When I decided to give up my Android phone for the iPhone this summer, I didn’t think it was that important. I use an Android phone and many non-iOS services like WhatsApp, Signal and Instagram to text and video chat with family and friends year after year. When I text them I rarely think about what kind of phone a person is using. I just use the messaging service that works best for them. Although standard texting may be outdated, it works most of the time.
So even though I knew my new phone purchase would provide access to iMessage and FaceTime, I considered it another aspect of having an iOS device. After all, Apple’s services, such as Apple Arcade and Apple Music, are often considered the best or exclusive for Apple products, but they each have competitors that work in both iOS and Android.
Sure, I thought, we’ve crossed the line on whether someone has a “green bubble” or a “blue bubble” in a text message. But when I started using my new iPhone, I started getting the following messages from several friends:
These are all real statements, whether in text or in person, from friends who have informed me of my change… and why I don’t understand.
Yes, iMessage is easy. Yes, FaceTime too. Although I personally decided to buy the iPhone 12 Pro Max to overhaul iOS 14.5 and control the privacy of the app, I didn’t expect it to make a difference to anyone in my social circle. After all, I didn’t expect it to be so important that friends would show some deep relief and joy.
Over the past three years of using Android on a Moto Z2 Play and a Pixel 3XL, the same friends have “met” me on other services. Many people use WhatsApp to send SMS (which will soon support chat history transfer between iOS and Android). Google Duo is my favorite way to video chat – and to be honest, FaceTime in iOS 15 already has a lot of new improvements this fall, such as invite links, portrait mode and chat in any web browser.
The combination of Facebook Messenger and Microsoft’s Skype affects other contacts who are not on WhatsApp or Duo. Even a recent group chat that was trashed on MMS has gone to Instagram.
Despite the apparent convenience of people with these non-Apple services, in the weeks following the exchange of my device, several of my friends told me that they would like to leave once they received these other services. For iOS.
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“I’m the only one you talk to on WhatsApp,” said a close friend from college who once told me it was “very convenient.”
The two friends I mainly talk to on Facebook Messenger told me they were excited to move our chats to iMessage, then I realized that one of them didn’t even give me his phone number.
And when I was using Android, other friends were less interested in video chatting with me, but now that they can do facetime, I get uninterrupted calls.
My family members, kindly, don’t care if I use an iPhone. Although I know using FaceTime is a priority for them, one thing is most important – does it work? So at least with them, video chat is still effective on WhatsApp and Skype.
Even Apple has begun to recognize the importance of providing fast and easy conversations, no matter what device people are on.
FaceTime is a half-step opener to include participants in Android, Windows and web browsers: in iOS 15, you can add someone to a conversation — another iPhone, Android device, or Windows machine — but really launching FaceTime is exclusive to Apple In an interview with UrAvgConsumer on device YouTube, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president, acknowledged that launching FaceTime had become what the company’s customers wanted.
“There was a time in a big party when there was someone who didn’t have an Apple device and you didn’t want to kick them out of the party, and yet we didn’t want to use anything other than FaceTime, and so we said, ‘What do you want, an Apple?’ As a customer, you want to be able to attract all your friends, “Federighi said in an interview.
And while it’s great, it’s also about being competitive. Apple knows that if it does not come up with competing services like Zoom, even the most loyal Apple customers may move away from services like FaceTime.