Just a few of the many Google messaging logos. Can you name them all?
Enlarge / Just some of the numerous Google messaging logos. Are you able to identify all of them?

Ron Amadeo

Google has been unable to area a secure, aggressive messaging platform for years and has totally misplaced the messaging war to merchandise with a long-term technique. At the least some divisions inside the corporate are waking as much as how damaging that is to Google as an organization, and now Google’s newest technique is to… beg its competitors for mercy? Google—which has launched 13 completely different messaging apps since iMessage launched in 2011—now says, “It is time for Apple to repair texting.”

Google launched a brand new web site known as “Get the Message“—a public stress marketing campaign with a name to “tweet at @Apple to #GetTheMessage and repair texting.” Google hopes public stress will get Apple to undertake RCS, a minor improve to the SMS commonplace that Apple makes use of for non-iMessage customers. Google has been pushing this technique for the reason that starting of the yr, however coming from the corporate with the world’s most dysfunctional messaging technique, it simply comes throughout as an organization bored with reaping what it has been sowing.

Worldwide, iMessage is not that standard (individuals have a tendency to love Whatsapp), however in the US, iMessage is sufficient of a cultural phenomenon to have Billboard Prime 100 songs written about how a lot it sucks to have a inexperienced (SMS) iMessage bubble. Certainly one of Apple’s greatest opponents—particularly for on-line companies—is Google, and Google’s incapacity to compete with iMessage has contributed an ideal deal to the present state of affairs. Google apparently feels iMessage’s dominance is damaging to its model, so now it is asking Apple, properly, to please cease beating it so badly.

Google’s site says, “It isn’t in regards to the coloration of the bubbles. It is the blurry movies, damaged group chats, lacking learn receipts and typing indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi, and extra. These issues exist as a result of Apple refuses to undertake trendy texting requirements when individuals with iPhones and Android telephones textual content one another.”

A 14-year-old commonplace is “trendy,” proper?

A few of Google’s claims on this web site do not make a lot sense. Google says, “Apple turns texts between iPhones and Android telephones into SMS and MMS, out-of-date applied sciences from the 90s and 00s. However Apple can undertake RCS—the trendy trade commonplace—for these threads as a substitute.” RCS is not a contemporary commonplace both—it is from 2008—and, regardless of a couple of middling updates since then, hasn’t stored up with the occasions.

RCS has hung round so lengthy and continues to be so poorly applied as a result of it was created by the carriers (via the GSMA) as a carrier-centric messaging commonplace. Carriers did this in the heyday of pay-per-message SMS, when service messaging was an actual income stream. Now that service messaging is commoditized although, the carriers in management of RCS haven’t got an incentive to care about RCS. RCS is a zombie spec.

In Google’s protection, SMS is from 1986, so RCS is extra trendy than that. That is most likely extra of an indication that it’s best to by no means work with the GSMA if you do not have to, although. If Google and Apple ever teamed as much as make a messaging duopoly, they’d not want the carriers or their historic messaging commonplace.

Google’s proprietary fork of RCS

Being from 2008 means RCS lacks a lot of what you’d need from a contemporary messaging commonplace. Initially, as a commonplace, RCS is service messaging, so messages are delivered to a single service cellphone quantity, relatively than a number of gadgets by way of the Web, like how you’d count on a contemporary service to function. As a typical, there is no encryption. Google tried to glom options onto the getting older RCS spec, however in the event you think about these a part of the RCS gross sales pitch, which Google does, now it is extra such as you promoting “Google’s proprietary fork of RCS.” Google would love it if Apple constructed its proprietary RCS fork into iMessage.

Google’s model of RCS—the one promoted on the web site with Google-exclusive options like non-compulsory encryption—is unquestionably proprietary, by the way in which. If that is alleged to be a typical, there is no method for a third-party to make use of Google’s RCS APIs proper now. Some messaging apps, like Beeper, have requested Google about integrating RCS and had been advised there is no public RCS API and no plans to construct one. Google has an RCS API already, however solely Samsung is allowed to make use of it as a result of Samsung signed some sort of partnership deal.

If you wish to implement RCS, you may have to run the messages via some sort of service, and who supplies that server? It’s going to most likely be Google. Google purchased Jibe, the main RCS server supplier, in 2015. Right now it has an entire gross sales pitch about how Google Jibe can “assist carriers rapidly scale RCS companies, iterate in brief cycles, and profit from enhancements instantly.” So the pitch for Apple to undertake RCS is not simply this public-good nonsense about making texts with Android customers higher; it is also about operating Apple’s messages via Google servers. Google income in each server charges and knowledge acquisition.

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