When telcos talk about text messaging, the conversation inevitably lands on the promise of end-to-end RCS, Rich Communications Services, as the breakthrough to deliver features like read receipts and typing signals, currently available on proprietary services like iMessage. The trouble is, currently SMS, MMS and SMS aren’t always compatible with iMessage, causing what iPhone users dread — the green bubble.
The green bubble in iMessage means the text is coming from an Android user. This means the message could disappear, appear only in part and it counts against your text plan, unlike blue bubbles, which indicates the message is coming from another iMessage device.
But once upon a time, according to an article from the Wall Street Journal, Apple pitched a version of iMessage to standardize the industry. Not surprisingly, carriers took a hard pass.
“We approached the carriers to pursue adding features to the existing texting systems and removing the additional customer costs,” former iOS head of development Scott Forstall told WSJ. “For various reasons, from the difficulty of extending the existing standards, to challenges with inter-operability between texting systems and carriers, to the desire of carriers to protect a significant revenue stream, these explorations didn’t pan out.”
What’s emerged is this patchwork solution, driving users to other alternatives like WhatsApp, WeChat and Messenger. For years rumors have circulated Apple would release a version of iMessage for Andriod, but those have never materialized.
Featured image: IMAGE TEXT MESSAGING GREEN SCREEN/YouTube