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Tim Cook’s reaction to improving Android texting compatibility: ‘buy your mom an iPhone’

At the 2022 Code Conference, Tim Cook taken care of immediately a journalist’s question about RCS texting by suggesting they buy an iPhone, The Verge reported. Asked how Apple could improve communication between iPhone and Android users, he said “I don’t hear our users asking that people put lots of energy into that.” Once the journalist replied he couldn’t send certain videos to his Android-using mother, Cook joked “purchase your mom an iPhone.”

That’s bound to include fuel to the debate in regards to a common smartphone messaging format. Google has long promoted the RCS (Rich Communications Service) in order to enable better interoperability between iOS and Android users, even shaming Apple about any of it last month. Doing this could help get rid of the dreaded “green bubble” seen by iPhone users if they receive a text from an Android phone.

Apple considered offering iMessage to Android users but quickly shut the theory down, as internal documents revealed through the Epic trial. Former marketing chief Phil Schiller famously said that porting iMessage to Android “would hurt us a lot more than help us,” and another former Apple exec said within an email that “iMessage amounts to serious lock-in.”

Cook did say that Apple isn’t addressing RCS “at this time,” appearing never to entirely rule the theory out. Regardless, the green bubble issue is basically US-centric, as users far away have a tendency to favor non-SMS apps like Telegram, WhatsApp and Signal.

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