Tim Cook Says ‘Buy Your Mom An iPhone’ If You Want To Communicate With Android Users — Compatibility Not A Priority For Apple

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook typically upholds a professional image, but during Vox Media Inc.’s 2022 Code Conference to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup last year, he showcased his sense of humor.

During a question-and-answer session, a journalist raised the issue of the iPhone’s incompatibility with rich communication services (RCS) messaging, preventing the seamless sharing of video clips with their Android-using mom. It’s been a longstanding issue between Apple and Android devices. Cook acknowledged that it isn’t a top priority for the company. If the reporter wanted to fix the issue, Cook joked, “buy your mom an iPhone.”

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In response, Google initiated a public campaign last year called Get the Message aimed at pressuring Apple to adopt RCS technology. The campaign encouraged people to tweet at @Apple with the hashtag #GetTheMessage, urging the company to address texting issues. RCS, a modest enhancement to the short messaging service (SMS) standard Apple uses for non-iMessage users, promised to replace SMS and multimedia messaging service (MMS), potentially enhancing texting between iPhone and Android devices.

Google pointed out that RCS offers features similar to Apple’s iMessage, including typing indicators, encryption and improved multimedia messaging. Despite these efforts, nearly a year later, Apple had not made the anticipated changes.

The Android camp emphasizes that the issue extends beyond the mere color of message bubbles. It encompasses concerns such as fuzzy videos, disrupted group chats, absent read receipts and typing indicators, the inability to text over Wi-Fi and more. The challenges persist because Apple has not embraced contemporary texting standards for interactions between iPhone and Android users.

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According to Android, Apple’s approach converts text exchanges between iPhones and Android devices into SMS and MMS, which are outdated technologies hailing from the 1990s and early 2000s. Android asserts that Apple has the capability to adopt RCS, which represents the…