The Android team launched a very sassy website today, calling Apple on their bullsh*t and telling Timmy and friends to “fix texting”.
The website’s goal is basically a call for Apple to dump the way they handle iMessage, blue vs green bubbles, and adopt RCS – Rich Communication Services instead. This has been going on for months now actually, and Apple has just totally ignored the Android team entirely.
On the Android side of things it’s actually pretty grim. If you’ve ever texted an Android phone from an iPhone you know that the messages take forever to send and arrive, the images and videos are horrific quality and read receipts and other features just don’t work at all. So I totally understand their platform here.
Even as a direct quote from the site, it’s apparent the Android team is pretty salty:
It’s time for Apple to fix texting. It’s not about the color of the bubbles. It’s the blurry videos, broken group chats, missing read receipts and typing indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi, and more. These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards when people with iPhones and Android phones text each other.Android team
In fact, Apple is the last holdout being the only major company to not adopt RCS as a standard. The Android team also published a blog post alongside the launch of their website further expounding on the RCS debacle with Apple:
Think of it like this: If you have two groups of people who use different spoken languages, they can communicate effectively in their respective languages to other people who speak their language, but they can’t talk to each other. And when they try to talk to one another, they have to act out what they’re saying, as though they’re playing charades. Now think of RCS as a magic translator that helps multiple groups speak fluently — but every group has to use the translator, and if one doesn’t, they’re each going to need to use motions again.Android team
The issue is that iPhones still rely on using SMS and MMS for conversations with all Android users, which is quite outdated tech at this point compared to RCS. If Apple were to suddenly adopt RCS, boom problem solved, everyone’s happy… or are they?
What makes anyone think Apple cares? It’s hard to believe they do. The senior VP of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has been tweeting for months now regarding the disparity between Apple and Android, yet Apple is still silent on the matter.
The call for action over Apple adopting RCS is definitely important to certain groups of users here; but as is usual for Apple, until something is negatively affecting profits or driving sales downward it’s hard for me to think they’re even going to respond to these callouts. After all, if 99% of iMessage users are happy and content, what’s there to change?
One issue with their call to action website is that they’re putting the onus on the user base. Who’s going to petition Apple to change iMessage if they don’t talk to people with Android phones or care? I’m sure there’s a sizable amount of iPhone users who don’t even know what a green bubble is. Now, does that mean this is a useless gesture? Of course not, however there needs to actually be something for Apple to gain for them to completely change one of the pillar services of iOS, iPadOS and macOS.
Tim Cook ain’t gettin’ out of bed to make a bunch of Android users happy, just saying. Good luck, but I really don’t see anything coming from this – unless Apple loses money.