A Google exec’s jab at Apple about texting issues between iPhones and Android drew cheers and applause at the conference.

  • Google executives took a thinly veiled jab at Apple at the company’s Google IO conference.
  • The company hopes every mobile operating system will adopt a messaging standard called RCS, the exec said.
  • Google promoted Apple’s adoption of RCS to make texting between iOS and Android a better experience.

Google took some time out of its annual developers presentation to call Apple on stage, and the audience ate it up.

“When you’re messaging in a group chat, you don’t have to worry about whether everyone is using the same phone,” Google exec Samir Samat said at the company’s IO event, prompting some laughs and cheers from the audience.

“Sending high-quality images and videos, receiving typing notifications, and end-to-end encryption should work,” he said.

“We hope every mobile operating system gets the message and adopts RCS,” he said, pausing as the audience cheered and clapped loudly, “so we can all hang out together in a group chat — no matter what device we’re using.”

It’s Google’s latest attempt to force Apple to adopt the RCS Messaging Standard, or something called Rich Communications Services.

If Apple adopts RCS, it will solve problems like blurry or compressed videos and photos when Android and iPhone users send text messages to each other. It also eliminates messages that spell out an iPhone user’s emoji response to a message, such as “Sam loved ‘see you soon’,” instead of simply showing a heart emoji in the original “see you soon” message. .

The latest volley in a PR campaign aimed at Apple

Blue and green text bubbles iphone android 2x1

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Google launched its #GetTheMessage campaign targeting Apple last August, calling on iPhone-makers to adopt the RCS messaging standard to improve text messaging by using the SMS messaging standard between Android and iPhones. More than 800 million people are currently using the RCS standard, Samat said, with the number expected to rise to 1 billion by the end of the year.

In 2008 RCS was selected as a potential replacement for SMS messaging. Unlike SMS, which works over a carrier’s network, RCS works over the Internet, which means it better supports multimedia features over messaging and makes it easy to send GIFs and high-resolution videos. It also facilitates group messaging.

“From Google’s perspective, we think every Android user should be messaging over Wi-Fi,” Sanaj Ahari, who oversees Android and business communications at Google, previously told The Verge, adding that Apple and Android “have a lot of conversations.”

Apple did not comment on the criticism when contacted by Insider before the announcement. Google did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Since Google’s campaign to get Apple to adopt RCS, the company has taken other digs at Apple, including a 30th anniversary post for an SMS message that called iPhones “stuck in the 1990s” and a New Year’s billboard ad calling out Apple for “pixelated” photos and videos in text messages. fix it

Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said that he doesn’t get much feedback from iPhone users about fixing text messages between their phones and Android. Last year, when asked by an audience member at a conference what to do about problems sending and receiving videos between an iPhone and her mother’s Android phone, Cook said, “Buy your mother an iPhone.”

Apple’s messaging platform, and so-called “blue bubbles” in group chats compared to green Android bubbles, is a selling point that will help convince some to switch to the iPhone — and help lock users into the ecosystem.

Legal documents from a 2021 lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games further underscore the fact that the tech giant has little incentive to adopt RCS.

“#1 is the hardest [reason] iMessage is the app to leave the Apple universe. . . iMessage is tantamount to serious lock-in,” a former Apple employee said in 2016, according to a court document.

“Moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than it will help us,” the Apple executive replied.

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