Where Google complains and waits for Apple to finally open iMessage to Android, Nothing takes matters into its own hands. With a devious trick, the debate between green and blue seems to come to a temporary end.
“If they don’t do it, we’ll do it ourselves,” Nothing must have thought. While Google continues to openly fight for RCS support in iMessage, people with a Phone (2) are getting the access they have been asking for, mainly in the United States, for years.
Green bubbles vs. blue bubbles
The debate between green bubbles (Android) and blue bubbles (iOS) is smaller in Europe than in the United States, but the way Apple closes its ecosystem disturbs the market, including us.
Whereas WhatsApp and Telegram internationally allow different platforms to stay connected, Americans rely mostly on iMessage. As an Android user, you can’t use this because of the lack of RCS support.
iMessage logo (Image: Apple)
This leads to problems especially among young people. Because 87% of teens in the United States have an iPhone, 13% remain locked out of group conversations and calls because they may not be able to afford an iPhone.
Google has been advocating for RCS support for years and recently pleaded with the European Union for a solution. While these actions are unlikely to affect Apple’s approach in the United States, they do show how important this issue is.
What is RCS?
RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. It is a more modern alternative to standard text messages, allowing users to use typing indicators, receipt confirmations, group chats and media sharing. This makes text messaging similar to apps such as WhatsApp and iMessage, but it works over mobile data or Wi-Fi and is supported by some mobile carriers.
But there is a company showing that you can think of other things besides begging and being angry. The name? Nothing.
Nothing introduces iMessage for Android
On November 17, Nothing will release its Chats app. In collaboration with Sunbird, which has been testing a similar approach for some time, this application should bring iMessage to Android, sort of.
To gain access, the app asks you to connect to your Apple ID, which you can also create without an Apple device. This connects you to Sunbird’s servers, and from there messages are sent directly to the Android smartphone you have. This way, receiving messages, sending messages and bringing in photos and videos in the highest possible quality is made possible.
Although the application is exclusive to the Nothing Phone (2), released earlier this year, in theory this should be the first step in solving a larger problem.
Problems with Nothing’s version of iMessage
While we haven’t had a chance to use Nothing Chats ourselves yet, there are those internationally who have already had the chance. They are reacting positively to how Android’s iMessage variant works, but there are also concerns.
Let’s start by saying that protecting personal data is more important than ever in 2023. Apple is using this argument to keep iMessage closed, but the alternative seems much riskier.
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By using Nothing Chats, you are logging in with your Apple ID on an unknown device that you will never have access to. While Nothing and Sunbird say this is fully encrypted and in theory no one can access the messages or data, practice may prove otherwise. We have learned this the hard way in recent years.
The idea behind this approach is fragile and frankly, I don’t know if you should want to get burned by it.
Why Apple is unlikely to do anything about it
At least who is not burning their fingers on it is Apple. Nothing fears that CEO Tim Cook’s company will take action against the iMessage variant for Android. And he has good reason to.
While we all know that Apple, especially in the United States, uses iMessage to keep users in their ecosystem, logically the company will not admit it. Given the number of lawsuits it has already had and the problems within the EU, that would be a foolish move.
Tim Cook’s keen eye. (Image: Brendan Smialowski/AFP)
The problem, however, is that if Apple decides to take action against Nothing’s iMessage app, it must also publicly demonstrate that it is using its platform to keep consumers with the iPhone.
And focusing that story on privacy makes no sense, because the alternative (MMS) is far more insecure. If Apple actually makes that argument, it no longer has any reason to deny RCS support.
Is iMessage on Android important to us, too?
Yes, this problem mainly affects young people in the United States. Nevertheless, it is also important for us in the Netherlands to see companies like Nothing taking matters into their own hands.
RCS support is only a small part of a much larger problem. Tech companies like Apple and Samsung are getting too big and are no doubt taking full advantage of their market position. Business wise extremely smart, but for us as consumers anything but beneficial.
Why Android is better than iOS | Part 2 #android #ios #iphone #apple #samsung #techtok
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This is compounded by the lack of affordable iPhone models and the fact that everyday life is simply becoming more and more expensive.
Nothing can show with Chats that companies like Apple really can be pushed in a certain direction. And if not, at least it shows that whining without a solution (I’m looking at you, Google) is not the way to address your problems.