Starting next year, it should be less frustrating for iPhone and Android users to text each other.
Apple says photos and videos sent between these devices will be of higher quality. Group messaging will be more reliable, and users will also be able to turn on read receipts and send their locations in text message threads.
The company said the changes will come once Apple adds support for a technology called Rich Communications Services, also known as RCS, next year. RCS is like the more modern cousin of Short Message Service, or SMS.
Green message bubbles indicate that they are coming from an Android user or another non-iPhone user. But it has become associated with an unpleasant texting experience for iPhone users, whose messages appear in blue to indicate they were sent via iMessage. However, the green bubble is here to stay: it will indicate when the RCS is in use.
The technology “will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users,” Apple said in a statement.
So far, Apple has shown no desire to make changes.
when It was introduced at the Code Conference last year On texting technology by an attendee who expressed difficulties sending videos to the attendee’s mother, Apple CEO Tim Cook responded, “Buy your mom an iPhone.”
This shift may have been driven by pressures from competitors, such as Google, Nothing, a mobile technology company, and the European Union’s Digital Markets Act.
“Apple is the only major company that has not yet adopted RCS,” said Caitlin Seeley-George, campaigns director and managing director of Fight for the Future, a nonprofit digital rights group. The group pushed Apple to adopt this technology.
“We think this is a good sign that Apple is making this shift and a sign that perhaps they are listening to the public on this matter,” she said.
Enabling text messaging technology will also allow users to know if someone is writing and if their messages have been received, Ms. Seeley George said.
Google RCS adopted Years ago, the company has been trying to pressure Apple to do this in practice ever since.
Google started a campaign last year called He received the messageany Video included A video mocks an Apple product release and includes a pager with features such as “outdated messaging technology,” “texting nightmares,” and “broken group chats.”
“By not integrating RCS, Apple is holding back the industry and hampering the user experience not only for Android users but also for its own customers,” said Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google senior vice president. he wrote on social media last year.
Google said in a statement that it is “happy to see Apple taking its first step today by joining the RCS system.”
“Everyone deserves to communicate with each other in modern and secure ways, no matter what type of phone they have,” the statement read.
Apple also faces emerging competition from Nothing, the mobile technology company.
Nothing lately None provided chats, an app that allows non-iPhone users to send iMessages as if they were using iPhones. The app, which is in beta mode, replaces the green bubbles with blue ones and allows for group chats, voice notes, high-resolution media sharing, and more between those devices.
“If messaging services divide phone users, we want to break down those barriers,” the company’s website says.
Apple’s announcement also comes before Europe’s Digital Markets Act comes into effect in 2024, which could lead to greater scrutiny of its messaging system.
The law would apply to so-called gatekeeping platforms, including Apple, and is intended to force those companies to loosen their grip on the market. For example, Apple may have to allow alternatives to its App Store.
Ms Seeley George described Apple’s announcement as “a very big shift in a new direction”. But there is still important work to be done, especially regarding end-to-end encryption.
Messages sent between iPhones encryptedMessages between iPhone and Android users cannot be encrypted without RCS, it said. Fight for the future It was also paid Apple and other companies to embrace encryption.
“This is a major concern for a number of vulnerable communities who are often under surveillance or targeted by law enforcement,” Ms. Seely-George said, referring to a Nebraska teenager who was sentenced in July to 90 days in jail after police obtained a warrant. information. Her Facebook messages about plans to terminate her pregnancy.
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