I ditched Android for iPhone, and my friends’ reactions surprised me most – CNET

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So while I was aware my new phone purchase would provide access to iMessage and FaceTime, I considered it just another aspect of having an iOS device. After all, Apple’s services like Apple Arcade and Apple Music are often touted as being the best or exclusive to Apple products, but every one of them has rivals that work on both iOS and Android. 

These are all actual statements, whether through texting or in person, that friends being made aware of my switch have made to me… and I simply do not understand why.

Even Apple is starting to acknowledge that facilitating a fast and easy conversation no matter what device people are on is most important. FaceTime opening up to include participants on Android, Windows and web browsers is a half-step: In iOS 15, you can include anyone you want in a conversation — another iPhone, an Android device or a Windows machine — but actually starting a FaceTime remains exclusive to Apple devices. In an interview with UrAvgConsumer on YouTube, Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federighi acknowledged that opening up FaceTime has become what the company’s customers want.
“I’m so happy you are blue now!!!”
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 their plans to quit those other services once I moved to iOS.

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Two friends I speak to primarily on Facebook Messenger told me they were excited to move our chat to iMessage, and then I realized one of them had never even given me their phone number.
What’s your favorite app for texting and video chatting? And is it particularly important for your friends and family to use iMessage or FaceTime? Tell us in the comments. Signal and WhatsApp messaging
And while that’s great, it’s also about being competitive. Apple knows that if it doesn’t catch up with rival services like Zoom, even the most loyal Apple customers may turn away from services like FaceTime. 

screen-shot-2021-06-07-at-1-14-29-pm-2.png Surely, I thought, we’d moved past whether someone’s a “green bubble” or a “blue bubble” in a text message. But then after I started using my new iPhone, the following messages started coming in from several friends:

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“It’s about time.”
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Yes, iMessage is convenient. Yes, so is FaceTime. While I personally decided to buy an iPhone 12 Pro Max for the redesign and app privacy controls in iOS 14.5, I didn’t expect it to make a difference to anyone in my social circle. I especially didn’t expect it to matter to the point of friends displaying fairly intense relief and jubilation.
My decision to ditch my Android phone in favor of an iPhone earlier this summer wasn’t supposed to matter very much. Android phones are great, and for years I’ve been using the many non-iOS services that exist for texting and video-chatting my friends and family. I barely even think about what kind of phone others use when I want to text them. I just use whichever service seems easiest for them, whether it’s WhatsApp, Signal, Instagram or something else. While standard texting may be antiquated, it still works most of the time. 
Now that I have FaceTime, I have friends who suddenly want to video-call.

“Bienvenue a la Club Apple!”
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 little bit easier for my friends and family who prefer using an iPhone.
During the last three years of using Android on a Moto Z2 Play and a Pixel 3 XL, the same friends simply “met” me on other services. Many use WhatsApp for texting (which will soon support easier chat history transfers between iOS and Android). Google Duo is my favorite way to video-chat — and frankly already includes many of the new improvements coming to FaceTime this fall in iOS 15, such as invite links, Portrait Mode and chatting inside any web browser. A combination of Facebook Messenger and Microsoft’s Skype hits most other contacts who aren’t into WhatsApp or Duo. And even a recent group chat that was trudging along on MMS shifted over to Instagram. (Alas: I wish more people had access to RCS messages…) Signal and WhatsApp both offer encrypted messaging, whether or not you use an iPhone.