Google exec says green bubbles don't have to break group chats

Iphone 12 Pro Ios 15 Messages Photo Stack
Iphone 12 Pro Ios 15 Messages Photo Stack (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Google's SVP says green bubble users don't have to break group chats.
  • Hiroshi Lockheimer said that there was a "really clear solution" (RCS) to the problem.
  • He issued an open invitation to Apple to help find a solution.

Google's SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer has issued an open invitation to Apple over the use of RCS on devices like iPhone 13 and Apple's other best iPhones as a solution to green bubble messages that break group chats.

A Thursday Golf Digest post noted that Bryson DeChambeau uses Android, stating:

There's always that one person who ruins iMessage group chats with green texts, and Bryson DeChambeau is that person

@Android quipped on Twitter that a "Green jacket is next for our green bubble king," however Lockheimer took a different tack.

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In a tweet he stated that "group chats don't need to break this way" and that there was a "Really Clear Solution", obviously referring to RCS. He issued an open invitation"to the folks who can make this right", stating "we are here to help." The invitation was obviously a reference to Apple, calling on the company to implement RCS support in Messages.

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RCS, or Rich Communication Services. is Google's attempt at a global standard for messaging. As explained by our friends at Android Central:

In a nutshell, RCS is a set of communication standards for SMS, MMS and calling that will make text messages look and feel more like dedicated messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts and so many others. Basically, it aims to bring "texting" up to the modern standards with features we expect from messaging apps.

RCS messages recently got end-to-end encryption, however, the standard doesn't support multiple devices like iMessage.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

19 Comments
  • “ RCS messages recently got end-to-end encryption, however, the standard doesn't support multiple devices like iMessage.” This is the first time I’ve read this part. Interesting that it is the very last line. I think that once RCS has FULL feature parity with iMessage, Apple will adopt it. It’s all making sense now. Yes “blue/green” bubbles are a symbol, but I doubt it’s a big reason people stick with Apple these days.
  • Apple will only adopt it unless forced to do so by means of government OR through public pressure. But RCS is a threat to iMessage and an email discussing iMessage for Android from Apple execs was derailed due to it keeps iPhone users on the platform. RCS won’t benefit Apple if it was on the iPhone.
  • Eh I think you are wrong. iMessage will still be a lock-in feature for some, although the added security would make it so that no matter who you are messaging you wouldn't have to worry about the "green vs blue bubble debate"
  • Apple needs to support RCS, because its a standard now with all the carriers, but Apple won't, because it doesn't benefit Apples lock-in, and lock-down mentality. Look at HTML5 Apple still doesn't fully embrace those web standards that were finalized back in 2014. You can even write games using HTML5 and Javascript, but Apple had to make changes to iOS, starting with iOS 14.3, because of Apples stupid cloud game streaming policies would not allow any single app that would serve up a cloud gaming platform. But Apple would allow those cloud game streaming platforms to run on iOS via a web app that would run on Apples Safari. Apple put this in place starting in the new year. So if you think Apple is going to add in the RCS standard, then you must be mad!
  • Apple will add it and then claim they waited until it was "perfect" like everything else they add. Apple is definitely slow to add features, but they don't want to be left too far out which is why they usually add the stuff 4-5 years later than what it can be found elsewhere.
  • You go to App Store, install a RCS client and off you go.
  • If apple truly cared about privacy they would implement this (Google aside). SMS is inherently weak in terms of security. If nothing else, RCS provides another layer of "privacy/security" when messaging non-iphone users.
  • If you are messaging non Apple users, and care about privacy, use a different chat app than iMessage. If you are planning a bank heist, use Whatsapp or get everyone an iPhone. If you are planning who is bringing what to the family pot luck, use what you want. RCS, as noted, doesn't provide end to end security on group chats, is a zero sum gain.
  • Green vs blue bubble has absolutely NOTHING to do with access to common standards. Federighi was very honest about it in his argument against Cue who wanted iMessage on Android: "In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for [the] bulk of cell phone users, I am concerned [that] iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones." And Schiller added the exclamation point: "“The #1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app is iMessage ... iMessage amounts to serious lock-in,” was how one unnamed former Apple employee put it in an email in 2016, prompting Schiller to respond that, “moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us, this email illustrates why.”
    Always follow the money...
  • Yeah it is hard to leave iMessage when they hold your number hostage when switching to android.
  • Let's be realistic RCS (Universal Profile) is years away from being fully adopted by not only Carriers, but also in SMS Applications, even when the API finally becomes available. While iMessage works on every single iPhone right now, with little effort on the user side. The "Green Bubble Debate" will rage on for years to come.
  • Why would Apple implement a vastly inferior product that also helps the competition.
  • Green bubbles have never broken my group chats. They work just fine.
  • Same here. What exactly are these people claiming is “broken”?
  • I don't give a flying 'F' what color anybody's texts/chats are - that situation is just stupid. Apple & Android users should be able to send each other messages and (good quality) pics & vids without jumping through hoops to figure out how to do it.
  • That already happens now. I have no idea what these people are complaining about.
  • Why are you guys saying that the RCS standard doesn't support iMessage, especially since its Apple and their iMessage is the one that is not supporting the RCS standard? Look at HTML5 which is another example, Apple to this day, still doesn't fully support the web standards that were finalized back in 2014.
  • Do it plz
  • I think Google should be asking Apple for help in fixing their messaging platforms.