Final evening, Tim Cook shot down the chance of fixing the green bubble downside — and he revealed the real reason why Apple won’t do it: it doesn’t promote iPhones.
At Vox Media’s Code convention, an attendee informed Cook that it was troublesome for him to ship movies to his mother as a result of Apple units don’t help RCS, the texting protocol championed by Google and supported by main telephone carriers. Cook, in response, recommended the attendee purchase his mother an iPhone. “I don’t hear our customers asking that we put plenty of power in on that at this level,” Cook stated.
This appears to be the first time Cook has publicly addressed RCS, the Wealthy Communications Companies protocol. RCS is a significant enchancment over SMS and MMS, letting you do issues like ship higher-quality photographs and movies, and it might fix lots of the points you run into when texting between Apple and Android units. However Apple has to this point avoided providing help, and the distinction between iMessage’s blue bubbles and common textual content message’s green ones has remained a thorn in Google’s aspect.
Apple has intentionally chosen to make a superior texting expertise by way of iMessage an Apple-only factor — and Cook’s feedback on Wednesday converse to that selection. For years, it’s been a key a part of Apple’s technique to lock in customers to its platforms. Emails revealed as a part of Epic Video games v. Apple confirmed high execs like Craig Federighi (in 2013) and Phil Schiller (in 2016) making the case that bringing iMessage to Android wouldn’t profit Apple. Eddy Cue testified in a deposition that Apple might have made an Android model of iMessage that was suitable with iOS, however that clearly hasn’t been publicly launched.
By making iMessage an Apple-only product — and by persevering with to enhance it with options like the means to edit and unsend messages — Apple could make the case that the greatest method to message your folks is on an Apple machine utilizing Apple’s messaging app. Whereas the firm might theoretically undertake RCS and maintain iMessage on Apple units, it advantages by creating as a lot separation as potential between textual content messaging throughout Apple and Android. Meaning extra folks will purchase extra iPhones.
Google has been campaigning arduous in latest months for Apple to undertake RCS. Google has carried out it in Android, after all, and it’s additionally now supported by AT&T, T-Cell, and Verizon (after a really sluggish rollout). And given that each one three have dedicated to creating Google’s Android messaging app the default texting for Android telephones they promote, it’s more likely that folks will simply textual content over RCS with out interested by it.
Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer has led the cost, joking that there’s a “Actually Clear Answer” to messaging struggles and saying that Apple is “holding again” clients who textual content. The corporate additionally just lately launched an internet site, “Get The Message,” to strive shaming Apple into adopting RCS.
Lockheimer understands Apple’s resistance to RCS, “however folks ought to have the ability to ship prime quality movies and photographs to their mother with out having to purchase her a brand new telephone,” he stated. Cook, it appears, disagrees.