iOS 17 swerves around Android to fix green bubble group chats for iPhones

An iMessage chat showing blue and green bubbles
(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • iOS 17 beta users find nifty changes to the Messages app, particularly in group chats.
  • iPhone users running the latest beta can edit the green texts in group chats involving Android users.
  • In addition, media files are compressed much less for iPhone users in mixed group chats.

Following Apple's WWDC keynote, iPhone users are gaining new functionality in the Messages app that aims to improve the group chat experience... at least for iPhone users.

According to XDA Developers, with iOS 17 announced this Monday, iPhone users will apparently be able to edit infamous green texts when in a group chat with Android users. They will also be able to reply in threads and send higher-quality media to other iPhone users in group chats.

These features have appeared on iPhones running the latest iOS 17 developer beta after the software was released this week. The features, surprisingly, weren't highlighted at the WWDC'23 keynote. XDA report indicates that if you are an iPhone user running iOS 17, you can now edit your texts just like in a regular iMessage chat between iPhones.

However, Android recipients apparently won't see the edited texts. At least, that's the current behavior of this initial beta.

It is unclear if or when Android phone recipients will see the altered message, but XDA speculated it could happen in some form down the road, possibly as a second separate text. Meanwhile, other iPhone users in the chat will be able to see that the text has been edited.

Additionally, users can now reply directly to messages in mixed group chats, which makes it easier to follow individual conversations. Android users will at least be able to see these threaded messages, but apparently not in the order they should appear.

Lastly, the XDA report says that it has noticed some improvement when sending images and videos in a mixed group chat. With iOS 17, iPhone users are now receiving fuller-quality media as they normally would in an iMessage chat, meaning images and video aren't drastically compressed. However, that's not the case for Android users, who still receiving highly-compressed images and video.

From the looks of it, it seems as though Apple is finding a workaround to fixing mixed group chats that doesn't involve RCS, which Google has been advocating for. However, the fix only seems to benefit iPhones while still leaving Android users behind with a broken (and seemingly worse) experience.

Of course, this is only the first beta, so the behavior may possibly change in future updates. However, it seems unlikely that Apple will throw Android users a bone as RCS was not mentioned in its keynote when highlighting new iMessage features.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.