People have been trying to find a solution to this for years. Companies like Sunbird and Beeper made apps that let Android users appear as blue bubbles on their iPhone friends’ phones. These apps even had iMessage-like features, including end-to-end encryption. But there was a catch — you had to sign in to their remote Macs with your Apple ID, making it not so secure.
But now, with Apple adopting RCS, these third-party solutions aren’t needed anymore. Starting next year, texting an Android won’t be the pain it is now. Apple is likely doing this to get ahead of rules in Europe that say messaging platforms must work across different phones. They did the same with adding USB-C to the iPhone 15. Thanks, Europe!
Even though Apple is kind of forced to do this, it doesn’t mean they’ll make it perfect. Adding RCS is not the same as putting iMessage on Android. Apple might still try to make it clear when you’re texting a non-Apple user. They might keep the green bubbles around just so you know. Sure, you’ll see typing indicators and group chats will work better, but the messages will still be green. They might also limit some iMessage features in RCS chats. Don’t expect a big FaceTime button to show up when you’re texting Android friends, even if you can technically FaceTime them already.
But even if Apple does some things to make iMessage seem better, it won’t matter much. RCS is way better than SMS, and it will be enough to bridge the gap between iPhones and Androids. Most people won’t care if the bubbles are green when they can easily manage a group chat without using a third-party app like WhatsApp. Young people might care about looks, but the next generation will grow up in a different world. Maybe they’ll break the cycle, at least in the U.S. (By the way, nobody else outside America cares about this. The rest of the world uses apps like WhatsApp. We’re the only ones still stuck with our weird system and not using the metric system.)
This change also means you’re free to choose whatever smartphone you want. If you love everything about the Apple world, you can stick with the iPhone. But if you don’t mind losing easy access to FaceTime, you can try a Pixel 8 Pro or even a cool foldable phone. Your iPhone friends won’t hate you for messing up the messaging anymore.
So, it’s good news for everyone, whether you’re on Team iPhone or Team Android. The blue bubble vs. green bubble saga is coming to an end, and we all have something to be thankful for. Texting just got better!