Google uses Drake’s new song, Texts Go Green, to pressure Apple to adopt RCS

The ‘green bubble’ has become part of everyday parlance: the term is so popular that it appeared on Drake’s seventh album, Honestly, Nevermind, which was released on Friday. The third song is called Texts Go Green, and if he doesn’t know what that means, here’s an explanation from an unlikely source: Google’s Android team.

#TextsGoGreen hit us differently which is why we had to release this unofficial lyric explanation video #GetTheMessage 💚😏

— Android (@Android) June 18, 2022

The song refers to the speech bubbles that change from their usual blue to green when the receiving user blocks you on iMessage. But there’s another reason texts turn green: An Android user joins a one-on-one or group chat.

This often leads to Android users being excluded from group chats or even harassed. Google asked Apple to resolve the issue by adopting RCS on its iDevices. RCS is touted by its supporters as the successor to SMS, it has many features that we have come to expect from chat applications that just don’t work well on SMS/MMS.

Left: iMessage • Right: Messages sent via SMS appear in green

RCS allows users to send and receive high-quality images and videos, view keystroke indicators, and read confirmations and reactions. It works over an Internet connection (cellular or Wi-Fi) and supports encryption. iMessage’s proprietary protocol does these things too, but it’s only available on Apple devices.

When chatting with an unsupported device, the app switches to simple SMS for text messages and reactions and sends images and videos via MMS (which is an old protocol and compresses files to tiny sizes of a few hundred kilobytes). These messages appear in the dreaded green bubbles.

P.S. Here’s the song in question, Texts Go Green:

spring | Going by

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