Gary Sims / Android Authority
- Google has criticized Apple’s iMessage lock-in strategy against Android devices.
- The comments come after the WSJ reported on the dominance of the iPhone and iMessage among American teens.
- The outlet also addressed the phenomenon of the green bubble among teenagers.
Apple’s iMessage has gained a huge following in the US, and one of the strangest trends is the blue bubble/green bubble controversy. Android users will get a green speech bubble in iMessage instead of the standard blue bubble as they are forced to use SMS instead of sending messages via data. This has led some people, especially teenagers, to poke fun at Android users who stand out in this way.
Now Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president, has criticized Apple for apparently taking advantage of this “peer pressure” and “bullying” around iMessage.
“Apple’s iMessage lock-in is a documented strategy. Using peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products is unfair to a company that has humanity and fairness as a core part of its marketing. The standards exist today to fix this,” tweeted Lockheimer.
The Android Twitter account also objected to “bullying” around Apple’s iMessage, saying a fix already exists.
The comments from Google and Lockheimer are in response to a Wall Street Journal article on the dominance of the iPhone among teens. The outlet also reported that teens and college students using Android felt social pressure for being a green speech bubble in iMessage.
Furthermore, the article cites a 2013 email from Craig Federighi of Apple, in which he presents his opposition to an internal suggestion to bring iMessage to Android.
“In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for (the) majority of mobile phone users, I fear that iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove (an) obstacle for iPhone families giving their children Android phones. give,” Federighi noted.
A solution for Android users?
The third-class handling of Android users in iMessage not only extends to a green speech bubble, but also means that many functions are hindered for that user. Apple’s messaging platform falls back on archaic SMS for Android users, which does not rely on data connectivity and provides a poor experience.
One solution, which both Lockheimer and Google have suggested, is for Apple to adopt the RCS standard for texting. This routes texts through data while also allowing for higher quality multimedia sharing, read receipts, typing indicators, location functionality, VoIP and video calling functions and more. Google’s take on RCS also brings end-to-end encryption to the table. However, RCS has not had the smoothest release, with carrier support in particular being a major first hurdle.
What should Apple do with iMessage and Android?
Another possible solution is for Apple to bring iMessage to Android. But Apple apparently thinks it could miss out on iPhone sales by going this route, at least if Federighi’s email reflects the company’s current position. However, the company has also released a web version of FaceTime for Android and PC users. So a web-based version of iMessage is also a theoretical possibility, although it will probably also lack some features.
What do you think Apple should do regarding iMessage and Android users? Let us know in the poll above.