Last evening, Tim Cook shot down the risk of fixing the inexperienced bubble drawback — and he revealed the real reason why Apple won’t do it: it doesn’t promote iPhones.
At Vox Media’s Code convention, an attendee advised Cook that it was troublesome for him to ship movies to his mother as a result of Apple gadgets don’t assist RCS, the texting protocol championed by Google and supported by main telephone carriers. Cook, in response, urged the attendee buy his mom an iPhone. “I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy in on that at this point,” Cook mentioned.
This appears to be the first time Cook has publicly addressed RCS, the Rich Communications Services protocol. RCS is a significant enchancment over SMS and MMS, letting you do issues like ship higher-quality photographs and movies, and it might repair lots of the points you run into when texting between Apple and Android gadgets. But Apple has to this point avoided providing assist, and the distinction between iMessage’s blue bubbles and common textual content message’s inexperienced ones has remained a thorn in Google’s facet.
Apple has intentionally chosen to make a superior texting expertise by way of iMessage an Apple-only factor — and Cook’s feedback on Wednesday converse to that alternative. For years, it’s been a key a part of Apple’s technique to lock in customers to its platforms. Emails revealed as a part of Epic Games v. Apple confirmed high execs like Craig Federighi (in 2013) and Phil Schiller (in 2016) making the case that bringing iMessage to Android wouldn’t profit Apple. Eddy Cue testified in a deposition that Apple might have made an Android model of iMessage that was suitable with iOS, however that clearly hasn’t been publicly launched.
By making iMessage an Apple-only product — and by persevering with to enhance it with features like the ability to edit and unsend messages — Apple could make the case that the finest approach to message your mates is on an Apple system utilizing Apple’s messaging app. While the firm might theoretically undertake RCS and hold iMessage on Apple gadgets, it advantages by creating as a lot separation as doable between textual content messaging throughout Apple and Android. That means extra individuals will purchase extra iPhones.
Google has been campaigning arduous in latest months for Apple to undertake RCS. Google has applied it in Android, after all, and it’s additionally now supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon (after a really sluggish rollout). And given that every one three have committed to making Google’s Android messaging app the default texting for Android telephones they promote, it’s more likely that folks will simply textual content over RCS with out enthusiastic about it.
Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer has led the cost, joking that there’s a “Really Clear Solution” to messaging struggles and saying that Apple is “holding back” customers who text. The firm additionally just lately launched an internet site, “Get The Message,” to attempt shaming Apple into adopting RCS.
Lockheimer understands Apple’s resistance to RCS, “but people should be able to send high quality videos and photos to their mom without having to buy her a new phone,” he said. Cook, it appears, disagrees.