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You told us: Here’s what Apple should do for Android users in iMessage

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Google criticized Apple this week for taking advantage of the “green bubble” phenomenon in iMessage, following a Wall Street Journal report on the iPhone’s dominance among teens in the US. The article also revealed how Apple’s handling of Android users in iMessage resulted in peer pressure for affected users to switch to an iPhone.

Google subsequently said that it wants Apple to adopt the more modern RCS standard for Android users in iMessage. But what do Android Authority readers think Apple should do? We posed this question on Monday and here’s how you voted.

What should Apple do with iMessage and Android?

Results

The poll was posted inside our news story on Monday, with almost 1,500 votes tallied as of writing. And it turns out that almost 45% of respondents want Apple to enable RCS messaging for Android users in iMessage. 

This is in line with Google’s wishes and a neat idea. A big issue with how iMessage handles Android users is that it falls back to the archaic SMS standard, which doesn’t cope well with modern messaging features. Meanwhile, RCS brings high-quality multimedia sharing, location sharing, end-to-end encryption for individual chats, and plenty more contemporary features. RCS isn’t perfect though, but it’s definitely a more capable solution than SMS.

More reading: The best messaging and chat apps on Android

The second-most popular choice in our poll was simply “I don’t care because I use a different app,” earning ~28% of the vote. This doesn’t necessarily mean that only 28% of polled readers use a different messaging app. After all, a reader could’ve voted for one of the other options while still using an alternative messaging app. 

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Meanwhile, ~23% of respondents said they wanted Apple to bring iMessage to Android. This was indeed mooted by some within Apple itself back in 2013, as internal emails show. We doubt this will happen any time soon, but it would be the best decision on paper. Although we’d bet that the Android experience would lack a few features found on the iOS app.

Finally, just under 4% of polled readers say Apple should bring iMessage to the web. A web-based alternative wouldn’t be ideal in terms of offline access, and it would likely lack some functionality compared to a native app. But it would be a sensible way for Apple to bring iMessage to Android, Windows, and other platforms without developing a native app for each one. After all, Apple released Facetime for the web last year.

Comments

  • MadFerret9: Poor wittle Google. The thing is, iMessage blows away Android texting which STILL SOMEHOW doesn’t have consistent RCS across all texting apps/networks. On iMessage, my photos and videos DON’T get resized to a 166 x 240 3GP video format from 2006 like they do on Android. Google needs to fix their problem.
  • TimTheK: This is exactly why I can’t stand apple. They have to resort to this nonsense to ensure that people don’t buy their kids Android phones?? Or they could, you know, just compete by making a better or more compelling product. But no, we will lock people into our walled garden and find ways to entrap their children too. I’ll never own an Apple product but my kids had to have iphones because of the stupid green bubble. And my wife had to switch to an iPhone because you can’t track/monitor your kids online activity without an “iProduct”. God forbid they simply enabled findmyphone and screentime via an Android app.
  • Anthorama: It’s beyond my understanding how a blue / green / yellow bubble can make you feel better or worse when you text.
  • Bum: I can’t speak to the peer pressure issue, but the whole IM/SMS/RCS thing is a problem in the rest of the world too. We need a replacement for SMS. Personally I don’t give a s**t what that will turn out to be. But right now it looks like Apple doesn’t want to play along. Unfortunately the only place they’re likely to be forced to do so (to the benefit of all users I might add) is within the EU. And they should be.

Thanks for voting in our poll and leaving a comment. Do you think Apple will ever implement RCS in iMessage? Are you an RCS user? Sound off in the comments below.

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