Alphabet Inc.‘s GOOG GOOGL Google is taking the text-messaging battle with Apple Inc.’s AAPL iPhones to another level.
What Happened: Google, the developer of Android, is putting more pressure on Apple to adopt RCS, a next-generation text messaging standard.
Google unveiled a number of enhancements to its Messages app, including an option to star or set a reminder on a text and an in-line reply feature for responding to individual messages.
These features favor Android users as they are RCS-enabled but are not compatible with SMS — the messaging standard iMessage switches to while texting someone without an iPhone — reports Business Insider.
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As a result of this update, when Android users reply to an SMS text with an emoji, iPhone recipients will receive a text including a description of the emoji and a statement about how the other person responded.
This is similar to what happens when iMessage users react to an SMS from an Android device. The Android user receives a narrative instead of an emoji.
Why It’s Important: Google has been pushing hard to make RCS the norm for messaging. It even pressured Apple to adopt RCS.
Apple though has strongly opposed it, with CEO Tim Cook recently saying he would “love to convert you to an iPhone” user.