Google has tried to enter the messaging game a bazillion times but failed miserably. The search giant has resorted to a different approach by trying to please Apple to adopt RCS messaging for iPhone.
Google has started a campaign through a new web page where it asks the iPhone-maker to go for RCS. “It’s time for Apple to fix texting,” the web page reads.
What’s the RCS fuss all about?
As time passed, the world slowly moved to internet-based messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram. Apple has its own offering in the name of iMessage.
On the other hand, Google made multiple attempts like Duo but failed. The default Android Messages app supports a forked version of GSMA’s RCS (or Rich Communication Services), which also works over the internet. The difference here is that RCS brings the cellphone carrier into the picture.
Google has actively worked with carriers to support the new standard. But there is no cross-platform compatibility given the lack of iPhone RCS support which makes things even worse. iPhone still sends and receives non-iMessage chats as regular SMS.
Now, what Apple does is it shows both SMS and iMessage conversations in the same chat. It creates technical hurdles; for instance, when iPhone users like or react with an emoji to a message, it’s shown as a separate message on the recipient’s Android device.
The lack of RCS support on iPhone leads to “blurry videos, broken group chats, missing read receipts, and typing indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi,” Google points out.
A big drawback of using SMS is that it can’t be sent over the internet. So, if you don’t have a cellular network, you can’t chat between iPhone and Android without using alternatives like WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram.
So, the lack of RCS support creates problems on both Android and iPhone when you stick to the default messaging apps. That shouldn’t be the case.
RCS is a newer technology that succeeds SMS and bridges that technical gap to a great extent. However, RCS itself was released back in 2008 and might need improvements to match the current internet-based messaging services.
It’s not just a technical limitation; people who use Android in a group of iPhone users might get humiliated as well because of the color of their chat bubble. When an SMS is delivered on an iPhone, its chat bubble gets a green color while the iMessage color is blue. It’s a bigger social issue than we can imagine.
However, this is not the first time Google has called out Apple for not adopting RCS. Back in June, it used Drake’s “Texts Go Green” song to highlight the issue on a bigger scale.
With that said, only time will tell whether Apple would agree with Google (and somewhat the public opinion) and bring RCS support to iMessage.