Google Executive Criticizes Apple & iMessage, Stating That The Platform’s Exclusivity Can Lead To Teenagers Being Bullied

Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer recently took to social media, voicing his disdain for iMessage and Apple’s general practices of exclusivity which can lead to a sense of peer-pressure developing within teens.

Here’s the thing: I like Apple products. I think they’re very well designed, and are overall stylish products that offer up an incredibly responsive and intuitive user interface that many other devices, smartphones or otherwise, don’t live up to. I don’t think that Apple’s incredible success in the market only boils down to effective marketing: it’s also because the company’s products are just objectively good and feel fun to use. I’m also not knocking Android products, of course, there are a lot of conveniences offered by Android devices that Apple cannot provide. However, the point I’m trying to make is that Apple has paved itself a very lucrative road on the way to the top. What the tech giant decided to do in order to cement that road is create an air of exclusivity, where Apple products only work best when used in conjunction with others of the same kind. AirDrop technology only works in between iPhones and iPads, with Bluetooth being relegated to blasting music on external speakers. Certain apps are built in order to only be compatible with Apple’s own products, and therefore individuals using them can only communicate with others using those products. That’s where iMessage comes in.

The iMessage platform has seen a lot of success recently; while always having been a relatively lucrative app, the COVID-19 pandemic really helped bolster the ranks of individuals using social media platforms in general. iMessage, of course, comes with the requisite that many of its social features only work when used with individuals who also have iMessage. Since the platform is exclusive to Apple products, this effectively cuts off any and all method via which individuals using other OS or devices can use the service. So, why is this such a bad thing and cause for concern? Well, Hiroshi Lockheimer, who also works with Android as well as Google, has taken to Twitter, making it explicit that he considers such exclusive platforms as a form of bullying.

Lockheimer’s statements on the matter are that Apple products offer virtually no communication with other devices, and can therefore lead to a form of ostracizing for those who don’t have iPhones and whatnot. This can effectively lead to a form of classist bullying, where individuals who don’t have iPhones for any number of reasons can be left out to dry. With the major audience drawn to iMessage being teenagers, such isolation is a very serious threat and must be looked out for.

Read next: Ex-CEO of Alphabet Eric Schmidt Discusses the Negative, Unhealthy Role that Social Media Platforms Have in our Day to Day Lives
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