Google Calls Apple to Fix Disgusting Green Bubbles in iMessage

Google Calls Apple to Fix Disgusting Green Bubbles in iMessage

For many iPhone users, there’s a common annoyance when texting: A friend switches to Android and message bubbles turn green in group chats.

When people send texts between iPhones and Android phones, things start to break: pictures and videos get pixelated, messages sometimes don’t get sent, or they arrive late or out of order. Typing indicators are disabled and responses, like thumbs up or hearts, are written in text rather than appearing as badges on bubbles. People have been complaining about this for years.

Google launched a marketing campaign on Tuesday urging Apple to fix the problem. The search giant released a website called “Get the Message,” urging people to call Apple on social media for a “broken group chat.”

“It’s time for Apple to fix texting,” the website reads. “These problems exist because Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards when people on iPhones and Android phones text each other.”

The website also points out alternatives to Apple’s iMessage that work well for texting between operating systems, including privacy-focused chat app Signal and Meta-owned WhatsApp.

The campaign is the most aggressive move yet by Google in trying to convince Apple to make its texting service more compatible with Android phones, breaking a pattern in which the tech giants rarely badmouth each other by name. Teenagers and college students reportedly fear being ostracized for the green bubble The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year, Android’s top boss, Hiroshi Lockheimer, said Apple’s big hand in texting was the result of “peer pressure and bullying.”

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The problem lies in the technology behind the messaging service. Apple uses SMS, or Short Message Service, and MMS, or Multimedia Message Service – two stalwart but aging protocols that emerged in the 90s and early 00s. Google is pushing Apple to adopt RCS, or Rich Communication Services, a new protocol the company adopted in 2019 to modernize texting on Android phones.

Despite its position and brand awareness, Google has long struggled to create successful messaging apps for its platforms. The company has released and discontinued several texting services over the years, including Hangouts and Allo, which failed to gain traction with customers.

For Apple, the green bubble strategy is by design. “Lack of strategy to become the primary messaging service [the] For most cell phone users, I am concerned that Android’s iMessage can simply be removed [an] iPhone families are a barrier to giving their kids Android phones,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said in a 2013 email. The email was made public last year as part of an antitrust legal battle between Apple and Epic, makers of the popular Fortnite video game.

In another email, a former Apple executive put it more bluntly: “iMessage amounts to serious lock-in.”

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