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This article was published on October 8, 2021

Android exec wants to help Apple bring RCS on iPhones

End the bubble game


Android exec wants to help Apple bring RCS on iPhones
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Google has been trying to push carriers all around the world to adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS) since 2017. For the uninitiated, RCS is like SMS 2.0 with the ability to send pictures, videos, voice notes, and QR codes across.

While more than 88 mobile network operators support this communication standard, you can’t use it on iPhones. So if you’re texting a friend who uses Apple devices, they’ll still see those green bubbles reserved for people not using iMessage.

Today, Android SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer cheekily tweeted about helping Apple deploy RCS. He commented on a tweet describing a person with green bubbles (aka a person using Android) in a group chat, and sent an “open invitation” to people “who can make this right.”

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Basically, he’s asking Apple to have a chat with Google about bringing RCS to folks using iPhones and iPads. However, given how the Cupertino-based company’s stance on cross-platform messaging has been, it’s unlikely that RCS will be on Apple devices any time soon.

On the other hand, a ton of users have demanded to bring iMessage on Android. During the recent Apple vs Epic court case, some documents revealed that Eddie Cue wanted to make it happen in 2013, but his idea was struck down.

Over the last few years, RCS has drawn comparisons like ‘iMessage for Android,’ and has added features like end-to-end encryption for one-to-one chats. The messaging standard now has more than 444 million users in 60 countries, and has been competing with the likes of WhatsApp, Telegram, and Viber.

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