Onstage at its big Pixel event on Thursday, Google called out Apple for not adopting RCS for better text messaging. Google didn’t say the word “Apple,” but it’s pretty obvious who the company was referring to.
“When it comes to text messages, Pixel uses RCS for enhanced media sharing and end-to-end encryption,” Google’s Brian Rakowski said at the event. “RCS is the modern industry standard for messaging, and it’s already been adopted by most of the industry. We hope every device maker gets the message and adopts RCS, making texting better for every smartphone user.”
Google has recently turned up the heat on Apple to adopt RCS, or Rich Communication Services, which offers some major improvements over the SMS and MMS standards. Google SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer has criticized Apple for not using the “Really Clear Solution” and said that Apple is “holding back the user experience” for customers. Google’s also gone on the offensive with a “Get The Message” website (sound familiar?) that spells out some of its arguments for why Apple should support RCS to improve texting for everyone.
But Apple, so far, hasn’t seemed to care about RCS. The company still hasn’t adopted the standard even though Google has been beating the RCS drum for years. And at Code 2022, when an attendee lamented he couldn’t send some videos to his mom, who is on an Android phone, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that he “buy your mom an iPhone.” iMessage remains a crucial differentiator for Apple, and it won’t fix the green bubble problem because doing so wouldn’t sell iPhones.