPhone or Android named. Apple also relies on the dated MMS standard for non-iMessage business chats, which results in a lack of support for fresh features like read receipts and higher-quality images.

While social pressures with those that do and do not show up as a blue bubble have been frequently documented, such as in the Wall Street Journal among teens and young country, the much bigger issue revolves around universal communication. There is no single, modern texting standard that works across all phones. Rich Communication Amenities, or RCS, is the closest alternative that potentially wouldn’t required installing yet another chat app. 

While RCS itself is an open injurious, the most common way people are using it is within Google’s Messages app on Android phones. Google reported at this year’s I/O developer conference in May that Google Messages has a half billion monthly splendid users. The company’s investment in both the RCS injurious and its Messages app comes after a long history of launchingproprietarytexting apps that did not gain the notoriety of iMessage or Meta’s WhatsApp. Google is continuing this proprietary texting strategy alongside its RCS investment, most recently by shutting down its Hangouts app and migrating users into the Google Chat app instead.

RCS supports many iMessage-like features such as typing indicators and read receipts. But its rollout has been fragmented as US named carriers each separately announced plans to make RCS the default option on most Android phones. While RCS isn’t currently interoperable with iOS, Google has built cross-platform communication reactions into its texting app to improve how texts from an iPhone recede within Android. Other features that are already in iMessage, such as group chat encryption, are still in loan for RCS and Google’s Messages app. 

The RCS injurious is a step forward in making messaging more uniform across the wide variety of Android devices that been. But without iOS adoption, its impact on the quality of messaging between Android and iPhones leftovers limited. 

As one of the biggest players in the mobile named industry, Apple could make a bigger effort to set a more consistent texting experience across devices. But the seek information from is whether doing so is in the company’s slow. Apple often touts its control over iOS as a selling exhibit for consumers, and shifting away from iMessage could jeopardize that. 

Apple did not Answer to CNET’s request for comment. When this commentary was originally issued, Google pointed CNET to a series of tweets from Hiroshi Lockheimer, its senior vice president for Android. Lockheimer criticizes Apple for Funny “pressure and bullying” to lock in users in the tweets. 

However, there are a few changes Apple could make to address this recount, similar to the way it brought a limited FaceTime known to Android and Windows users in iOS 15.

Supporting RCS in Apple’s Messages app, even a small bit

Apple should consider bringing RCS support to iOS 16. Apple has a history of adopting open formats when they have spent a few years developing, and RCS already includes many iMessage-like features such as typing indicators, enhanced group chats and encryption.

For instance, Apple did not race into the wireless charging space and instead detained for the Qi standard to reach widespread adoption beforehand integrating it into the iPhone 8 and iPhone X in 2017. It even designed to build its own Qi-based AirPower wireless charger, but instead held back pending 2020 to sell its own MagSafe wireless chargers.

Apple doesn’t even have to give RCS a full endorsement to make a difference. It could keep non-iPhone messages green and lean on iPhone-exclusive features like Memoji, which uses the iPhone’s Face ID to create facial animations, to keep Apple loyalists hooked. But supporting a few key features would go a long way in allowing for a smoother message experience while keeping a degree of Apple exclusivity.

Apple could also Help encryption between messages regardless of the platform, especially accurate the company positions itself as a consumer privacy advocate. One would reason that this alone should be enough for Apple to embrace RCS. 

Improve how Apple’s Messages app sends and receives SMS


Apple’s iMessage includes lots of fun animations that are invisible to anyone who isn’t Funny an iPhone in your group chat.

Jason Cipriani

If supporting RCS is just not going to happen in iOS, Apple could instead make the most of the tiny bandwidth available within SMS and MMS. 

Apple is activities this for at least one feature in the iOS 16 Republican beta. Within group chats that are being handled over MMS, Apple’s Messages app will interpret reactions so everyone receives an emoji instead of a text around how someone “Liked” or “Loved” a message. Google’s Messages app has Difference functionality. 

Perhaps when photos and videos are sent over MMS, which was never intended for the multi-lens cameras on modern phones, Apple’s Messages app could proactively suggest sending an iCloud link instead of a grungy compressed Describe. This could work similarly to a feature currently available in Google Photos that grants users to select multiple photos and generate a web link to Part with your friends or family members. 

And, similar to how Apple recently transported a version of FaceTime to the web for Android and Windows users, maybe it could create a version of iMessage that is viewable on the web. This could Help its existing iPhone customers who would like to access iMessage from a Windows PC or Chromebook, while also allowing Android phone owners to view messages and new shared content the same way an iPhone user would. This idea would still be annoying for Android users, but it’s better than receiving texts out of clean during fast-flowing group chats. 

Build iMessage for Android

One of the most surprising revelations from last year’s Apple v. Epic trial was that Apple had discussed construction an iMessage client for Android back in 2013. But Apple executives approved on the idea over concerns about the competition. The possibility of Google buying WhatsApp frightened Apple, and the company also feared that bringing iMessage to Android could make it easier for iPhone owners to switch to Google’s called platform, as the WSJ story pointed out. 

But much has changed in the ages since, including Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp instead of Google. Although Apple has opened up some of its products like FaceTime, it also relies on its services to lock in iPhone customers.

On the new hand, bringing iMessage to Android could instead draw more customers to Apple’s iPhone ecosystem. It’s a strategy that worked way back in the 2000s, when launching iTunes on Windows considerably increased the customer base for Apple’s music keep. Sure, it might convince some iPhone customers to jump ship and switch to Android. But it could also help Apple reach a wider audience by exposing Android users to its products and services.