Big Google Billboard asks Apple to fix “pixelated” photos and videos in messages switched between iPhone and Android by adopting RCS Messaging Protocol


Google continues to nag Apple about SMS compatibility issues between Android and iOS. This time, on a large New Year’s themed billboard in Harmon Corner Las Vegas, and with a sardonic tone, Google again invited Apple to integrate the RCS (Rich Communication Services) protocol into its messaging service, iMessage. The billboard urges Apple not to “drop the ball” to fix “pixelated” images and videos in messages exchanged between iPhone and Android. Apple remains steadfast in its stance and has yet to respond to the rival’s new salvo.

It’s no secret that Google has made many attempts to convince Apple to integrate RCS into its messaging service, but so far the iPhone maker has been reluctant to open iMessage’s borders. Last August, Google created a dedicated website urging Apple to adopt RCS. But the Cupertino company remains firmly committed to providing users with only iMessage and standard SMS as standard services. An idea that doesn’t sit well with Google, which says its goal is to improve the experience for Android users by giving them more tools to communicate.

For those who don’t know, RCS is an enhanced version of the SMS system that gives users a richer experience. Designed to replace SMS and MMS messages, it allows users to create group chats with their friends, send photos and videos, get delivery receipts and supports end-to-end encryption. There is also no limitation of 160 characters as with regular SMS. RCS was released in 2007 and was adopted by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) in 2008. It is available to users of the Android operating system.

In December 2019, several US carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, committed to support the protocol. RCS-based messaging works using cellular data or Wi-Fi, so if the recipient doesn’t have cellular service but is on a wireless network, you can still send messages without problems. But while more and more organizations are adopting the RCS protocol, Apple – which controls iOS, the second most widely used mobile OS in the world after Android – still refuses to follow the trend. Which earned him the scorn of his rival Google.

To mark the start of the new year, Google has once again publicly called on Apple to take action, this time renting an entire large digital billboard in Las Vegas, which is sure to get the message across. The board reads: “The ball may have dropped in 2022, but you didn’t drop the ball to fix your pixelated photos and videos”. The post is followed by a cheeky scroll of lines of RCS code that Google says would help Apple “get things done.” TikTok user Uptin shared a video showing Google’s billboard.

Uptin noted that an estimated 56% of Americans use iOS, while Android comes in second with nearly 44% market share in the US. After passing the RCS lines of code, Google also called customers and asked them to help Apple follow the trend with the hashtag “#GetTheMessage”. Google launched the “#GetTheMessage” campaign in August with a comprehensive website to showcase the benefits of the RCS protocol. This is the latest move in Google’s lobbying campaign against Apple over texting issues between iPhones and Android phones.

“This digital display demonstrates Android’s desire to bring greater interoperability between devices and enable a great messaging experience across all platforms,” ​​a spokesperson told Google Insider, adding that Google has a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week . In December, Google continued its campaign against Apple with a “happy birthday” SMS post that turned 30 in 2022. “While I’m all for the nostalgia, I’ll also look the other way,” Neena wrote. Budhiraja, Product Manager for Messages by Google.

Today’s phones are capable of much more; my current phone is a completely different device from my first,” added Budhiraja. Google has been pestering Apple to introduce RCS for more than a year through its website, Twitter calls, billboards and more, but the iPhone maker has given no acknowledgment of Google’s efforts. In fact, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that the RCS protocol was not a priority. “I don’t hear our users asking for us to put a lot of energy into it at this point,” Cook said.

People have long complained about ‘green bubbles’ appearing on iMessage when an iPhone owner and Android owner exchange text messages, prompting Google to give Apple a taste of its own medicine with a recent update to its Messages app . Now when Messages users respond to a text message, the iPhone user will receive a text indicating that the person responded to their text, along with a description of the reaction, such as “liked” or “I loved” a message, in instead of seeing a thumbs up or a heart appear on the message. Which is a top spot for Apple.

In a September chat, Cook replied: Buy your mom an iPhone. Legal documents from the 2011 lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games shed more light on how the company views iMessage, with an Apple executive saying that “moving iMessage to Android will do us more harm than good”.

It remains to be seen whether Apple will respond to this rant or whether it will stick to its stance of not harmonizing its messaging service with the rest of the industry. Either way, it’s likely that CEO Tim Cook will simply tell them with pixelated pictures and videos to buy an iPhone or buy one for each of the people they know.

And you?

What is your opinion on the subject?
What is your opinion on the RCS messaging protocol?
In your opinion, why is Google trying to force the RCS protocol on the industry?
Do you think it is better for the entire industry to adopt the RCS protocol?
What do you think about the pressure Apple has received from Google to adopt the RCS protocol?
What do you think Apple’s response to this new attack from Google could be?

Also see

Google is trying to publicly shame Apple for pushing the company to adopt RCS, a protocol for mobile messaging

An update to Google Messages will force iPhone users to read reaction descriptions in mojis, a ploy to trick Apple into switching to RCS for its messages

Buy your mom an iPhone, says Tim Cook, a journalist on Android-iOS text message compatibility concerns because Apple doesn’t want to adopt RCS or abandon iMessage

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