Apple’s iMessage has been a hot topic once again in the Android space after the company was called out for using its messaging app as a “bullying” tactic. Google exec Hiroshi Lockheimer once again invited Apple to adopt RCS, which he calls the “industry standard for modern messaging,” instead of creating an iMessage app for Android.
This week, we asked our readers if they would prefer Apple to create iMessage for the best Android phones or if the company should support RCS for better interoperability when texting Android smartphones. Out of more than 2700 responses, over 75% voted that they would rather Apple bring RCS support to its app.
In many parts of the world iMessage doesn’t have a stranglehold on the messaging market, so this issue largely affects the US it seems. Outside the US, many have been on WhatsApp, Telegram, WeChat, Viber, LINE, Signal and etc. where they’re already multiplatform.
While RCS isn’t ideal, it is a direct replacement of SMS. Apple wants to lock users in with iMessage to keep iPhone sales, so bringing RCS to iMessage wouldn’t run counter to their desire to lock iPhone users in.
Outside the US, I’m not sure how compelling it would be for users if Apple launched iMessage on Android considering many iPhone users in these markets likely use a multiplatform messaging app alongside iMessage already and Android users are likely comfortable there already.
Here in Canada, people often expect you to have at least WhatsApp. Sure iMessage is widely used here but it’s not an expectation like it is in the States it seems.
Another reader, hmmm, thinks agrees that adopting RCS would be the better way to go, but cautions relying on Google for anything related to messaging:
I don’t care either way. I use SMS since it works on anything. I’d advise any company not to do anything that relies on Google when it comes to messaging, though. History shows Google isn’t good, or even mediocre, at messaging. Of those two options rcs on apple devices makes more sense. Apple can even keep the RCS messages green so weak minded people will still be pressured into buying apple.
For now, Apple hasn’t exactly responded to Google’s invitation to support RCS, but its silence on the matter speaks volumes. At this point, we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up.