RCS And iMessage: Why There Is Debate Between Two Tech Giants


Android and iOS are the two of the smartphone world’s main operating systems and always locking horns with each other. Since the stake are so high and both of the platforms do not want you to give an inch,  every single feature and application on their respective platforms becomes the point of debate between them. Exactly this is what happened recently when Google’s Android head Hiroshi Lockheimer accused Apple of using iMessage as a weapon to bully and force users to keep using iPhones, and revealed that iMessage is part of a well-documented strategy to restrict iPhone usage within the iOS ecosystem. Before we get into details we need to understand what exactly this issue is and where RCS messaging and mobile RCS messaging app comes into this debate.  

RCS Messaging 

We’ve had SMS texting since the 1980s but it needed to be upgraded. RCS can be looked upon as the updated version of SMS. Rich Communication Suite(RCS) is essentially the same as the SMS in its appearance and functionality, but it has more functions and offers better security and encryption.

What are these new-age features? Most of the Android users are familiar with Whatsapp and Facebook messenger, the Google RCS-based messaging app brings the majority of these popular messaging features into SMS. The features include the ability to send high-resolution photos over a mobile network or WiFi, better encryption, acknowledgment when the message is read, and the ability to send or receive messages via WiFi. 

Since November 2020, RCS is globally available to anyone using the Google Messages texting app and can be used on Android phones running Android 5 or later. 

iMessage –

iMessage is also a message standard that works on iPhone and Mac, It was introduced at the launch of iOS 5 in 2011 and it is one of the core apps and as per Apple, gives iOS a big advantage over the competition.

What is The debate about the color of Bubbles :

One of the arguments that have been between Google and Apple is the use of bubble color in iMessage. Messages sent from iPhones to Android devices appear in green bubbles, whereas messages sent from iPhones to iPhone devices appear in blue bubbles. These colors of bubbles have become a point of debate. 

iMessages can only be used among Apple users, and users see green bubbles when they send messages to Android users, or when these Android users do not have a connection to the internet. Google backers accuse that teenagers and young adults are being put under psychological pressure to stay in the iOS ecosystem, and Android users are being pressured to switch to Apple smartphones by Apple. They accuse it is happening  because of the use of bubbles as it clearly differentiates which user is on iPhone and which one is using Android, 

Especially in the United States, Canada, and Europe, teens and young adults have been subject to social pressure due to the green and blue chat bubbles. 

The telecom and technological world revolving it knows that it needs a new texting standard that can work across all types of operating systems and sadly there is no agreed-upon option and this is where RCS comes into the picture. It is the closest option to the ideal right now in messaging realm.

What is Google Point Of View-

Google’s Android head has said that Google is not asking to make an iMessaging application for Android but wants Apple to support the industry standard for modern messaging (RCS) in iMessage. As per Google, Apple did support the older SMS / MMS standards, and therefore, they should do it with iMessaging as well by making it RCS compatible.

What is Apple has to Say:

Apple has not responded to criticism by Google and rather has been silent on it. However, the tech industry believes that Apple will not agree as they use iMessage as a  strategic component to keep iPhone users stay intact in their ecosystem and lure Android users.

This is typical of Apple, and generally, Apple doesn’t let an open to all technology become a major component of their operating system. They give the excuse that they believe in keeping hardware and software optimized and in harmony with each other.  However, the truth is that by adopting RCS completely or by making the iMessage app available on Android, Apple doesn’t want to lose one of its advantages over Android. Apple positions itself as a premium brand with exclusive apps, software, and hardware exclusive to the Apple ecosystem. It doesn’t want to be seen as a company that acknowledges the contribution of Google in making RCS, a global standard in messaging or praise any of their apps like Google chat. This stance has been accused of putting undue pressure on teens to own an iPhone instead of an Android. 

From Google’s point of view, Apple is not following fair market policies. Moreover, Google believes by keeping RCS capabilities away from iMessage, Apple is not benefiting its users and they are using an inferior product. 


Time will tell if this ongoing debate gets more heated up and what impact it will have on the upcoming releases ios. From the user’s point of view, they want more service features, privacy, and security.

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  • Vikas Luthra is a professional content writer. He enjoys writing about technology, travel, and current affairs. Passionate about writing, he also enjoys writing short poems.

  • Show Comments (1)

  • Amelia

    RCS messaging!!!
    Am always confuse in this, Thanks Vikas for elaborate it……

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