Google and Apple lock horns over “blue and green bubbles” on iMessage

Google has started a public fight with Apple over the “green bubbles” that appear when their users message each other.

When two iPhones message each other, their texts appear blue; if someone receives a message from an Android user, however, they show as green.

The system is intended at least in part to distinguish between iMessages, which are sent over the internet, and traditional texts.

The colour of the bubbles has also become a cause of concern, however, since it marks out Android users in group chats.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that those green bubbles can lead to bullying and singling out of young people, if they are not using iPhones and so are unable to send blue messages.

After that report was published, Google seized on its to criticise Apple for not playing its part in making messages easier to send between different operating systems.

The mentions of “standards” are presumably references to RCS, a new texting tool that Google has been pushing Apple to adopt in its iPhones.

That is intended as an update to the existing SMS text message system, and would allow for more iMessage-like features such as encrypted texting.

Apple has never said publicly either way whether it is working to support RCS in iMessage, or whether it would want to do so.

Public documents have shown that its executives are away that the blue bubbles and the iMessage infrastructure helps keep people on iPhones, and encouraged the use of them as a result.