Every year we see new articles being complain of the green chat bubbles in Messages for iPhone. Many treat bubbles as a way to label Android owners as outcasts, but the truth is much more mundane. We’ll clear things up by taking a brief look at the story behind the green label for SMS texting.

green was first

A January 2022 article in the Wall Street Journal made the common mistake To think that, at some point, Apple deliberately decided to label Android users’ text messages with green (instead of blue) bubbles to promote a sense of group exclusivity for iMessage users. While the difference in colored text message bubbles may have a social effect today, the green/blue divide didn’t originate this way.

When the iPhone launched in 2007, it included a Messages app that could send and receive industry-standard SMS text messages. SMS is a messaging standard managed by mobile phone operators that transmits over the global cell phone network, not the Internet. Before, when the Messages app could only send SMS messages, all the chat bubbles were green. the green bubbles they got there first. All iPhone owners who used Messages were locked in green bubbles between 2007 and 2011.

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when Apple introduced iMessage Back in 2011 as a feature-rich, encrypted alternative to SMS texting for Apple devices, Apple decided to provide a visually obvious indicator if you were participating in an iMessage conversation: they colored the chat bubbles of blue instead of green. Messages from SMS users, whether on Android or any other cell phone platform, remained green as ever.

Steve Jobs introduces Messages for the first time, with Green Bubbles, in 2007.
Apple has used green SMS bubbles since the debut of the iPhone in 2007. Manzana

So if you’re using Messages on an iPhone and you see green word bubbles, you know right away that iMessage features won’t work on that conversation and that the conversation isn’t end-to-end encrypted (all SMS messages are subject to encryption). interception and storage for part of the cell phone operators). The green bubbles weren’t designed to punish anyone, at least not originally.

The green stigma remains: is there a way out?

Although we have now seen that green was the default for SMS text messages in the Messages app, we cannot rule out that there may be some social stigma related to the green bubbles in some texting situations. As long as Apple supports SMS, it makes technical sense for people to know they’re participating in an SMS conversation rather than one using iMessages.

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Could Apple Make All Messages Blue? Maybe, but there would still have to be some other indicator in Messages that shows you’re using SMS, and that probably won’t remove the existing social stigma involved.

Somehow the color is beyond the point. Instead, some are pushing for better interoperability between iPhone and Android. Google Senior Vice President Hiroshi Lockheimer, He suggested on Twitter that Apple should introduce support for the enhanced text messaging standard RCS in your Messages app, just as it now supports SMS (Apple owners could also use iMessage). Doing so would provide a better cross-platform texting experience for iPhone and Android owners, including the ability to leave group chats .

Still, even if Messages did support RCS, it would probably display them in a different color than the blue used for iMessage, maybe even green. Unless Apple, Google, and others agree to an industry-standard text messaging service that features end-to-end encryption and makes everyone happy, we’ll probably be talking about blue and green bubbles for some time to come.

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