GOOGLE warned that Apple's iMessage lock-in feature is a cause for bullying among younger Android users.
The tech giant also accused Apple of benefiting from the bullying as part of an intentional strategy to lure younger users to iPhone and away from Android.
Apple's iMessage service comes with several features that are only available on iOS devices.
Some of these features include turning yourself into an avatar, called Memoji, and, most famously, color-coding messages so that iMessages are blue and SMS texts (from Android devices) are green.
However, this color distinction in iMessages has promoted alienation and even bullying among younger Android users, a new report shared by the Wall Street Journal says.
The report states that the iOS feature has increased the pressure for young people to switch over to iPhone simply so they're not the 'green message' in the text box.
“Apple’s iMessage 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,” Google’s head of Android Hiroshi Lockheimer tweeted.
Many teenagers and college-aged young people also feel that Apple's iMessage service has become a way for iPhone users to show that they not only own an iPhone but are a part of an exclusive messaging platform.
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"I don't know if it's Apple propaganda or just like a tribal in-group versus out-group thing going on, but people don't seem to like green text bubbles that much and seem to have this visceral negative reaction to it," Grace Fang of Wellesley College in Massachusetts said.
Internal emails sent by Apple executives revealed that the company did consider making iMessage available on Android to attract more users but ultimately decided that the move would be to their detriment.
“iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove [an] obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones," executive Craig Federighi wrote.
And, of course, while Google may be genuine in their concerns over bullying, they would also benefit financially from Apple making iMessage more inclusive as users could access the platform on Android devices.
“iMessage should not benefit from bullying. Texting should bring us together, and the solution exists. Let’s fix this as one industry,” tweeted the official Android account.
In other news, scientists are embarking on a mission to unravel the mystery behind dozens of grisly child mummies buried in an underground tomb in Sicily.
Police have caught an Italian mafia henchman who'd be on the run for 20 years after spotting the fugitive on Google Maps.
One of the best-preserved fossils ever found has confirmed that young dinosaurs burst from their shells just like baby birds.
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