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Google Says iMessage Green Bubble Bullying Benefits Apple

Apple’s iMessage has gained a huge following in the US, and one of the strangest trends is the blue bubble/green bubble controversy. Android users get a green text bubble in iMessage rather than the default blue bubble, as they’re forced to use SMS instead of sending messages via data. This has led to some people, especially teens, mocking Android users who stand out in this way.

Google senior vice-president Hiroshi Lockheimer has criticized Apple for apparently taking advantage of this “peer pressure” and “bullying” around iMessage. Apple’s lock-in is a documented strategy. Using peer pressure and bullying as a way to sell products is disingenuous for a company that has humanity and equity as a core part of its marketing.

The standards exist today to fix this. The Android Twitter account also took issue with “bullying” around Apple’s iMessage, saying that a solution already exists. Google and Lockheimer’s comments come in reaction to a Wall Street Journal article on the iPhone’s dominance among teens. The outlet reported that Android-using teens and college students were feeling social pressure for being a green text bubble in.

The article quotes a 2013 email from Apple’s Craig Federighi, in which he presents his opposition to an internal suggestion to bring iMessage to Android. One solution is Apple can bring to Android. Apple thinks it could lose out on iPhone sales by taking this route, at least if Federighi’s email reflects the company’s current position. The company has also released a web-based version of Facetime for Android and PC users though.

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