No more green bubbles

Android users know that there is no greater indignity than being the only green bubble in a friend group of iPhone users. Google is now stepping up to fight this injustice. 

What happened: Google has started a publicity campaign calling on Apple to move iPhones to the RCS messaging protocol, which would allow for smoother messaging between iPhones and Androids—and put an end to the blue bubble bullying Android users endure.

  • RCS is like an upgraded version of SMS (the texting technology we’ve had since the 80s) and supports many of the same features as iMessage, like end-to-end encryption or read receipts that let you know when you’ve been ghosted.
  • The other big difference: Unlike iMessage, which is owned and operated by Apple, any company can use RCS technology on their devices (sort of like email).

Yes, but: Apple has basically zero motivation to do this. iMessage locks people into the Apple ecosystem by seamlessly connecting iPhones and Macbooks, and the coveted blue bubble has become a status symbol that Apple isn’t keen to abandon. 

Zoom out: A utopian world where Android and iPhone users alike could set aside their differences and enjoy texting equality, but it likely won’t happen without government regulation—something that’s already happening in Europe with recent antitrust legislation.