Android executive offers to help Apple deploy RCS messaging

Posted:
in iOS edited October 2021
A Google SVP in a tweet Thursday extended an "open invitation" to assist Apple should it choose to support Rich Communication Services (RCS), which is primed to succeed SMS as the next mobile-to-mobile text standard.




Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google SVP of platforms and ecosystems, did not mention Apple by name in the tweet, but alluded to the tech giant as "the folks" who can put an end to broken group chats involving iOS and Android users.

Lockheimer was commenting on a Twitter conversation sparked by a Golf Digest story about PGA Tour golfer Bryson DeChambeau, who is the odd one out in group texts because his Android texts appear as green bubbles in Messages strings. The official Android account responded with a reference to the Masters' green jacket in a message subsequently quoted by Lockheimer.

"Group chats don't need to break this way. There exists a Really Clear Solution. Here's an open invitation to the folks who can make this right: we are here to help," Lockheimer tweeted.

The "Really Clear Solution" reference is a nod to RCS, while the "open invitation" offer is obviously pointed at Apple, which has yet to commit to supporting the standard.

As noted by The Verge, which reported on Lockheimer's tweet earlier today, RCS is well on its way to becoming Android's default text messaging system. Google brokered deals with major U.S. carriers T-Mobile, AT&T and, most recently, Verizon, to preinstall the Messages by Google app on all Android devices sold on their respective networks.

RCS nets Android users features like typing indicators, read receipts, end-to-end encryption, Wi-Fi texting, dynamic group chats and more, niceties that have long been enjoyed by Apple device owners. Unfortunately, RCS is not compatible with Apple's proprietary messaging system, meaning texts sent between Android and iOS devices switch back to an SMS backbone.

Apple could be cajoled into adding support for RCS as more carriers adopt the standard, but for now it appears that the iPhone maker is content with blue bubble/green bubble conversations.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    People switch to iPhone simply because they don’t want to be a green bubble. No reason for Apple to rush to change it.
    9secondkox2repressthistwokatmewjas99lkruppJaiOh81dewmeDBSyncargonautpscooter63
  • Reply 2 of 40
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,713member
    How generous of this asshole. Everybody stoops to mocking Apple to no avail. From Samsung, to Microsoft, to Google, to Michael Dell. It’s the main reason I’ve stuck with Apple all these years. Apple has to be doing something right to get under these asshole’s skin. 
    9secondkox2repressthissflocallorca2770twokatmewdavjas99DBSyncargonautigorsky
  • Reply 3 of 40
    szbszb Posts: 2member
    “It’s not easy being green.”
                                      —Kermit the Frog
    Xedmwhite9secondkox2repressthistwokatmewdavlkruppdamankasdewmeargonaut
  • Reply 4 of 40
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,855member
    Apple should embrace RCS. It will only make iMessage that much better.
    muthuk_vanalingamKITA9secondkox2gatorguylkruppwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 40
    There’s enough negative tribalism going on in the world… if adopting RCS helps eliminate the us vs them mentality I’m all for it!
    KITAmpw_amherst9secondkox2repressthismichelb76citpeksgatorguyargonautIreneWjony0
  • Reply 6 of 40
    KITAKITA Posts: 382member
    lkrupp said:
    How generous of this asshole. Everybody stoops to mocking Apple to no avail. From Samsung, to Microsoft, to Google, to Michael Dell. It’s the main reason I’ve stuck with Apple all these years. Apple has to be doing something right to get under these asshole’s skin. 
    Ironically, those "assholes" must be doing something right to get under your skin.

    Despite the tone of the tweet, adopting a universal standard that's set to replace SMS will benefit everyone. There isn't a need to segregate users by rejecting it.
    muthuk_vanalingammpw_amherst9secondkox2CloudTalkingatorguylkruppwilliamlondontokyojimu
  • Reply 7 of 40
    KITAKITA Posts: 382member
    Apple should embrace RCS. It will only make iMessage that much better.
    Exactly. Make it a one stop shop to communicate with other iOS users and the other ~72% of the world using Android. That way there will be less of a need for iOS users to jump to other messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat, Signal, etc.) just to have modern messaging features with all of their contacts.
    9secondkox2michelb76argonautwilliamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 40
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,416member
    There was a previous article on here which linked to an overview of RCS and how different carriers have branded it with different names, with varying levels of support for different parts of the specification.  From a technical standpoint, it looked like a hot mess at this point.  Google is fine with that because they're not the ones providing technical support for Android-based phones.  They can live in lala land and implement it so that it works perfectly fine with other Android phones running the very latest version of Android on Wifi, and not have to worry about being inundated with support calls from confused customers when conditions aren't perfect: cellular connection from a carrier which doesn't fully support it, phones stuck on older (incompatible) versions of Android, other types of phones, etc.  Apple OTOH has to worry about providing tech support when an iPhone using RCS encounters less-than-ideal connectivity situations which are outside of their control.
    WgkruegertwokatmewDBSyncigorskywilliamlondonmike1pscooter63FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 40
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,009member
    LOL. 

    More like they wish Apple would help them implement iMessage on Android. 

    Except that it’s a major differentiator. 

    Android…LOLZ

    Apple gains nothing and competitors gain what Apple is already doing. Bad business and takes away a great reason to use iOS. 

    Just another transparent hoodwink by Google to the unwashed. 
    edited October 2021 twokatmewdavjas99DBSyncargonautwilliamlondonFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 40
    Maybe RCS genuinely is the future of messaging on Android. But…

    1) Google has a long history of dumping services when they get bored of them. Unless RCS is going to be a big income driver for Google I wouldn’t be surprised to see them walk away from it several years down the line. 

    2) RCS has been under discussion for what feels like forever and it’s still not the default on Android. If it takes this long to roll something out, how long is it going to take to add new features? How are Apple expected to maintain parity with RCS if Apple’s ready to launch support for a feature and RCS isn’t ready?

    3) Control of iMessage is of obvious strategic importance to Apple, but it also lets Apple set and control the direction and feature set of its default messaging service. If the RCS folks decide they want to take RCS in a new direction (say, adding send money features), and that direction isn’t where Apple wants to go, then we end up breaking parity again. Apple doesn’t want some other consortium of companies setting the strategic roadmap for iMessage features. 

    There’s lots of good reasons for RCS and customers of both platforms for this to work. I can see very few reasons for Apple wanting to do it though.  


    WgkruegerF_Kent_DtwokatmewdavbeowulfschmidtJaiOh81DBSyncargonautwilliamlondonpscooter63
  • Reply 11 of 40
    There is a whole world out there beyond the lower 48 states. Are carriers all over the world going to adopt RCS?  What about all those phones that are not smart. In many places, the dumb phone still rules.

    Unless Google relinquishes control of the RCS standard then it is IMHO DOA. As has been mentioned, Google could just drop it because it is not a money earner (or a huge data source for them). What happens then eh? Would Apple be up bovine excrement creek without a paddle?


    F_Kent_Dtwokatmewdavjas99argonautwilliamlondonpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 40
    citpekscitpeks Posts: 180member
    jamesnay said:
    There’s enough negative tribalism going on in the world… if adopting RCS helps eliminate the us vs them mentality I’m all for it!

    I've never understood the supposed stigma surrounding the blue/green bubble thing.  But I guess, as with a lot of things, people have to find stupid things to occupy their head with.

    Apple isn't going to adopt RCS until it has to.  With the plethora of messaging apps and platforms available, I'm guessing it might never come.  And it certainly won't until RCS is fully-baked, which is apparently not the case even for Android users.

    But, if for no other reason, it should, to help put SMS in the past, and move away from its weaknesses, to a more modern standard.  The recent reveal of the data breach is just another reminder of why that needs to happen, and for companies and organizations to stop using at as a means of 2FA.

    dav12Strangersjamesnaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 40
    xbitxbit Posts: 317member
    So RCS is a US-only solution? Is it backed by any internationally recognised standards body like SMS was?

    I'm fine with anything that breaks WhatsApp's dominance as long as it's a global standard.
    williamlondontokyojimuvedelppajamesnaywatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 40
    mr lizard said:
    Maybe RCS genuinely is the future of messaging on Android. But…

    1) Google has a long history of dumping services when they get bored of them. Unless RCS is going to be a big income driver for Google I wouldn’t be surprised to see them walk away from it several years down the line. 

    2) RCS has been under discussion for what feels like forever and it’s still not the default on Android. If it takes this long to roll something out, how long is it going to take to add new features? How are Apple expected to maintain parity with RCS if Apple’s ready to launch support for a feature and RCS isn’t ready?

    3) Control of iMessage is of obvious strategic importance to Apple, but it also lets Apple set and control the direction and feature set of its default messaging service. If the RCS folks decide they want to take RCS in a new direction (say, adding send money features), and that direction isn’t where Apple wants to go, then we end up breaking parity again. Apple doesn’t want some other consortium of companies setting the strategic roadmap for iMessage features. 

    There’s lots of good reasons for RCS and customers of both platforms for this to work. I can see very few reasons for Apple wanting to do it though.  


    1.  Google has a long history of dumping services that don't have adoption levels they deem necessary to continue dedicating resources to support the service. A bit different from boredom.  Afaik, messaging has never been a big income driver for Google.  I doubt their implementation of RCS would be either.  To my point, the adoption levels would be virtually guaranteed since the US carriers would have Message by Google pre-installed on all Android phones.  Akin to how iMessage is installed on all iPhones.

    2.  The answer to your question of timeframe is answered in the article.  They had to get buy-in from all three carriers and Verizon just recently agreed.  This has nothing to do with parity.  There are apps and services across iOS, Android, and MS that don't have feature parity - and never have.   This is about compatibility. Having the ability to enable, among other things, e2e encrypted messaging across platforms.

    3. You're continuing the parity argument from your point 2.  As I mentioned, parity isn't a goal.  Neither is it a barrier.  Parity doesn't exist in a lot of app and services.  No one but Apple would be setting their iMessage roadmap.  

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 40
    xbit said:
    So RCS is a US-only solution? Is it backed by any internationally recognised standards body like SMS was?

    I'm fine with anything that breaks WhatsApp's dominance as long as it's a global standard.
    It is not US-only, It was essentially the reaction of the carriers to WhatsApp's success, and at first they wanted to create apps but eventually it should move into the messenging apps of the phones, even feature phones. Only now that Google is behind the efford it seems to work and being used. In most places it depends on the carrier not on Google if it works or not. What is currently missing is widespread end to end encryption. WhatsApp had an advantage to introduce it to their service.

    The Wikipedia entry is certainly a good starting point to learn more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Communication_Services
  • Reply 16 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    auxio said:
    There was a previous article on here which linked to an overview of RCS and how different carriers have branded it with different names, with varying levels of support for different parts of the specification.  From a technical standpoint, it looked like a hot mess at this point.  Google is fine with that because they're not the ones providing technical support for Android-based phones.  They can live in lala land and implement it so that it works perfectly fine with other Android phones running the very latest version of Android on Wifi, and not have to worry about being inundated with support calls from confused customers when conditions aren't perfect: cellular connection from a carrier which doesn't fully support it, phones stuck on older (incompatible) versions of Android, other types of phones, etc.  Apple OTOH has to worry about providing tech support when an iPhone using RCS encounters less-than-ideal connectivity situations which are outside of their control.
    You should bring yourself up-to-date with E2EE Google RCS. It is not the "hot mess" you remember reading it was a few years ago. 
    https://www.pocket-lint.com/phones/news/144258-what-is-rcs-messaging-the-messaging-format-set-to-take-over-your-android-phone

    Apple supporting RCS has zero downsides and one huge upside: Your messaging with not-Apple-account smartphones will be just as secure and private (in one two ways even more so, but ask how only if you really want to know) as doing so over iMessage with another iPhone owner.  And Android users can be assured their messages aren't compromised when texting with you. 
    edited October 2021 muthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 17 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    There is a whole world out there beyond the lower 48 states. Are carriers all over the world going to adopt RCS? 

    Yes they are. 
    jony0
  • Reply 18 of 40
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,713member
    gatorguy said:
    There is a whole world out there beyond the lower 48 states. Are carriers all over the world going to adopt RCS? 

    Yes they are. 
    Because everything google does is for the betterment of mankind, and is perfectly implemented. All hail google! Yeah, we get it, @Gatorguy.
    williamlondonDogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 40
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,319member
    lkrupp said:
    gatorguy said:
    There is a whole world out there beyond the lower 48 states. Are carriers all over the world going to adopt RCS? 

    Yes they are. 
    All hail google! Yeah, we get it, @Gatorguy.
    There's still hope you eventually will
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 20 of 40
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,124member
    It’s time Apple opened up iMessage/FaceTime to be cross platform.

    The only reason I have to keep using crap like Instagram, WhatsApp, Viber, SMS, etc. is because like it or not, a majority of people don’t have Apple devices and because some owners of Apple devices don’t use iMessage “because it costs money” (meaning they haven’t understood the difference between iMessages and SMS/MMS.

    In other words the superior Apple user experience goes down the drain due to suboptimal Apple customer communication and the network effects inherent in telco standards.

    RCS isn’t the solution, because it’s security can’t be trusted.
    watto_cobra
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