Apple Messages won’t play well with Android anytime soon

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You have probably lived the irritating quirks that occur when you text an iPhone from an Android device, or vice versa. Messages from Android users appear as green bubbles on iPhones instead of blue (horror!), and videos sent between the two systems are often compressed beyond view. The lack of proper interoperability became such a headache that more and more people started pushing harder to get the two platforms to get along.

Speaking at Vox Media’s Code conference on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook took questions public. LiQuan Hunt, who works at Vox Media, asked if Apple would ever adopt the same messaging standard as Android, or at least make them play nice with each other. Hunt then went on to say that the disconnect makes it difficult to communicate when texting with her mother. In response, Cook said, “Buy your mom an iPhone.”

It was a pleasant joke, but one that amplifies the tensions between the two smartphone ecosystems. Almost a month ago, Google launched a desperate marketing campaign to convince Apple to adopt the RCS messaging protocol that has become standard on Android devices. But now Cook has made it clear that won’t be happening anytime soon.

Here are the other highlights of the week in the world of consumer technology.

Brazil and Apple go into battle

Apple stopped including chargers in iPhone packaging in 2020, citing the environmental impact of shipping tens of millions of chargers to people who might find them superfluous and throw them away. This decision ruffled some feathers, including those of some governments.

On Tuesday, Brazil announced that it ban the sale iPhones in the country if the devices do not come with a charging cable in the box. It also fined Apple 12.275 million reais, or about $2.3 million. Apple is attractive order.

A penalty of this size is a tear in the ocean for Apple – the company’s market capitalization is $2.3 trillion, a million times the amount of the fine. Still, Brazil’s decision could set a precedent for other countries to make similar demands. European Union laws prompted Apple to open repair programs and tinker with switching its iPhones to USB-C connectors. While the company may view Brazil’s move as a threat, it’s not the only device maker to stop including chargers. Samsung does not include chargers neither does it with its Galaxy S21 or S22 phones. Brazil has yet to prosecute this company, but we’ll see how that goes depending on how Apple’s appeal progresses.

Google Maps expands ecological directions

In October 2021, Google introduces a feature in the United States that allow users to choose more environmentally friendly routes in their journeys. These aren’t always the fastest routes to a destination, but Google says it takes road and traffic conditions into account to find the most fuel-efficient path.

Now eco-friendly routes in Maps are available in 40 European countries, as well as some new features. The biggest addition is the ability to integrate your vehicle’s fuel type. You can choose whether your car is electric or runs on petrol or diesel, and Maps will incorporate that into its route determination.

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