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Tim Cook dashes hopes for RCS support to arrive on iPhones

Google Messages and iMessage icons
(Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook has responded to pleas to add RCS support to the iPhone.
  • Cook said iPhone users aren't asking for it, so the company has currently no plans to support RCS on iMessage.
  • His response came just a month after Google launched a campaign to compel Apple to adopt RCS.

Google has been pressuring Apple to adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS), but the request seems to have fallen on deaf ears, as Tim Cook has rebuffed the idea of adding the standard to the iPhone.

During the 2022 Code Conference, Cook suggested that Apple does not intend to bring RCS support to iMessage anytime soon in response to Vox Media’s LiQuan Hunt, who asked about how Apple could improve communication between iPhone and Android users (via The Verge (opens in new tab)).

“I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy on that at this point," Cook said when asked how Apple founder Steve Jobs would feel about introducing RCS to iMessage.

Hunt went on to tell Cook that his mother couldn't view certain videos he sent to her Android phone. Perhaps in jest, Cook replied: "Buy your mom an iPhone."

Hiroshi Lockheimer (opens in new tab), a senior vice president at Google, chimed in by saying that "people should be able to send high quality videos and photos to their mom without having to buy her a new phone."

One of the drawbacks of sending files from an Android phone to an iPhone is the degraded quality of photos and/or videos thanks to the lack of interoperability between both platforms. While RCS has been viewed as a solution, Apple is still opposed to bringing it to iPhones. This is why, last month, Google launched a new campaign to pressure the Cupertino-based tech giant to adopt the messaging standard.

Google's efforts appeared futile, although Apple's refusal makes sense. Apple considers the blue bubble in iMessage as one of the reasons that keeps many iPhone users from switching to Android.

Apple considered offering iMessage on Android in the past, although it quickly dismissed the idea. And, if Cook's new statement is any indication, the blue and green bubble divide isn't going away for the foreseeable future.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.