Google Savagely Trolls Apple Over Stubborn Refusal To Support RCS On iPhone

An iPager device with the words "HELLO (AGAIN"" on the display.
Google is ramping up its effort to publicly shame and pressure Apple into supporting the Rich Communications Service (RCS) messaging protocol on its iPhone devices. To help #GetTheMessage out, Google's Android channel on YouTube posted a video for a faux iPager device, comparing Apple's refusal to embrace RCS to using a pager.

The video highlights a handful of "modern texting nightmares" that needlessly occur when iPhone and Android users send each other messages. Broken group chats, pixelated pics and videos, and lack of encryption are among the pain points, all because Apple sticks to SMS on iPhone when texting someone with an Android phone. And of course the stigma of the green bubble.

"iPager isn't real, but the problems that Apple causes by using SMS are. Let’s make texting better for everyone and help Apple #GetTheMessage and upgrade to RCS," Google states.

So what exactly is going on? Apple uses its own proprietary iMessage protocol on its hardware devices, which allows for enhanced messaging features like read receipts, message reactions and replies, high quality video and image sharing, and so forth.

However, iMessage only works across Apple devices. When texting to an Android users, either individual or as part of a group chat, Apple falls back to using the Short Message Service (SMS) protocol. The problem is that SMS is an old standard with limited functionality. For example, it limits file sharing to 3.5MB or less, hence why videos shared in group chats with iPhone and Android users are small and low quality. It's also less secure than RCS or iMessage.

RCS is basically an upgraded version of SMS with modern features and security. It would make texting between iPhone and Android devices far more elegant than it is now, and also more secure. But so far, Apple has stubbornly refused to embrace RCS support despite these kinds of campaigns.

That's not likely to change because of an iPager video. It was around this time last year when Apple CEO Tim Cook outright dismissed the idea. When asked at Vox Media's Code 2022 event what Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would think about RCS messaging, Cook replied, "I don't hear users asking that we put a lot of energy in on that at this point." And when Vox Media's LiQuan Hunt informed Cook that their mother couldn't see their videos, Cook advised, "Buy your mom an iPhone."