Google’s senior vice president of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has long been publicly trying to persuade Apple to adopt support for Rich Communication Services (RCS), which is designed to replace the current SMS standard.
Over the weekend, Lockheimer took to Twitter to push RCS, and accuse Apple of “peer pressure” and “bullying” to sell its iPhone and iPad. On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal published an article about teens with iPhones ostracizing peers who have Android phones with “green bubble” chat messages. Lockheimer tweeted a link to the story, saying “Using peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products is disingenuous for a company that has humanity and equity as a core part of its marketing.”
Apple’s iMessage lock-in is a documented strategy. Using peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products is disingenuous for a company that has humanity and equity as a core part of its marketing. The standards exist today to fix this. https://t.co/MiQqMUOrgn
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) January 8, 2022
Lockheimer said Apple could implement RCS to solve some of the messaging issues that exist between iPhone and Android users. RCS offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file size, improved encryption, and more.
Lockheimer followed up with more tweets today, to provide clarification on his January 8 tweets. Lockheimer says Google is “not asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android,” the company simply wants Apple to “support the industry standard for modern messaging,” aka RCS.
We’re not asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android. We’re asking Apple to support the industry standard for modern messaging (RCS) in iMessage, just as they support the older SMS / MMS standards.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) January 10, 2022
“Supporting RCS would improve the experience for both iOS and Android users alike,” Lockheimer said. “That’s right, RCS will also improve the experience and privacy for iOS users.” By not adopting RCS, Apple is “holding back the industry” and preventing both iPhone and Android customers from having the best possible messaging interactions. And bullying them, don’t forget that.
Apple is the last major holdout when it comes to RCS. U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are already adopting RCS support on Android devices. Apple has not commented on whether it plans to add RCS support to iOS in the future.