Google Mocks Apple’s iMessage with Fake ‘iPager’ Device

Google has launched a new ad campaign to ridicule Apple’s iMessage service, which uses the outdated SMS protocol for texting with Android phones. The campaign features a fake device called the ‘iPager’, which Google claims is similar to what Apple users experience when they text with Android users.

What is the ‘iPager’?

The ‘iPager’ is a fictional device that Google created to mock Apple’s iMessage service. The device looks like a pager from the 1990s, with a small screen and a keypad. Google says that the ‘iPager’ uses outdated messaging technology, such as SMS, which has limitations in encryption, group chats, and media quality.

Google Mocks Apple’s iMessage with Fake ‘iPager’ Device
Google Mocks Apple’s iMessage with Fake ‘iPager’ Device

Google’s ad shows a woman receiving an ‘iPager’ as a gift from her husband, who says that it is the latest technology from Apple. The woman is confused and disappointed by the device, which can only send and receive low-quality texts and images. She also complains that she cannot see when her friends are typing or if they have read her messages.

The ad ends with a message from Google: “iPager isn’t real, but the problems that Apple causes by using SMS are. Let’s make texting better for everyone and help Apple #GetTheMessage and upgrade to RCS.”

What is RCS and why does Google want Apple to adopt it?

RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is a communication protocol that Google has developed and adopted for its Android devices. RCS is designed to replace SMS and offer more features and functionality for texting, such as end-to-end encryption, group chats, high-quality media, read receipts, typing indicators, stickers, and more.

Google has been pushing Apple to adopt RCS for its iMessage service, which currently uses SMS when texting with Android phones. Google claims that Apple is responsible for all the issues that iPhone and Android users have when they text each other, such as lack of security, broken group chats, pixelated pictures and videos, and the green bubbles.

Google has launched a multi-year marketing campaign called #GetTheMessage to persuade Apple to support RCS. The campaign includes billboards, ads, websites, social media posts, and more. Google says that RCS would make texting better for everyone and improve the interoperability between iPhone and Android devices.

How has Apple responded to Google’s campaign?

Apple has not shown any interest in adopting RCS for its iMessage service. Apple already offers many of the features that RCS provides for its iMessage service, but only for iPhone-to-iPhone conversations. Apple uses its own proprietary protocol for iMessage, which is integrated with its ecosystem of devices and services.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in September 2022 that RCS is not a priority for Apple. “I don’t hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy in on that at this point,” he said. When a reporter asked him about the difficulty of sending high-quality images to his mother who uses an Android phone, Cook replied: “Buy your mom an iPhone.”

It is unclear if Apple will ever adopt RCS for its iMessage service, but so far, it seems unlikely. Apple may not want to give up its competitive advantage of having a unique messaging service that differentiates its products from Android devices. Apple may also have concerns about privacy and security issues related to RCS, which relies on third-party carriers and servers.

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