Technology

Google says iMessage green bubble bullying benefits Apple

Gary Sims / Android Authority

tl; DR

  • Google has criticized Apple’s iMessage lock strategy against Android devices.
  • Comments come after The Wall Street Journal iPhone and iMessage have been reported to dominate among American teens.
  • The outlet also touched on the phenomenon of the green bubble among teenagers.

Apple’s iMessage app has gained a large following in the US, and one of the strangest trends is the blue bubble/green bubble debate. Android users get a green text bubble in iMessage instead of the default blue bubble, as they are forced to use SMS instead of sending messages over data. This has resulted in some people, especially teens, making fun of Android users who are distinguished in this way.

Now, Google Senior Vice President Hiroshi Lockheimer has criticized Apple for apparently exploiting “peer pressure” and “bullying” about iMessage.

“Apple’s iMessage lockout is a documented strategy. Using peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products is disingenuous for a company that has humanity and equality as an essential part of its marketing. Standards are in place today to fix this,” chirp Lockheimer.

the Android Twitter account He also encountered a “bullying” issue about Apple’s iMessage, saying the solution is already there.

iMessage Android Twitter account

Google and Lockheimer’s comments come as a reaction to a The Wall Street Journal Essay on iPhone dominance among teens. The outlet also reported that Android teens and college students were feeling social pressure for being a green text bubble in iMessage.

Furthermore, the article cites a 2013 email from Apple, Craig Federighi, offering his opposition to an internal proposal to bring iMessage to Android.

“In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for (for the most part) mobile users, I am concerned that iMessage on Android will simply remove (an obstacle) for iPhone families to give their children Android phones,” Federigi noted.

A solution for Android users?

The third-class handling of Android users in iMessage not only extends to a green text bubble, but also means that many features are bogged down for that user. Apple’s messaging platform is returning to the old SMS for Android users, which is not dependent on data connection and provides a poor experience.

One solution, which Lockheimer and Google have hinted at, is for Apple to adopt the RCS standard for texting. This routes texts through data, enabling high-quality multimedia sharing, read receipts, typing cues, location functionality, VoIP and video calling features, and more. The way Google handles RCS also offers end-to-end encryption. RCS didn’t have the smoothest version, with carrier support, in particular, being a major initial hurdle.

What should Apple do with iMessage and Android?

220 votes

Another possible solution is for Apple to bring iMessage to Android. But Apple seems to think it could lose iPhone sales by going this route, at least if the email Federighi sent reflects the company’s current position. The company has also released a web-based version of Facetime for Android and PC users. So the web-based version of iMessage is also a theoretical possibility, although it will likely miss some features as well.

In your opinion, what should Apple do about iMessage and Android users? Let us know with the survey above.

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