With Android 13, Google is trying to create its own blue bubble experience. The company integrates a technology called Rich Communication Services into its messaging app, which can send high-resolution images and large files. It will also allow people to create group chats like most modern messaging apps.
Apple, meanwhile, is making changes to iMessage so that iPhone users can edit or recall messages after they’ve been sent. Retroactive message editing, which would save us the embarrassment of bizarre auto-correcting typos or accidental pocket text, is a feature people have wanted for years.
Both companies boost user privacy
These days, no software update would be complete without a big tech company claiming that they care about our privacy. That’s because tech companies want users to feel safe sharing personal data, especially as European regulators and others have cracked down on them over the issue.
So, naturally, Apple and Google said they were offering more protections to user data in their upcoming operating systems.
Apple, which has long allowed iPhone users to give family members and romantic partners permanent access to their location data, said it would provide deeper controls for such data sharing if a relationship intimate went wrong. Its new software feature, Safety Check, will allow people to quickly review and revoke access to that data so they can protect their information from attackers.
Google said it would give users more control over data shared with third-party apps. In the next version of Android, people will also be able to give apps access to certain photos instead of their entire camera roll — a measure of protection against malicious apps disguising themselves as photo-editing software.
If many of these tweaks seem long overdue, that’s because they are. Just as smartphone hardware upgrades have become increasingly incremental, software is also becoming better — but in mundane ways.