On May 11, Google held its annual I/O 2022 event to announce new products, features, and future plans. The company also used the event as an opportunity to take a jab at Apple for not supporting the RCS standard.
Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a modern protocol that offers rich features to text message service across operating systems. RCS standard allows users to exchange video clips, audio recordings, social media links, Reactions, group chat, the ‘Read’ receipts, and other rich features between iOS and Android users.
However, Apple leapfrogged the RCS standard ten years ago by launching the iMessage service which allows users to exchange SMS with non-Apple users displayed in green chat bubbles but offers several rich features for communication between iOS users, displayed in blue chat bubbles.
Will Google ever be successful in persuading Apple to adopt the RCS standard?
During the presentation at the event, a company executive said:
“We hope that every mobile operating system gets the message, and upgrades to RCS, so your messages are private, no matter what device you’re using.”
Although Apple was not named in the comment, it is very clear that the executive was referring to the iPhone maker. Previously, Google executive Hiroshi Lockheimer criticized the Cupertino tech giant over its “lock-in” iMessage architecture and suggested it should open iMessage to Android users by adopting the RCS standard.
Google offers RCS chat globally via the Android Messages app but the iPhone maker has not shown any willingness to adopt it which Google believes is anticompetitive and tantamount to bullying. Lockheimer wrote:
“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.”
He later mellowed his tone and explained that Google is not asking to replace iMessage but to support RSC for the betterment of iOS and Android users.
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.
Supporting RCS would improve the experience for both iOS and Android users alike. That’s right, RCS will also improve the experience and privacy for iOS users.
Having said that, DigitalTrends argues that the Cupertino tech giant is not the speed bump in the widespread adoption of RCS as Google is portraying, there are other issues like carriers support, implementation of client-to-server encryption, and sluggish progress. Therefore, it is likely that Apple might never adopt the RCS standard to Google’s dismay.