Google really wants Apple to Get the Message

10 Aug 2022

Image: © Rokas/

Get the Message is a campaign launched by Google to pressure Apple into adopting new standards for better iPhone-to-Android messaging.

Google has been sliding into Apple’s DMs for a while now, asking it to ditch outdated SMS technology and switch to more modern standards in a bid to improve messaging between iPhones and Android devices.

Now, Google is taking its calls to the next level with a new public campaign titled Get the Message.

Get the Message aims to put pressure on Apple to adopt RCS, a cross-platform messaging protocol.

While iPhone users can communicate with each other via text with ease through iMessage, Apple’s flagship messaging service, problems start to occur when iPhone users text people on Android or other devices.

Other than different colour message bubbles (blue for Apple users and green for Android), Google said that the use of SMS and MMS leads to broken group conversations, a lack of end-to-end encryption and low-quality image and video sharing.

The Android maker wants Apple to adopt the more modern RCS standards that can make the iPhone-to-Android messaging experience almost as smooth as texting on iMessage.

RCS, which stands for Rich Communications Services, is a protocol that was chosen in 2008 by GSMA, the industry organisation that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide. It is meant to replace SMS technology, which has been around since the 1990s, for smoother cross-platform messaging.

However, it is not in Apple’s interest to adopt the new technology as it can lock users into its current iMessage ecosystem.

In a 2016 email conversation between Apple fellow Phil Schiller and an unnamed employee, Schiller reportedly said “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us”.

Apple software engineer Craig Federighi added at the time that iMessage on Android would “simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones”.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic