iOS 17 will make green bubble group chats better, but only for iPhones

iOS 17 adds message editing, threaded replies and higher-quality videos but only for the iPhone users in the group chat

Despite Google’s efforts to get Apple to adopt RCS (something it will likely never do), the company does seem to recognize that group chats between Android and iPhone are a less-than-ideal experience.

Though Apple arguably wants it that way so you’ll go buy an iPhone to use iMessage, iOS 17 will bring some improvements for green bubble conversations. Green bubbles, for those unfamiliar with the platform, indicate when iPhone users are communicating over SMS or MMS instead of through Apple’s iMessage.

Apple didn’t address the changes on stage, but XDA Developers spotted them in the iOS 17 beta. First up, iPhone users can now edit texts in green bubble group chats. Moreover, iPhone users can reply in threads and send iMessage-quality videos. Unfortunately, it seems these changes are limited to iPhone users only, which means Android users chatting with iPhone users will still have a terrible group chat experience.

Edited messages won’t show up for Android users at all, though that could change in the future. Thread replies will show up, though not necessarily in the right order. As for high-quality videos, those still get compressed like crazy for Android users. so no real benefit there.

All that said, the changes address some pain points for iPhone users in green bubble chats, which might make them more willing to participate in such a chat. Regardless, the optimal solution remains using a third-party messaging app like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal or countless other options since those work across multiple platforms and without silly restrictions (plus they often have more and better features).

Source: XDA Developers