On Saturday, Android boss Hiroshi Lockheimer accused Apple of “using peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products,” after a Wall Street Journal report revealed how US teenagers have turned Apple’s iMessage right into a social standing image that locks Android customers out.
Now, Lockheimer is taking a barely much less abrasive stance: the Google government said Monday that “we’re not asking Apple to make iMessage out there on Android. We’re asking Apple to assist the trade commonplace for contemporary messaging (RCS) in iMessage, simply as they assist the older SMS / MMS requirements.”
We’re not asking Apple to make iMessage out there on Android. We’re asking Apple to assist the trade commonplace for contemporary messaging (RCS) in iMessage, simply as they assist the older SMS / MMS requirements.
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) January 10, 2022
“By not incorporating RCS, Apple is holding again the trade and holding again the person expertise for not solely Android customers but additionally their very own prospects,” adds Lockheimer, later within the Twitter thread.
That’s nonetheless an enormous accusation, however one which pulls the dialog again into acquainted territory: will Apple accept Google’s olive branch to make iMessage extra suitable with Android, or will it proceed to make use of lock-in to promote extra iPhones?
On the lock-in entrance, there’s little query about Apple’s motivation. Because of the Epic v. Apple trial, the world has now seen confidential emails between Apple executives that present the corporate is deliberately withholding iMessage in favor of lock-in. “I’m involved the iMessage on Android would merely serve to take away an impediment to iPhone households giving their children Android telephones,” wrote Apple exec Craig Federighi in April 2013, including “I believe we have to get Android prospects utilizing and depending on Apple merchandise.”
“Joz and I believe shifting iMessage to Android will damage us greater than assist us, this electronic mail illustrates why,” wrote Apple’s Phil Schiller in March 2016, forwarding an electronic mail from Beats Music co-founder Ian Rogers about how he “missed a ton of messages from family and friends” after switching to an Android telephone.
What’s much less clear is whether or not RCS, the next-gen replacement for SMS that’s championed by Google and incorporates common options frequent to iMessage, has any convincing purpose for Apple to signal on. That’s doubtless why Google is creating a little bit peer strain of its personal.
The Verge has asked Apple if it intends to support RCS literally years with no comment, so we’re not holding our breath. We’ve additionally made the moral case that an organization that claims privateness is a human proper has an obligation to convey encrypted messaging to the world, not simply its personal prospects, and we’ve written about the personal plight of dealing with Apple’s inaction. (And once I say “we”, I imply Dieter, as a result of RCS is his jam, I’m scripting this put up as a result of he’s on trip, and Dieter srsly why are you studying these phrases, aren’t you speculated to be on a socially distanced seashore someplace?)
However possibly now that Apple is basically a three-trillion dollar company, and it’s beneath a great deal of regulatory scrutiny, and its soiled laundry (within the type of emails) has been aired in entrance of the world, and its employees are speaking out, and items just like the WSJ’s are popping out, and its CEO Tim Prepare dinner is probably going searching for a legacy larger than simply scaling up the company to grow to be essentially the most precious on this planet with a fat pay package because the reward… maybe bringing iMessage to Android or RCS to iMessage is the type of small concession that Apple may truly make.