To encourage Apple to adopt the Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging protocol, Google is reviving the “Get The Message” PR campaign it launched a year ago. The new episode features updated content and a cheesy video promoting a bogus “iPager” device, a dig at Apple for its conversion of iMessages sent to Android devices into SMS and MMS.
“iPager isn’t real, but the problems that Apple causes by using SMS are,” said Google in the video description on YouTube. “Let’s make texting better for everyone and help Apple #GetTheMessage and upgrade to RCS.”
Among RCS’s many enhancements to communications include end-to-end encryption, read receipts, and the capacity to send and receive media at a higher resolution. In nations like the United States, where more than half the population uses an iPhone, the fact that iMessage offers identical functionality but only for messages shared between other iMessage users makes Android users look like green message bubble nuisances in group messages.
RCS technology has been adopted by carriers and phone makers like Samsung, but Apple’s dedication to its own iMessage standard has long irked Google. Google VP Hiroshi Lockheimer said in January of last year that Apple was “holding back the user experience” for customers.
Despite Google’s playful bullying, Apple has remained firm: Tim Cook’s statement at last year’s Code Conference that anyone annoyed by their green message bubbles should just purchase an iPhone was a direct response.
According to documents filed in Apple’s 2021 lawsuit against Epic Games, the company views the iMessage platform as a critical feature for locking customers into its ecosystem and believes porting the service to Android will “hurt us more than help.”
Therefore, it is likely that Apple places little importance on ensuring that Android users have access to an iMessage-like experience through the adoption of RCS.