Google pays to force Apple to change the iMessage protocol


Google is back at war with iMessage. The web giant has created a website detailing why Apple’s messaging app has become obsolete and harmful to competition, focusing on the protocol it’s based on.

The messaging app war has begun again. While WhatsApp has lost its luster and services like Signal and Telegram are on the rise, we owe the latest attack to another internet giant. Using a recently published site, Google is publicly trying to pressure Apple to drop its iMessage service standard.

Popular pressure as a weapon

With plenty of technical arguments, screenshots of frustrated Internet users, and hashtags, Google wants to push Apple to adopt the RCS discussion standard rather than the proprietary protocol iMessage relies on. Apple’s chat platform is fully compatible only with iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. As a result, if an iPhone owner starts a group chat with people on Android, messages from those phones will appear green (instead of blue) in the iMessage app. This phenomenon is so deeply rooted in popular culture that rapper Drake dedicated a song to this terrible variation of therapy.

The incompatibility of iMessage with Android mobile phones causes many other issues. Arbitrary compression of images, reduced readability of white text on a green background, and sometimes aborted sending of messages… In short, according to Google, “The bad experience you have when sending text messages to Android users is Apple’s fault. But the company can remedy that by switching to the RCS standard.“Google has been trying for months, even years, to pressure Apple to adopt a messaging standard that puts interoperability first. And that standard is none other than RCS.

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RCS توضيح spelling

The remote control system goes through the web, not the telephone network.

© Google

Abbreviation Rich communication servicesRCS is supposed to replace the good old SMS. By allowing text messages to be sent over the web, and not just via the operators’ phone network, the RCS provides advanced functions such as sending photos and videos in original quality, real-time grabbing indicator and adding feedback to posts. Switching from SMS to RCS is also almost invisible, because the application that allows SMS to be sent on Android also supports the RCS protocol, even by default it passes this channel when possible.

Flawless remote control system

In short, most of the iMessage features have RCS analogues. For this reason, Google is pushing internet users to ask Apple to adopt this standard. This battle has been going on for years, and frequent twists and turns fuel this modular war. Google started promoting RCS in earnest around 2019; In 2021, we learned that Apple didn’t want to offer iMessage on Android, because the company had a lot to lose; In 2022, a survey of The Wall Street Journal He evaluated these incompatibilities.

If it’s possible that Google is right to promote a truly interoperable discussion standard, the company is still showing some bad faith. First, RCS isn’t that “modern” because it was developed in 2018. Second, Google’s specific RCS implementation contains proprietary code (especially for encrypting messages) and the company jealously protects its own API (the programming interface that allows RCS to be used on Android). Only Samsung phones are fully compatible with Google service. Finally, Google acquired one of the largest RCS message management operators in 2015. This means that if Apple were to adopt RCS, messages from all iPhones would pass (encrypted) to Google’s servers.

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