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My switch from Android to iPhone shows me what my friends really think

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Now that I have FaceTime, I have friends who suddenly want to make a video call.

Sarah Tew / CNET

I decided to switch to iPhone from Android earlier this month, and I didn’t think it would matter much. For the past few years, while using Android phones, I easily communicated with friends and family without using iMessage other Facetime because there are many non-Apple services that allow you to chat with video and text in 2021. Although the two services were going to be available as an advantage to have a ios device, I thought we’d certainly gotten over whether someone was a “green bubble” or a “blue bubble” in a text message. But after I started using my new iPhone, the following messages started coming in from various friends:


iMessage is good, but it shouldn’t be vital.


“I’m so happy you’re blue now !!!”

“Welcome to Club Apple!”

“It’s time.”

These are all actual statements, either through text messages or in person, that I have been told by friends who found out about my change … and I just don’t understand why.

Yes, iMessage is convenient. Yes, that is FaceTime. Although I personally decided to buy a iPhone 12 Pro Max For him redesign other App privacy controls in iOS 14.5I didn’t expect it to make a difference to anyone in my social circle. He especially didn’t expect it to matter to the point of showing quite intense relief and elation.

For the past three years using Android on a Moto Z2 Play and a Pixel 3 XL, the same friends simply “met” me in other services. Many use WhatsApp to send text messages. Google Duo It’s my favorite way to video chat, and frankly, it already includes many of the new enhancements coming to FaceTime this fall in iOS 15 like invite links, portrait mode and chat within any web browser. A combination of Microsoft’s Facebook Messenger and Skype reaches most of your other contacts who are not on WhatsApp or Duo. And even a recent group chat that was struggling on MMS switched to Instagram. (Unfortunately: I wish more people had access to RCS messages….)

Despite the clear comfort people have with these non-Apple services, in the weeks leading up to my device swap, several of my friends told me of their plans to leave those other services once I moved to iOS.

“You’re the only one I talk to on WhatsApp,” a close friend from college confessed to me who previously told me it was super convenient …

Two friends I mostly talk to on Facebook Messenger told me about their excitement about moving our chat to iMessage, and then I realized that one of them hadn’t even given me his phone number.

Signal and WhatsApp messaging

Signal and WhatsApp offer encrypted messaging, whether you use an iPhone or not.

James Martin / CNET

And another friend rarely had an interest in making video calls with me when using Android, but now that they can use FaceTime, I get spontaneous calls.

My family members kindly have not cared if I am using an iPhone or not. While I know using FaceTime is a preference for them, one thing was more important: Does it work? So, at least with them, video chats via WhatsApp and Skype are still viable.

Even Apple is beginning to recognize that the most important thing is to facilitate quick and easy conversation no matter what device people are on. FaceTime opens up a bit to include participants on Android, Windows, and anywhere a web browser loads is a half-step – ideally, when launched, it will allow iOS people to include whoever they want in a conversation, but actually starting a FaceTime call seems to remain exclusive to Apple devices. In an interview with UrAvgConsumerApple’s senior vice president, Craig Federighi, acknowledged that opening FaceTime has become what his customers want.

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“Very often there was someone in a large group who maybe didn’t have an Apple device and didn’t want to exclude them from the party and yet we didn’t want to have to use anything other than FaceTime we thought as an Apple customer, what do you want? , you want to be able to attract all your friends ”, said Federighi in the interview with the YouTube channel.

And while that’s great, it’s also about being competitive. Apple knows that if it doesn’t catch up with rival services like zoomEven Apple’s most loyal customers can decline services like FaceTime.

As for me, making the switch didn’t change much. I still communicate with everyone in my life. It’s just that now, because of my “blue bubble”, it’s a bit easier for my friends and family who prefer to use an iPhone.

What’s your favorite app for texting and video chatting? Is it particularly important for your friends and family to use iMessage or FaceTime? Tell us in the comments.

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