Recently Google began a campaign aimed at teasing Apple into changing its messaging support for SMS to the newer and richer RCS protocol.
The campaign utilizes a funny take on the blue bubbles that iPhones use against the green bubbles from Android phones.
While bubble color is the obvious difference that most users recognize, the technical details go much deeper.
Apple’s strategy, like many things that the company produces, is a closed-loop platform that only grudgingly allows carrier-controlled messages from other types of phones based on SMS or short messaging service.
Messages within Apple’s iMessage app (meaning iPhone to iPhone) are encrypted end to end, support multimedia sharing, and group chats, and read receipt/typing indicators.
But messages between iPhones and Android phones require translation out of Apple’s closed loop and utilizing the standard SMS protocol which is less secure and less feature-rich
Google, who acquired Android back in 2005, has moved on from SMS to the newer RCS protocol that supports a much broader range of messaging exchanges including high-resolution photos, video, and audio messages.
So the company has a vested interest in getting Apple to change to the newer protocol, which would, in essence, make Apple’s differentiators moot.
Samsung, the largest manufacturer of Android phones, recently jumped on the bandwagon with its own troll of Apple in a YouTube video.
But Apple is pretty clear that it really has no interest in changing because Google wants it to.
However, the EU Digitial Markets Act has regulators reviewing if Apple iMessage qualifies as a Core Platform Service and thus needs to support industry standard protocols like RCS.