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Remember: iPhone's green bubble is human

  ios imessage green balloon

Opinion by

C. Scott Brown

Although iOS and Android devices are more similar than ever, there are several specific features that iPhone users have that Android users don't have (or vice versa). The most common of these features is iMessage, a non-Apple messaging app that identifies Android users with a green bubble.

The green bubble, you say? If you don't know what I'm talking about, here: when iPhone owners use iMessage to communicate with other iPhone owners, their message bubbles are blue. When an Android user joins the chat, their message bubbles turn green. This is a simple way for iPhone users to understand that some features of iMessage will not work with that person as they use an Android device.

Although this seems rather harmless and even necessary, the "green bubble" function has taken a life of its own accord – and not in a good way. Some iPhone users around the world – but especially in the United States – mock the green bubbles that appear in their iMessage feed, even going as far as to create conversations like "green texts don't receive texts back".

This attitude may seem childish but harmless at first glance, but it is actually a real problem with real consequences. Young Android users in particular are increasingly finding themselves abandoned in their group of friends who use iPhones because of this green bubble phenomenon.

Also Read: Inside the massive Android edge in 1965. Yes, dropping green balloons is a real thing. If you're an iPhone user who doesn't live in the US, you've probably never heard of it, as platform-agnostic messaging apps are much more popular in the rest of the world (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, etc. [19659004] Let me assure you that some iPhone users are outright looking at a green bubble is no joke.

Related: How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to Android

Get this latest article from Cosmopolitan with the title "Bad News: Mike Johnson of the Bachelor Nation is an Android Type", in which the author talks about how Joe nson looks like a perfect man, but since it's now revealed that he's using an Android phone, it may not be worth tying in.

In a tweet included in the article one person even gets there that says, "Mike can still be a bachelor if he has an android?"

Here's a particularly lenient snippet by ticle author:

Yes, it's a little hard to judge Mike on his question by question on a smartphone but come on. Choosing to buy Android is such a strange flex. People will tell you that they did it because it has a "really cool camera" or it's waterproof or something, but TBH, Android can literally fold my laundry and I still wouldn't force my friends to look at green text bubbles. [19659018] You might be thinking, "Okay, well, this is a hoarse, half-joking article in Cosmopolitan so who cares?" Well, it seems Samsung is interested. The world's most successful smartphone maker has actually created a page with animated GIFs that Android users can send to iPhone owners who criticize their green bubble messages.

In an article summarizing (and heavily criticizing) Samsung GIFs, The Verge came to the point that when arguments with green balloons come up, "the only fix is ​​actually to get an iPhone. "

These are two very recent examples, but I could find many more things on Instagram, Instagram and even YouTube. Rest assured that this green bubble problem is not just sensitive Android users complaining about sinister iPhone users, like some of the past "iOS vs. Android" relics of the past. This is legitimate antagonism.

Why is this even happening?

  Apple iPhone Xs Max vs Google Pixel 3 XL - notch

I'll be glad to admit this iMessage users should have some indication that a person is chatting does not use an iPhone. The green bubble feature may not be the most pleasing aesthetic solution, but it's simple and effective. If it doesn't exist, iPhone users may get annoyed when they repeatedly try to use iMessage and find that it doesn't work properly.

There are people who think that Apple deliberately made the green of the bubble as ugly as possible as a fine dig against Android, and this strategy could swing iPhone users from literally associating themselves with Android users.

In this article by The New York Post a professor named Grayson Earle introduces this theory, the article itself is about different people who refuse to even report "green bubbles", including a woman named Katie McDonough , who will not meet a man using an Android phone.

"If it's not a blue message, I'm not going to bother flirting with you anymore," she told The Post . "I'm just like, 'Why don't you have an iPhone? "

It seems to some people the idea of ​​not owning an iPhone is similar to not having a stick of deodorant.

McDonough even admitted that when her former friend switched from iPhone to an Android device, she felt that this was the moment when their relationship "started to go down".

To explain this complete lack of compromise, McDonough exhibits, she says it depends on iMessage Features For example, when the person sending the text reads her message, she is notified. And when a person is in the middle of composing a response, she is informed of it. However, these two features do not work with Android users, so it won't know if its message has been read or whether the sender is composing new text.

In addition to these read / write notifications, iMessage users also have the ability to respond to emojis messages. Android users do not see these Emojis and cannot add them themselves. Instead, they receive a text that says "[Username] likes this message," which is hardly as fun or effective.

Young people love this feature, especially in large group chats. Since Android users cannot engage in entertainment, they automatically feel excluded from these group chats.

Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus vs Apple iPhone XS Max: Which is Right for You?

Some friends groups will even create a new group chat only for iPhone users, so all iMessage features are intact, further excluding Android users.

In this recent Twitter thread by Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies tells the story of a 16-year-old boy who switched from Android to iPhone specifically because of this disconnect phenomenon. "We will start a new group chat and the group will understand that I am the reason it is green and they will start another group chat without me," Bajarin quoted the boy. He also mentioned that the boy admitted to missing his previous phone: Google Pixel 2.

Let's be honest: it's about income and status

  iPhone XS Max in human hand on white background.

The aforementioned boy, who switched from Pixel 2 to iPhone just to fit in with his friends, seems like a modern example of a normal teenage problem: the desire to not be an outsider and instead be a popular member of the crowd.

If we decide to see it that way – and only that – it can be easy to overcome it as a centuries-old problem that just manifests itself in a new, technological way.

This minimizes the issue. Let's look at the problem from a more classical perspective and imagine that instead of the iPhone, these groups are talking about something else – say a pair of fashion shoes.

iPhone is more than a phone. This is a symbolic status, not unlike a designer bag or a luxury car.

These shoes are the rage: you can see celebrities wearing them and people dressing around the block just to buy a pair. But because they are so modern and so popular, they are also expensive.

For children born in families with financial stability, getting a pair of these shoes is relatively easy. They just beg their parents for them again and again and they will eventually receive them. It may take until their next birthday or Christmas, but these shoes will come.

However, for children born into families without financial stability, these shoes will probably never come. With that in mind, it becomes very easy to see rich kids and poor kids walking around the halls of any high school in the United States. Just look at the shoes.

iPhone – as much as we, Android users don't want to admit it – is no different than these fictional shoes. While there are many Android smartphones that cost just as much (if not more) than a brand new iPhone, the US perception is that Android phones are cheaper and less expensive than iPhones. Many young people will see another young person using a smartphone other than an iPhone and immediately accept that they are not cool and probably poor.

People who have nothing but despicable green bubbles in their iMessage chats may try to argue that the only reason they hate these green text boxes is because of how messy the iMessage functions are, as said Mrs. McDonough to The New York Post . But let's be real: the iPhone is a status symbol and is only available to people in a particular income group, so there are some iPhone users who see a green bubble and think, "this person is not part of the crowd and probably not rich. ”

Green bubble = Android in iMessage, but in the eyes of some iPhone users, green bubble = poor guy.

In a sense, The Verge is right to say that the best way to not experience this type of rejection is to just get an iPhone. Buy a used or choose an older model that may be cheaper. Hell, grab an iPod Touch if you need to. But this is not the solution to the real problem, it is simply the attraction of peer pressure, which is something we all learned from a very young age is generally bad.

Honestly, I don't know what to say to this poor kid who felt he should get rid of his Google Pixel 2 just to appease his friends who kept chatting with him. On the one hand, I like to tell him to stick to his weapon and hold the phone he wants and tell my friends to handle it. On the other hand, I know that such pressure can be discouraging for a teenager – after all, at one point I was.

I guess the best advice I have for him and anyone else who is stuck in this difficulty is relatively simple: remind your friends that the green balloon they criticize is not just a balloon – it's you. If your friends are still turning you off after you tell them that your choice of smartphone is not a problem.

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