I’m a lucky district lottery winner living on a charming suburban street surrounded by, well, neighbourswho are fun, outgoing and love to gather in the backyard for great food and beer. Weekend plans, birthday wishes, requests for help with childcare and jokes are shared in a noisy group message thread that adults participate in on a daily basis.
However, as the only Android user in the area, I cannot enjoy the electronic camaraderie.
With Apple’s refusal to adapt iMessages to work with RCS, the messaging standard used by Android, I’m stuck in my own green bubble.
You may have faded into the background, too, while all your iPhone-owning friends are sharing news and entertainment that you won’t know about until days later. Maybe you’ve been holding back tears (okay, not really) when Apple fans tease you about not knowing the latest gossip from the block.
And when you do manage to get texts from the iPhone group thread, you seethe with rage every time someone responds with a heart or a happy face to a previous message, because instead of seeing adorable emoji, you just get a repetition of the same text with a note that “Celeste reacted to…” It’s a huge disappointment after the endorphin rush to think you have a brand new message to check.
It doesn’t look like Apple will ever change. In testimony during the Epic Games trial (will open in a new tab) Last year, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, acknowledged that Apple’s move to RCS “would just serve [an] an obstacle for iPhone families giving Android phones to their children.”
In other words, the use of RCS could lead to lower iPhone sales. Maybe that’s why Tim Cook suggested that someone buy mom an iPhone (will open in a new tab) when clicking on RCS support in iMessage.
Guess what Tim? You won. After three years of being happy with my Google Pixel 3 (especially the slideshow of my cats set to “Meow Music”), I’m returning to Apple and getting the latest iPhone 14.
In the future, instead of waiting for my husband (Tom’s Guide US Editor-in-Chief Mike Prospero) to update me on developments in the area, I’ll be able to hear about tonight’s campfire at my neighbor’s house directly from the source and add my own heart emoji to this single post.
Goodbye Android. You have served me well, but it has been a lonely experience.