Goodbye, green bubble? Justice Department sues Apple over iPhone monopoly

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Will you look at that! Merrick Garland, man of action…


From Merrick Garland Has Abandoned Prosecuting Trump’s Pre-2020 Crimes - JURIST - Commentary - Legal News & Commentary


I absolutely support Apple being forced to open up the iPhone (even though just today I was accused of being an “Apple shill”.) But they need to get this right.

I don’t see how they can argue this. Are they claiming that because it’s not on the Android platform it’s worse? Maybe? Are they going the RCS route? Because there is no encryption standard for RCS. If they implement e2e encryption in RCS they would be forced to adopt Google’s scheme, so you’re shifting control, not opening things up. Apple is working on an open encryption standard with RCS’ governing body, and has said that they will support whatever scheme they come up with. Apple can probably also argue that they’re not anticompetitive since they allow WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, FB Messenger, and a whole host of other apps with the same functionality on their platform. It’s yet to be seen if this is “we’re doing something because the EU did, and we’re feeling pressure,” or if it amounts to real change.


In what way?

I may be hammered for this, but I like being part of Apple’s walled garden. Everything works great together and I get great support. I built my own PCs for years, but between crypto driving up the prices on video cards to Microsoft turning their users into a product, I decided to switch completely to the Apple environment and I love it.

Apple isn’t perfect, but I trust them much more that Microsoft, Amazon or Google. Oh and yes, Merrick Garland is a feckless waste of time.


In particular, I think that Apple should allow alternate payment methods. I don’t think that opening up payment options puts users at too great a risk, as every other online store does it. And I believe that Apple’s cut on first-time purchases and year-one subscriptions is onerous. I also think that enterprise and developer sideloading should be easier. I think if anything is monopolistic about current Apple, it’s that it’s incredibly difficult to develop for their non-PC computers without a significant investment in their computers.

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Huh, apparently I never communicate over iMessage with anyone else who is on an iPhone, because the “degraded” functionality is just how I thought it always worked…


No, 100% agree. The first time I used a Mac ca. osx 10.3 or so, I was absolutely blown away by the fact that you could just get shit done without constantly being harangued or abandoned by the Os with no notice. Back then it was still very uncool to have Apple hardware, being only a few years removed from them bottoming out in the 90s, and the iPod still being a Mac-specific device and not yet a phenomenon. I have zero interest in continually repairing, updating and scouring forums for solutions… I just want the damn thing to do its job 100% of the time out of the box. If you love that shit, by all means go for it, but I’d be just as annoyed by a car that I had to assemble myself or would just suddenly stop running in the middle of a highway.

I’ve also never understood the green message bubble thing. People’s egos are incredibly fragile if they think they’re being looked down on for using Android. Get over it, already. If you want the extra functionality… buy the device that innovated it.

Yeah, this is a legitimate complaint, but that’s about all I see here and has a pretty narrow scope.

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It’s a fact that it happens. It’s also a fact that the color scheme violates their design rules.

What are you talking about? Text messaging predates the iphone by two decades, threaded messages were invented for the blackberry and the design of RCS started over a year before the iphone came out.


Yes, of course. I’m talking about functionality that is exclusive to iMessages and, apparently DOJ is, too because they’re bringing this suit. iOS specific replies (“Samantha loved a response”), animated emojis, Tapback features, etc. And as @abides points out above, Apple has reportedly been working to implement RCS, but won’t do so until they can ensure end to end encryption, one of the main reasons I use Apple products. If you’re unaware of the incessant vitriol lobbed at Apple and Apple users over this, I can’t recommend you go seeking it out. It’s as obnoxious as it seems it would be.


I just cannot remotely begin to care about someone getting butthurt because of the phone they use or how people perceive them.


It’s a fact that it happens. It’s also a fact that the color scheme violates their design rules.

I worked on iChat for 9 years, which later became Messages. What “design rules” are you speaking of? I’ve never seen them, and I literally wrote some of the code that draws those bubbles on the screen.

On a related note, we used to joke that anything that was in AppKit was, by definition old hat, and no longer interesting enough to be used by Design in future work. Apple’s “design rules” are for Apple’s 3rd party developers, not Apple’s designers :wink:


Use strongly contrasting colors to improve readability. Use strongly contrasting colors to improve readability.

To be clear, it is not that green is gross. It is the low color contrast of the green Apple picked and used against white text is gross.

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But, as was pointed out in the comments of that article, the green was used before iMessage even existed. Blue was used to differentiate an iMessage text, which was important because it utilized Apple’s servers instead of cell providers’ meaning that it worked in low- and no-service areas assuming one was on a WiFi network. In other words, a blue bubble meant that you could still communicate via text. For someone who works part time in the Adirondacks with spotty service at best, this was a critical feature.

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I don’t know what to tell you, but Messages passes the Accessibility guidelines. You might find the contrast to be a challenge, but they’re within spec.

You can turn on the “increase contrast” option in the Accessibility control panel if you’re having trouble.

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It’s about time that the feds started enforcing common carrier - we went through this sort of thing with the big railroad trusts, and the costs have only become more pervasive to having single businesses controlling transport channels - and preferencing their own traffic.

Being involved in hardware design, I can greatly appreciation that Apples devices are brilliantly designed, and very often best-in-class, (if somewhat overpriced for the functionality). But am interested in never owning/being-owned-by them out of spiritual opposition to the walled garden ethos. The barriers the company erects to development and interoperability are anathema to the promise of the digital age, the brilliance of Turing-completeness is subverted by the exercise of overwhelming proprietary control. They aren’t the only ones attempting that, but they have been one of the most successful at implementing.


I have an Android phone and a Mac PC. I can’t use the phone’s hotspot to get internet on my MAC. That’s just another incompatibility Apple should fix


Can I get the bubble in cornflower blue?

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Those rules are for everybody else. Apple is free to violate their own design rules and they do it all the time.

They don’t.
You’re looking at it wrong, obviously.