The messaging app war is starting again. While WhatsApp has lost its shine and services like Signal and Telegram are booming, it is to another Internet giant that we owe the latest attack. Using a recently published site, Google is trying to publicly pressure Apple to remove the standard from its iMessage service.
Public pressure as a weapon
With lots of technical arguments, screenshots of frustrated internet users, and hashtags, Google wants to pressure Apple to adopt the RCS discussion standard instead of the proprietary protocol iMessage is based on. Apple’s chat platform is only fully compatible with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. As a result, if an iPhone owner starts a group chat with people on Android, messages from those phones will appear green (instead of blue) in the iMessage app. The phenomenon is entrenched enough in popular culture that rapper Drake dedicates a song to this terrible difference in treatment.
iMessage incompatibility with Android phones causes many other issues. Abusive compression of photos, reduced readability of white text on a green background, sometimes aborted sending of messages… In short, according to Google, “the bad experience you have while texting Android users is Apple’s fault. But the company can remedy this by switching to the RCS standard.“Google has been trying for months, even years, to pressure Apple to adopt a messaging standard that prioritizes interoperability, and that standard is none other than RCS.
acronym of Rich communication services, RCS is supposed to replace the old SMS. By allowing the sending of text messages through the Web, and not only through the telephone network of the operators, the RCS offers advanced functionalities such as the sending of photos and videos in original quality, the capture indicator in time real and addition reactions. to publications The transition from SMS to RCS is also almost invisible, since the application that allows sending SMS on Android also supports the RCS protocol, even passing through this channel by default when possible.
RCS is not perfect
In short, most iMessage features have their RCS counterparts. That is why Google is pressuring Internet users to demand that Apple adopt this standard. This battle has been going on for years and the frequent twists and turns fuel this war of standards. Google had started promoting RCS in earnest around 2019; in 2021, we learned that Apple didn’t want to offer iMessage on Android, because the company had a lot to lose; and in 2022, a survey of the Wall Street Journal took stock of these technical incompatibilities.
If Google is probably right in promoting a truly interoperable discussion standard, the company is still showing some bad faith. Firstly, RCS is not that “modern” because it was developed in 2018. Secondly, Google’s specific implementation of RCS contains proprietary code (especially for message encryption) and the company guards its API (the user interface) closely. programming that allows RCS to be used on Android). Only Samsung phones are fully compatible with Google service. Finally, Google acquired one of the largest RCS message management operators in 2015. This means that if Apple were to adopt RCS, messages from all iPhones would pass (encrypted) on Google’s servers.
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