For most of us Apple’s WWDC was mostly about the new hardware but under the hood of the new iOS 17 are some iMessage features that will be welcome to all — well, half the world anyway.
At the moment, if there is just a single person in a group chat with a different operating system phone to all the rest, that group chat will default to the old, insecure SMS/MMS. These older chats can’t handle decent-sized files and thus the experience for all involved is sub-optimal.
Despite Google’s attempt to get Apple onto 21st century cross-platform texting standard, RCS messaging, group chats involving both iOS and Android users. Google also tried playing dirty for a while making it so that Apple users couldn’t see emoji responses from Android users but Android users could from Apple users.
Now, Apple is returning fire in iOS 17, with changes to iMessage that will enhance the experience for iOS users but not so much for Android users. The new changes to iMessage mean that, for iPhone users, having a single Android user in a group chat will NOT break the group chat. Unfortunately for Android users, at least in beta 1, the chat will still be broken.
Some of the new changes to iMessage include the ability for iPhone users to edit texts, reply in threads and to keep full iMessage quality video — not the pixellated MMS-quality we currently get. Although iPhone users will be able to edit their text messages, Android users, for now, will only be able to see the original text.
Regarding the thread replies, Android users will be able to see all the messages that are sent in the thread but unfortunately, they will not show up in the order they are meant to. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
When sending photos in iOS 17 in a group chat iPhone users will see them at full quality, but unfortunately Android users will still see a compressed version. Videos are also compressed for Android users. XDA Developers ran a test using iOS 17 and a group chat with an Android phone and showed the compression is massive.
An 157MB video file sent in a group chat arrived at iPhone user’s iMessage app in 720p 30fps and 17.9MB but Android users received the video file at 176×144 and just 10fps frame rate. That’s just bad, but only for half the world’s phone users.
Remember, this is only beta 1 but considering Apple’s disdain for all things Android in the past I wouldn’t be holding my breath if you were and Android user. For Apple users though this is a big step forward to enhance their experience. Can’t we all just get along?