Android Users Getting Pixelated GIFs From iPhones Via Google Messages: What's Going On?


Some GIFs sent from Apple Inc.’s AAPL iPhones to Android devices using Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG GOOGL Google Messages are reportedly being received as distorted static images with pixelation and missing dots.

What Happened: The problem has been reported by several Android users, affecting devices from various manufacturers, including Google and Samsung phones. The issue seems to be specific to GIFs sent via SMS/MMS by iPhone users reported 9to5Google.

Screenshot of a media message sent from an iPhone to Google Messages. Courtesy: Reddit
Screenshot of a media message sent from iMessage to Google Messages. Courtesy: Reddit

Despite the widespread reports, not all iPhone-Android conversations are affected. The cause of the issue is yet to be determined, but it is unlikely to be an Android OS problem. The issue may be related to the Google Messages app or a bug in iOS, the report noted.

Google and Apple did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comments.

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Why It Matters: Reports of this issue have been increasing since mid-May, with some Android users saying it has been occurring for several weeks. This issue arises as Apple prepares to introduce Rich Communication Services or RCS on the iPhone, with the first beta of iOS 18 expected to be released next month at WWDC 2024.

The RCS support was announced by Apple in November 2023, amid pressure from regulators and competitors like Google and Samsung. The feature is expected to launch via a software update and bring a wide range of iMessage-style features to messaging between iPhone and Android users.

The blue and green bubble disparity between Android and iOS users has been a longstanding issue. In December last year, it was reported that iMessage was seamlessly working on Android devices with a specific app, Beeper Mini. It added an intriguing twist to the story, particularly in the wake of Sunbird’s abrupt closure, a comparable app to ‘iMessage for Android,’ due to privacy concerns.

Image via Shutterstock

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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