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Apple has no plans to improve the compatibility of text messages received from Android devices

Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to a journalist’s question about RCS text messaging at the 2022 Code Conference by advising him to buy an iPhone, The Verge reports. When asked how Apple could improve communication between iPhone and Android users, he replied, “I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy into that.” To a journalist’s remark that he can’t send some videos to his mother who uses Android, Cook, in the form of a joke, advised him to buy his mom an iPhone.

This is sure to add fuel to the debate about the messaging format on smartphones. Google has long promoted RCS (Rich Communications Service) as a way to ensure better compatibility between iOS and Android users, even shaming Apple for it last month. It could help eliminate the dreaded “green bubble” that iPhone users see when receiving a text message from an Android phone.

Apple could have offered iMessage to Android users, but quickly abandoned the idea. Ex-Marketing chief Phil Schiller famously said that moving iMessage to Android “would hurt us more than help us,” and another former Apple employee said in an email that “iMessage amounts to serious lock-in.”

Cook said Apple is not currently considering RCS. This could mean that the company will revisit the idea in the future. In any case, the green bubble problem is largely U.S.-oriented, as users in other countries prefer non-SMS apps such as Telegram, WhatsApp, and Signal.

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