Apple firmly refuses to adopt the RCS. Tim Cook claims that the communication protocol does not interest users of the mark. His advice? Buy an iPhone.
Apple still refuses to integrate the Rich Communication Suite (RCS), the protocol which aims to replace the traditional SMS, to iMessage. Increasingly widespread on Android, this protocol makes it easy to share content between different devices. It also allows group conversations. More modern than SMS, RCS guarantees more interactive conversations. In addition, communications through the RCS are end-to-end encrypted.
For years, Google has struggled to enforce RCS. The Mountain View giant has also integrated the RCS into the Messages application, in order to offer a universal messaging experience on Android.
For its part, Apple relies instead on iMessage, a messaging service that facilitates communication between iPhones, iPads and Macs. Android devices and Apple terminals cannot therefore communicate via the RCS. When an Android phone sends a message to an iPhone, the message is sent via SMS. It is therefore displayed in a green bubble.
Google campaigns for the addition of RCS on iPhone
Google has many times asked Apple to open up to the RCS to facilitate exchanges between the two ecosystems. This summer, the firm even launched a real communication campaign on its website to make Apple bend.
“It’s not about the color of the bubbles. Rather, it’s because of blurry videos, broken group chats, missing read receipts and keystroke indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi, and more. These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern standards.said Google.
A few months earlier, Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of Android at Google, had already pleaded in favor of the protocol on his Twitter account. The official believed that Apple uses ” peer pressure and bullying » to sell its products. He said he was not asking Apple to add iMessage to Android, but rather to add the RCS protocol to its messaging system. In vain.
We’re not asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android. We’re asking Apple to support the industry standard for modern messaging (RCS) in iMessage, just as they support the older SMS / MMS standards.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) January 10, 2022
Here’s why Apple refuses to adopt RCS on iMessage
The issue of RCS resurfaced during the launch of the iPhone 14. On the sidelines of the conference, LiQuan Hunt, journalist at Vox Media, asked Tim Cook about the issue. The Apple CEO felt that adding the protocol does not part of customer requests of the brand.
“I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy into it at this stage”says Tim Cook, emphasizing that he wants ” convert “ his interlocutor to the iPhone.
The journalist went on to point out that the absence of RCS causes communication problems with Android smartphones, as Google has repeatedly pointed out. He explains that his mother, with her Android, can never watch the videos he sends her with his iPhone. Undiplomatic, Tim Cook gave him this pithy advice:
“Buy your mother an iPhone”.
iMessage, Apple’s asset
Over time, iMessage has become a selling point for Apple. The instant messaging service allows the iPhone to differentiate itself from its Android competitors. This strategy has allowed the iPhone to establish its success, especially among the youngest.
With this in mind, the manufacturer also refuses to consider the arrival of iMessage on Android. According to emails exchanged between Apple officials, and disclosed as part of the lawsuit against Epic Games, the firm rejected the idea several years ago.
“I’m concerned that iMessage on Android will simply serve to remove a barrier for families with iPhones who give their children Android phones,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s chief software officer, in an email to Tim Cook in 2013.
In another email, Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of marketing, even believes that iMessage is ” the equivalent of a padlock” which ensures that a user does not leave the ecosystem.