Last week, the world watched as Apple announced its newest phones. So dumb – though no less intriguing – as could be Dynamic Island, the iPhone 14 series does not solve one of the biggest problems with modern smartphones: messaging. A day after Apple’s keynote address, Tim Cook took the stage at Vox’s Code Conference, confirming the company’s position in RCS: not interested, and if you want to send hi-res videos to your mom, you better buy her, or yourself, an iPhone.
After months of increasingly desperate pleas from Google, solidifies the status of cross-platform messaging as a disastrous disaster in the US. Cook’s comments are spitfire, not only for Android users, but also for any iPhone user who wants to text their friends without worrying about blue and green bubbles. That’s why it’s finally time to push your iOS-based friends and family to ditch their blue bubble group chats and move to a third-party chat platform.
Let me say this up front: This issue is absolutely a US-centric issue. I am fully aware that iMessage is practically unimportant in most of the rest of the world. It’s a problem that originated more than a decade ago, when US carriers included free SMS while other countries continued to charge extra fees, creating the conditions for services like WhatsApp to rise in popularity while remaining a minuscule player. in United States. Unfortunately, I live in the US so this fight is all I know. For those readers based in the US (Android and iPhone users alike), it’s time to join in and follow the example of the rest of the world. If persuading Apple to adopt RCS doesn’t work, you need to persuade your friends to download a new app.
Don’t get me wrong, this is going to be an uphill battle. iPhones are immensely popular in the US., and that user base is only growing. iMessage isn’t just a crucial blocking feature, it’s also a way to turn people away from Android. Tim Cook himself said it on stage this week: If you’re sick of receiving or sending low-resolution videos, if you’re sick of group chats breaking up, if you’re sick of being called a “green bubble,” the solution to Apple is for you to buy an iPhone.
And I hear you. You’ve been through this before. She tried it in 2012 when she persuaded her family to join Hangouts. You tried again in 2016 and convinced some of your friends to download Allo from the App Store. You called them both the future of messaging. Y in both cases, you were wrong.
Now that Google seems to be sticking with a messaging service, and a decent one, it’s disappointing to throw in the towel. RCS is not perfect, but it’s the closest thing to the “iMessage for Android” that people have been asking for for years. It works with your phone number, it is compatible with almost all Android devices, and it’s virtually automatic. But outside of the US, no one really cares about RCS. And even to import into the US, RCS needs Apple to adopt it. Otherwise, we’re stuck with the same problems we’ve faced for a decade: broken group chats and a lack of modern messaging features. Without some kind of forceful intervention, either from the government or carriers, Apple won’t be adding RCS support to iMessage for the foreseeable future.
So, it’s time to give up the dream and make one last push to get your friends and family to switch to a cross-platform chat service. Fortunately, countless messaging apps are widely available on both app stores. If you don’t mind using Meta products, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram are there. Chances are your mom is on Facebook anyway, so persuading her to text you through Messenger won’t take much effort. Don’t want to give Meta access to your life? Sign up for Signal. I’ve been using it for a couple of my group chats over the last couple of months, and it’s great. It’s basic enough that anyone can learn to use it, even those who haven’t used anything other than iMessage since the days of sliding QWERTY keyboards. Get your friends to jump on Discord or Telegram. All of these platforms can be accessed on iOS and Android and can also be synced with desktop or web-based clients. Fundamentally, they’re set: unlike Hangouts and Allo, they’re not going anywhere.
It is hard work. It’s annoying. Basically, you will have to pester and persuade the closest people in your life, all in an effort to fix a problem that we have little or no control over. But that’s it: we can make these changes to our social circles simply by begging our friends and family to download one latest messaging app. And the timing is perfect. More than ever, iPhone users seem to be aware of the issues when messaging Android users and you might be willing to change your habits to avoid future headaches. If there’s a benefit to Google’s ongoing campaign, here it is.
So one last time. Apologize to your loved ones for having them try Allo all those years ago; Honestly, they deserve that apology (Alology?), and promise them this will be your last attraction. No future apps, no Google ads. Jump into WhatsApp, Signal or any app of your choice and leave the green bubble conversation in the past. We will all be better for it.