Tim Cook says you should buy an iPhone for your mom instead of asking for RCS support

Ios 14 Messages Groups Inline Replies Mentions
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

If you're hoping Apple will add RCS support to Messages, you're likely to be in for a very long wait. CEO Tim Cook has all-but confirmed that it isn't happening, saying that people should just buy their mom an iPhone if they want rid of their green bubbles.

The quote came during Vox Media’s Code 2022 event on Wednesday night, with Cook suggesting that RCS support isn't something his company is working on.

No RCS for you

With Android devices obviously not supporting iMessage, any text message sent between iPhone users and Android owners has to go via SMS, a service that has been around for longer than many of the people using it. RCS is one potential answer and it could replace SMS — if only Apple integrated it with its Messages app. But Cook says that "I don't hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy" into making RCS happen on iPhone. Instead, he just wants you to buy an iPhone.

When told by one member of the audience that they simply don't sent videos to their mom because they don't have an iPhone, the answer is simple — buy them one.

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The quote is one that has been latched onto across the internet, for obvious reasons. But it shouldn't be all that surprising. iMessage has long been one of the main lock-in devices used by Apple, and it's one that means iPhone users can send and receive rich content with each other. Sending an SMS to an Android user means using MMS, and that's no way to live in 2022.

There are, of course, alternatives. If Apple isn't adding RCS support to iPhones people who need to send media to Android users can use WhatsApp or other apps like Telegram. But that means getting family and friends to install extra apps, something they wouldn't need to do if Apple supported RCS.

So there we have it. If you want to be able to use the Messages app to send your mom a video, you should buy her a new iPhone 14 to do it.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.