I am a lucky winner of the Neighborhood Lottery, living on an adorable suburban street surrounded by, well, neighbors, who are fun, social, and enjoy backyard gatherings with great food and beer. Weekend plans, birthday well-wishes, requests for help with childcare, and jokes are shared on a boisterous group text chain that the adults participate in daily.
As the only Android user in the neighborhood, however, I get to enjoy none of the electronic camaraderie.
Thanks to Apple's refusal to adapt iMessages to work with RCS — the messaging standard used by Android, I'm off in my own green bubble.
Perhaps you, too, are pushed to the sidelines while all of your iPhone wielding friends share news and amusements that you only hear about days later. Maybe you’ve held back tears (ok, not really) as Apple aficionados tease you about not knowing the latest gossip from the block.
And when you do manage to receive texts from an iPhone group thread, you seethe with rage whenever anyone reacts with a heart or happy face to a previous message, because instead of seeing the adorable emoji, you just get a repeat of the same text with a note that “Celeste reacted to…” That’s a huge let-down after the endorphin rush of thinking you have a whole new message to check.
It doesn't look like Apple will ever change, either. In a deposition during an Epic games lawsuit (opens in new tab) last year, Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering admitted that Apple switching to RCS "would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.”
In other words embracing RCS could result in fewer iPhone sales. Maybe that's why Tim Cook suggested that someone buy their mom an iPhone (opens in new tab) when pressed about RCS support in iMessage.
Guess what Tim? You win. After three years of being otherwise happy with my Google Pixel 3 (especially the slideshows of my cats set to “Meow Music”), I am coming back to Apple and getting the latest iPhone 14.
Going forward, instead waiting for my husband (Tom's Guide U.S. Editor-in-Chief Mike Prospero) to inform me of the neighborhood happenings, I will be able to hear about tonight’s firepit festivities at my neighbor's house directly from the source and add my own heart emoji to that single message.
Farewell, Android. You’ve served me well, but it’s been a lonely experience.
Read next: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Galaxy S22 Ultra and take note: Apple admits iOS 16 has copy-paste bug — and a fix is coming.