A Google exec's jab at Apple about texting issues between iPhones and Android drew cheers and applause at a conference

A Google exec's jab at Apple about texting issues between iPhones and Android drew cheers and applause at a conference
The crowd at Google IO's keynote reacts with cheers and applause at the remark aimed at Apple.Google
  • A Google exec took a thinly veiled jab at Apple at the company's Google IO conference.
  • The exec said the company hopes every mobile operating system adopts a messaging standard called RCS.

Google took some time out of its annual developers presentation to call out Apple on stage, and the crowd ate it up.

"When you're texting in a group chat, you shouldn't have to worry about whether everyone is using the same type of phone," said Google exec Sameer Samat at the company's IO event, prompting some laughs and cheers from the audience.

"Sending high-quality images and video, getting typing notifications, and end-to-end encryption should all just work," he added.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

"We hope every mobile operating system gets the message and adopts RCS," he said, pausing as the crowd cheered and applauded loudly, "so we can all hang out in the group chat together — no matter what device we're using."

The moment was Google's latest attempt to pressure Apple to adopt something called the the RCS messaging standard, or Rich Communications Services.


If Apple were to adopt RCS, it would solve issues Android and iPhone users have long complained about when texting each other, such as blurry or compressed videos and photos. It would also get rid of messages that spell out an iPhone user's emoji reaction to a message, such as a text saying "Sam loved 'See you soon'" — instead of simply showing a heart emoji on the original "See you soon" message.

The latest volley in a PR campaign aimed at Apple

A Google exec's jab at Apple about texting issues between iPhones and Android drew cheers and applause at a conference
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Google launched its #GetTheMessage campaign aimed at Apple last August, calling for the iPhone-maker to adopt the RCS messaging standard to improve texting between Android and iPhones, which use the SMS messaging standard. Samat said that over 800 million people currently use the RCS standard, with expectations that number will balloon to 1 billion by the end of the year.

RCS was chosen as a potential replacement to SMS messaging in 2008. Unlike SMS, which operates over a carrier's network, RCS operates over the internet, meaning it can better support multimedia features over messaging, and makes sending GIFs and high-resolution videos easier. It also makes it easier to group message.

"From a Google perspective, we think every Android user should just have messaging over Wi-Fi," Sanaz Ahari, who oversees Android and business communications at Google, previously told The Verge, adding that Apple and Android have "a lot of conversations."

Apple didn't comment on the remarks when contacted by Insider ahead of publication. Google did not immediately responded to Insider's request for comment.


Since Google's campaign for Apple to adopt RCS launched, the company has taken other digs at Apple, including a 30th anniversary post for SMS texting that called out iPhones for being "stuck in the 1990s," and a New Year billboard ad calling on Apple to fix "pixelated" photos and videos in text messages.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said he doesn't get much feedback from iPhone users about fixing texting between their phones and Androids. Last year, when asked by an audience member at a conference what to do about issues sending and receiving videos between an iPhone and his mother's Android phone, Cook said "buy your mom an iPhone."

Apple's messaging platform, and the so-called "blue bubbles" in group chats compared to green Android bubbles, is a selling point that helps convince some to switch over to an iPhone — and helps keep users locked into the ecosystem.

Legal documents from a 2021 lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games further drove home the point that the tech giant doesn't have much incentive to adopt RCS either.

"The#1 most difficult [reason] to leave the Apple universe app is iMessage . . . iMessage amounts to serious lock-in" said a former Apple employee in 2016, according to a court document.


"Moving iMessage to Android will hurt us more than help us," an Apple executive replied.