Particularly in the USA, the blue bubble vs. green bubble issue is a topic that many iPhone and Android users continue to relate to. This is because of Apple still unwilling to support RCS (Rich Communication Services) protocol that is used on Android. After years of pushing the initiative to convince the Cupertino tech company, Google’s effort may finally pay off as Apple announces plans to add RCS to iPhones by 2024.
Developed by the GSM Association, RCS has been since adopted by Google as the default messaging system on Android for many years. It brings an enhanced messaging system that replaced the old SMS/MMS standard. With RCS, users can send or receive messages and different file formats like images and voice recordings through cellular or Wi-Fi connection. The system also offers better privacy and security measures.
In a message to 9to5Mac, an Apple spokesperson confirmed that the iPhone maker is adding RCS Universal Profile to its iMessage sometime in 2024. This is said to come through a software update and will replace the SMS/MMS it is presently supported with its messaging app.
“Later next year, we will be adding support for RCS Universal Profile, the standard as currently published by the GSM Association. We believe the RCS Universal Profile will offer a better interoperability experience when compared to SMS or MMS. This will work alongside iMessage, which will continue to be the best and most secure messaging experience for Apple users.”
RCS is better than Apple iMessage
Compared to Apple’s proprietary iMessage on iPhones, RCS has a few advantages, like catering higher resolution images and videos along with bigger file sizes. Group messages and emojis work better with RCS as well between different messaging apps from Android manufacturers.
In the case of iMessage, chats and messages coming from Android devices are wrapped in green bubbles, making it distinguishable on iPhones which device the other contact is using. Chats from iPhones, however, are shown in blue bubbles. Some users also tend to discriminate against other users, knowing which platform they are with.
Additionally, most features of iMessage such as read receipts and indicators don’t work with RCS given Apple is not supporting it. The adoption of the more common messaging standard should solve these many incompatibilities. However, it’s unsure whether Apple will really eliminate the green bubble dilemma despite caving in from the pressure made by Google and other prominent OEMs.
There are now third-party applications, including the Nothing Chats that startup company Nothing recently introduced, that bridge the gap between the two messaging systems. But again, the solution is somewhat temporary and limited, even requiring Android users to log in or create an Apple ID.
If you reside outside the USA, though, iMessage is not that common. Apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Messenger are more popular on both Android and iPhone ecosystems. Regardless, Apple’s decision to adopt RCS on iMessage will surely benefit most users.
What are your thoughts on the blue bubble vs. green bubble debate? We’re interested in hearing your thoughts.