Tim Cook's Fix for Android Texting Woes: 'Buy Your Mom an iPhone'

Last month Google started publicly pressuring Apple to adopt Android-compatible texting.

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Andrew Blok is a former editor for CNET who covered home energy, with a focus on solar. As an environmental journalist, he navigates the changing energy landscape to help people make smart energy decisions. He's a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State and has written for several publications in the Great Lakes region, including Great Lakes Now and Environmental Health News, since 2019. You can find him in western Michigan watching birds.
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Texting compatibility between Apple and Android is way down Tim Cook's priority list.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The same day that Apple launched its new iPhone, Tim Cook said that, if you want to be able to text seamlessly with an Android-wielding parent, you should "buy your mom an iPhone" -- adding that he doesn't "hear our users asking that we put a lot of energy on that at this point." The comments came at Vox Media's Code 2022 conference on Wednesday, hot on the heels of Apple announcing its new iPhone 14 line at its fall event.

Nearly a month ago, Google launched a public website asking Apple to adopt RCS technology, amping up the public pressure on the company to do so. The RCS texting standard would replace the SMS and MMS and, if adopted across both iPhone and Android, create a smoother texting experience across the two systems. Google says over half a billion people use RCS, which gives users features similar to iMessage on Apple: typing indicators, encryption, and higher-quality video and photo texting.

The brief exchange over RCS (in which Cook also told the questioner, "I'd love to convert you to an iPhone") came at the end of wider discussion with Apple's former lead product designer, Jony Ive, and Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, about Jobs' legacy and plans for an online Steve Jobs archive.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.