Apple hardware and Google services have increasingly managed to play together over the years, despite the occasional sparks and antipathy directed at each other by their respective executives. Google executives, for example, love to decry Apple’s ecosystem as a walled garden unnecessarily closed off to the detriment of its users, while Apple’s top brass castigate Google, time and time again, for missteps in privacy.
Many Google services work great on iOS — Google Maps, Google Photos, gmail, etc. On the other hand, however, the Apple Messages app has for years adhered to a certain set of rules, relegating texts from non-iPhone users who stream into the app to an ugly green bubble status with unbreakable finality.
This has led to all sorts of back-and-forth over whether Apple should bring its Messages app to Android, like what the company did with Apple Music. Or at least adjust its messaging app protocols so that texts from Android users to iPhones aren’t relegated to second-class citizen status. Even Drake, of all people, seems to have decided to weigh in on this.
The texts turn green
Honestly it doesn’t matter is the name of Drake’s just-released seventh album, which debuted on Friday. One of the tracks on the album is titled The texts turn green, which refers to the ugly green bubbles that break Apple Messages threads when the sender owns an Android device. While messages from one Apple device to another, of course, are presented in blue text bubbles.
“Texts go green – hits a little differently, doesn’t it?” Drake sings on the track.
Googlers apparently agree. Android’s official Twitter account over the weekend cooked up a corny video presented under the guise of an “unofficial lyric explainer video”.
“The Android team thinks Drake’s new song is a real banger,” intones a narrator in the Android video, which you can check out below – and laments that Apple hasn’t adopted the Rich Communication Services protocol (RCS).
“It refers to the phenomenon when an iPhone user gets blocked. Or tries to text someone who doesn’t have an iPhone. Either way it’s pretty rough. If only a team of “Super talented engineers at Apple could solve this problem. Because it’s a problem only Apple can solve. They just have to adopt RCS, actually. It would also make texting safer. I’m just saying. Super track, what.
Apple Messages in iOS 16
Apple, unsurprisingly, won’t be changing the color bubbles or the way the Apple Messages app interacts with Android devices anytime soon. What’s changing later this year, however, are some key features of the iPhone maker’s stock Messages app that will receive some long-awaited changes thanks to the arrival of iOS 16.
With the next-gen software update, Apple will for the first time, for example, give users the ability to edit a message they’ve just sent to someone.
Users will also be able to unsend messages. Importantly, you will have a time limit to edit and recall messages in iOS 16. You can only do either within 15 minutes of sending the message.
- Are you busy, and want to highlight an Apple Messages missive you just read, to remind you to reply to it later? Finally, you will also be able to do this.
- There is also a recovery option for deleted messages. But only up to 30 days after the message is deleted.