Google’s new campaign attempts to publicly pressure Apple into adopting RCS

Google is launching a new “Get The Message” campaign and website today to pressure Apple into changing its mind on RCS. The tech giant has been increasingly calling out Apple for not adopting RCS, which is a communication protocol that would improve the messaging experience between Android and iOS users.

“It’s time for Apple to fix texting,” the website reads. “It’s not about the color of the bubbles. It’s the blurry videos, broken group chats, missing read receipts and typing indicators, no texting over Wi-Fi, and more. These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards when people with iPhones and Android phones text each other.”

Google says the campaign aims to addresses not only the “green/blue bubbles” problem, but also other common challenges in cross-platform messaging, including end-to-end encryption and more. All of the issues are due to iPhone’s continued use of SMS and MMS for non-iMessage conversations, which Google refers to as “out-of-date technologies from the 90s and 00s.”

The tech giant is nudging Apple to fix these issues by supporting RCS, which offers many of the features of iMessage in a protocol that can be used across both iOS and Android.

“Messaging should bring people together—not pull them apart,” Google said in a statement. “The Android team’s goal is to make texting a more secure, modern, and enjoyable experience for everyone, regardless of the phone they’re using. Because it shouldn’t matter what phone they have—things should just work.”

For Apple, on the other hand, iMessage is one of its biggest sources of ecosystem lock-in, so it doesn’t have much to gain from adopting RCS. In addition, court filings revealed last year showed that Apple doesn’t want to make iMessage for Android because it would hurt the company more than help it. Considering all of this, it seems unlikely that Google’s new campaign will be the factor that pushes Apple into adopting RCS.

Google’s focus on RCS follows years of failed attempts to create its own messaging product, after several of its chat apps, including Hangouts, Allo and many others were discontinued.

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