Google CEO Hiroshi Lockheimer has called on Apple to adopt a rich communications service (RCS) protocol that would enable enhanced and more secure messaging between iPhone and Android devices.
RCS brings a number of modern features — including support for audio messages, group conversations, write indicators, and read certificates — and end-to-end encryption into traditional text messages. But Apple is unlikely to play.
Advantages of RCS
The RCS protocol brings text messages to the modern age. In many ways, it is very similar to iMessage, except that it works on devices not manufactured by Apple. RCS enables appropriate group chats and works over Wi-Fi — not just over mobile connections.
The protocol also allows users to send higher quality audio messages and photos and videos. And, just like iMessage and other modern chat platforms, RCS supports typing indicators and read confirmations.
What’s really great about RCS is that it’s an open protocol, which means anyone can use it. But while the technology has found widespread support from Android smartphone makers, Apple didn’t want to transfer it to the iPhone.
Lockheimer, senior vice president for Android, encouraged the company to change its mind.
In response to a tweet about how group conversations are incompatible between iPhone and Android devices, Lockheimer said, “Group conversations do not have to end in this way. There is a really clear solution. ”
“Here’s an open call for people who can fix it: we’re here to help.” Lockheimer doesn’t mention Apple specifically, but it’s clear that the “people” he means are those from Cupertino, who were against RCS.
Unfortunately, Lockheimer’s call is likely to be ignored. Apple has so far shown no interest in RCS – and that’s not surprising. Why would a company be interested in improving communication between iPhone and Android?
Apple would instead prefer to keep iMessage exclusive to its devices and do so instead. If you don’t like the fact that Android devices can’t participate in group chats with the iPhone, buy an iPhone.
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