SMS is an old technology that is no longer suitable for modern uses. To replace it, Google is promoting RCS, a standard increasingly used in the industry… But not by Apple. The search engine pressures the creator of the iPhone.
When an Android user sends a text message to a friend on iPhone, the “bubble” received in Apple’s Messages app is green. This is synonymous with receiving an SMS. When two iPhone users are talking to each other, the bubble is blue: it is not an SMS, but an iMessage, in other words a message transferred by Apple’s servers.
iMessages benefit from modern features such as read receipts, a typing indicator, better image quality for photos and videos, additional group chat management options, and end-to-end encryption. SMS does not have that and for good reason, it is an old technology born in the 90s.
The RCS (Rich Communication Services) aims precisely to integrate these modern functions into the SMS. Google is one of the main promoters of this technology, the search engine not having been able to impose its various messaging systems. Unfortunately, Apple does not seem to be in a hurry to integrate RCS into the Messages app, and for good reason: it risks competing with iMessages and diverting iPhone users to Android smartphones which are often less expensive.
Google is therefore launching a new campaign to make Apple bend. It’s not about the color of bubbles, the search engine promises, but rather about making life easier for all smartphone users, regardless of their device. Google is calling on everyone on the internet to take action using the hashtag #GetTheMessage.
Much remains to be done in terms of interoperability between the different messaging systems. The European Union also wants to force all publishers to agree on a common base of interoperable functions through DMA. In this context, the RCS could be a common solution acceptable to all… and why not Apple.