Apple is improving chats between iPhone and Android phones
For a long time, Apple refused to support the SMS successor standard RCS. Next year that will change.
After much hesitation, Apple will improve chat communication between its iPhone and phones running Google’s Android operating system. Next year, support for the SMS successor standard RCS will be added to the group’s devices, as Apple announced on Thursday.
Currently, iPhone users can communicate with each other via Apple’s in-house chat system iMessage, while conversations with Android users take place in the same messaging app via SMS. You can tell the difference by the color of the speech bubbles: blue for iMessage, green for SMS.
Still green speech bubbles
It is becoming apparent that according to Apple’s plan, even with the support of RCS, the two systems will run side by side instead of being interlinked. The technology blog “9to5Mac” wrote, citing Apple, that the RCS messages should continue to appear as green speech bubbles. Apple itself previously stated that RCS would be available “alongside” iMessage.
In contrast to the old SMS technology, RCS allows so-called end-to-end encryption, in which the content of messages in plain text is only visible to the users involved, but not to the service provider.
Apple has so far refused to support RCS. This sparked criticism from Google, among others. The Internet company relies on RCS for Android chats and put pressure on Apple to accept the technology. Google’s Android boss Hiroshi Lockheimer now welcomed Apple’s announcement.
Criticism from the Android camp
With the U-turn, Apple could also respond to the requirements of the new EU law Digital Markets Act (DMA), which stipulates a greater opening of platforms. However, Apple argues that iMessage is not big enough in the EU to be affected by the DMA regulations.
The Android camp criticizes, among other things, that the exclusivity of iMessage is a competitive factor that makes it more difficult to say goodbye to the iPhone because users do not want to lose their usual chat environment.
In Apple’s Messages app, only iMessage users can join groups with several people. For smooth chat communication between iPhones and Android phones, many people turn to cross-platform apps such as WhatsApp from the Facebook group Meta.
Apple repeatedly pointed out that restricting iMessage to its own devices makes it easier to ensure the security of the service.