Android iPhone and iPad Web Culture

Does Apple Use Green Bubbles to Make You Hate Android Users?

Ben Stegner 25-02-2015

iMessage, the service that Mac and iOS devices use to chat with each other, is a much-loved feature of the Apple ecosystem – and it got even better with an upgrade in iOS 8 iOS 8 Is Here: 10 Reasons to Install It Right Away If you own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, you'll want to upgrade it to iOS 8 as soon as possible. Here's why. Read More . Instead of using standard text messages, iMessage sends text over the Internet using your WiFi or data connection for a faster and more reliable conversation.


If you have an iPhone, you may have a noticed a slight difference in the bubbles that represent your sent messages. This seemingly insignificant detail sparked controversy recently; let’s examine why.

Note: iMessage is supported on iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, and Mac. However, since none of these devices typically have texting capabilities except the iPhone, in this article I’ll be talking about iMessage on iPhone only.

What’s the Beef?

In case you haven’t used iMessage before, or do use it and just haven’t noticed, here’s a rundown of what happens. By default, when you send a message through the Messages app on your iPhone, it goes through iMessage if the recipient is also using an iPhone. If the person on the other end has any other phone – mainly Android, but Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and “dumb” phones 4 Good Reasons To Get an Emergency Burner Phone Your smartphone has tons of features, and that's a great thing. Sometimes, you just need a basic phone to keep around for emergencies. Let's look at why. Read More too – the message is sent as an SMS. iMessage uses blue bubbles when sent; a text uses green.


The differences aren’t just cosmetic. iMessage includes read receipts and “typing” messages, dead-simple group messaging, doesn’t count against your monthly plan for texts, and is faster since it goes over the Internet. However, not everyone has an iPhone 5 Reasons to Choose Android Over iPhone If you’re looking at buying a smartphone, you’re probably going to buy an Android device or an iPhone (sorry, Microsoft). What’s the difference, and which should you choose? We recently gave the pro-iPhone side of... Read More , so we can expect Apple users to understand the difference and respect their friends’ decisions, right?


Wrong. See for yourself how people really feel about green bubbles:

One user even took this popular image (it’s hard to see in the tweet) comparing the features of the Nexus 4 (released in 2012) and the iPhone 6 (released in 2014) and dismissed it due to the fact that its creator “sends green text message bubbles.” Apparently, your statement of device specifications is invalid if you don’t have the “chosen” blue bubbles.


This is just a minute sample; a search on Twitter for “green bubbles” will bring up hundreds more, and they aren’t stopping. Fascinating, isn’t it? These users seem to despise green bubbles so much that they act as if it’s an inconvenience to text the lowly peons that spawn them.

The Psychology of Green Bubbles

Paul Ford’s fascinating look at this phenomenon, “It’s Kind of Cheesy Being Green“, cites some of these tweets and looks at why green bubbles seem to strike a nerve with so many iPhone users. But are their gripes really valid?

Some, including Ford, have suggested that the green bubbles are a “harsh” color and are harder on the eyes that the cooling blue color that iMessage provides. Longtime users of iOS might remember that before iMessage was around (it launched with iOS 5 in 2011) all messages showed up in green. It’s your call whether this green became less attractive once iOS made the jump to a flatter look with its radical iOS 7 re-design A Complete Beginner's Guide to iOS 11 for iPhone & iPad Here's everything you need to know to get started with iOS 11. Read More .



We’ve established that iMessage is objectively better than standard texting, as those with limited plans 4 Tips for Saving Money on Prepaid Mobile Phone Plans In the United States, T-Mobile made history by becoming the first cellular carrier to not force customers into buying multi-year contracts. After the policy shift, T-Mo users can purchase subsidized phones independent of a monthly... Read More can chatter to their hearts’ content while on WiFi. However, few people, if any, are citing the actual benefits of the service when complaining about green bubbles. Instead, it becomes almost an obsession: people want to purge every green bubble (and those who cause them) from their devices.

Does Apple Encourage This?

It’s no secret that Apple isn’t a fan of Android, and none of this discussion is meant to be an iPhone vs. Android debate Android vs. iOS vs. Windows Phone: Which Mobile OS Will Ultimately Win Out? [MakeUseOf Poll] Which mobile operating systems will ultimately win out? Will they survive far into the future? Or will a new mobile OS appear over the horizon to challenge the might of Apple, Google, and Microsoft? Read More . Rather, we want to look at this fascinating sociological effect, since it clearly isn’t only a few people who are fighting to kill green bubbles. Apple designed the OS; could they have planted the seed of anti-green-bubblism?


Taking a look at Apple’s iMessage page shows a small jab at green texters, though it’s pretty harmless – SMS users probably won’t be “green with envy” since they won’t even know what they’re missing. They’ve been more aggressive, however. During Apple’s developer conference in 2014, they openly poked fun at green bubbles and said that friends who cause them use “inferior devices.” So they’re certainly in on the reputation.

Green is obviously the color of the Android logo, but it isn’t as if Apple totally rejects the color from their operating system. The Messaging icon itself is a similar shade of green – odd that nobody has brought this up, since it would make more sense to make it blue.

In all, it’s highly unlikely that Apple intentionally planned these color differences to reference Android. Having the two types of messages be different colors is important so users can differentiate, of course, but that’s really the bulk of it. However, that doesn’t mean that Apple is ignoring this sensation. They know that people hate green bubbles, so if non-iPhone users feel pressure to switch due to their friends’ urging, Apple picks up customers from this tiny design decision.

Hopefully, they won’t stoop to making this a huge selling point, though. The iPhone is an amazing device iCan: 5 Features iPhone Users Take For Granted That Android Can't Match The iPhone is often targeted for its lack of features and functionality. When the bullet points are laid out side-by-side Android appears to have a hoard of extras that Apple’s device can’t match. I don’t... Read More on its own, and making fun of the competition only looks Apple look petty. Having to resort to trashing your opponents instead of promoting why your product is better is a poor place to be in – just look at how Microsoft embarrassed itself Microsoft, You’re Embarrassing Yourself. Please Stop. [Opinion] Microsoft: we need to talk. Yes, it’s about those Scroogle ads. No, I don’t think they’re funny, and no: I don’t think Google is worried about them. Read More with its “Scroogled” line of ads.

What Do the People Say?

We could end our discussion of this peculiarity here, but I wanted to make this study more interesting. I created a survey (you can still fill it out if you’d like) that I shared to Facebook. In it, I asked friends, family, and students at my university (a huge thank-you to all who helped me out!) about their mobile devices. After seeing what device they used and what version of iOS they were on just out of curiosity, I proceeded to poll them about iMessage. If they weren’t iOS users, I asked different questions to get their perspective. Here’s what I found.

Of the 119 respondents, 58% used an iPhone, 29% were on Android, and 13% had a “dumb” phone. All but two iOS users knew what iMessage was – then I asked if they knew of any advantages iMessage has over texting. Among the responses were:

  • I can text my friends in other countries without having to worry about international texting rates.
  • Yes. All of them. Uses data so mobile signal isn’t an issue. Delivery notifications. Cheaper. More secure.
  • iMessage tells you if your message was delivered and read but a regular text message tells you nothing.
  • Sometimes it will use iMessage if a text fails
  • You can see if the person has had the message delivered to them, if they have read it, and when they are responding.

A handful of folks said they weren’t aware of any differences, but the majority had at least some idea. My next question was whether they prefer blue or green bubbles when texting:


I was really trying to get at people’s opinions here before they read the article, so I asked them to follow up if necessary:

  • They don’t mean much to me, I appreciate the added benefits of iMessage, but I don’t use them for much. Most people seem to turn off read receipts, anyway.
  • The “read TIME” lets me know someone saw the message and they won’t be obligated to respond (like when it’s a definitive end of the conversation. EX: “Meet me there at 5” — then I won’t worry that they haven’t seen it). If I haven’t gotten a response in a while I can just send a follow-up text.
  • All of the benefits can also be downsides. Sometimes it’s glitchy and it makes it harder to ignore people.
  • They both mean that I am sending/receiving messages so that works for me!
  • Only losers use green ones! Nah for real, the blue is a more pleasant colour.
  • Not a huge fan of either, but I think the green is a little nicer.
  • To be honest, it is a matter of color preference. Blue makes me think of the cold, while green makes me think about warm and sunny days.
  • If I see green, I usually think that something did not send correctly and had to be sent as SMS since most of my contacts are iPhone users.
  • I actually am not a fan of iMessage and don’t even bother to have it enabled. That might seem weird, but I just prefer the little extra privacy that comes with being able to ignore someone’s message and not seem like a jerk for not responding when I may be busy.
  • I know it’s a lowly android user if it’s not blue.
  • Most of my friends do have apple phones so all of their message bubbles are blue, but my boyfriend had an android so it seems special.

Here, we definitely see a nice balance and a clash with how the Twitter universe sees green bubbles. Most people who had a preference had a good reason when asked to back it up, and some even brought up great points, like knowing the other person has read your “See you at 8” message and that iMessage can be glitchy.

After giving them Ford’s article, I asked for their response. There are far too many interesting responses to publish here, but as a small selection:

  • I think it’s honestly kind of petty to get so worked up about whether the bubbles are blue or green. it’s just an embellishment on the product. I’m not surprised Apple markets for blue and not green. it’s their job to sell their product so they need to use all methods at their disposal
  • I have never noticed the correlation to green bubbles and non apple products before. What annoys me is this “first world problem” mentality… I mean, really, you’ve got a PHONE for goodness sake… bubble color is not important
  • This article was so interesting! It is something that I have thought about before. And yes, green bubbles do slightly annoy me so I can understand why people hate them.
  • Green bubbles annoy me. They have for years. I’m just interested to hear I’m not alone on this.
  • They oddly irritate me, and yet, I’m not 100% why, probably just because they’re different. It really wouldn’t be difficult at all to make all text bubbles the same color.
  • My first reaction was that the way people feel so strongly about it is very shallow and ridiculous, but I realize that I’ve had those same, almost sub-conscious, tendencies. While I will most likely be more aware of when the bubbles are green, I honestly don’t care that much about the difference. A few of my siblings have non-Apple phones, and it’s never bothered me to a significant extent.

After that I asked a few more questions to quantify green bubble feelings – 1 being “They don’t bother me at all” and 5 being “I won’t text people with green bubbles.” It appears most iPhone users don’t actually hate Android and most don’t even care about green bubbles.


Aside from some closing thoughts, that was the end for the iPhone users. Android and “dumb” phone owners got a separate survey, and most of them answered that they text iPhone users often. I asked which device they use and what they knew about iMessage; it seems that non-Apple people aren’t as familiar with the service.


I asked them to read the article, too, and most thought the whole thing was ridiculous.

  • I think they should feel privileged to have an iPhone at all, and a home, and food/clean water.
  • These people are being ridiculous. As is Apple, to be honest. This feels like a divide and conquer type deal, making Apple advocates aware of their Android-owning friends. It’s underhanded and slightly ridiculous.
  • I think the color green can induce some sort of negative psychological effects as opposed to blue, which can induce relaxing and calming feelings. But I believe the people on Twitter described in the article are taking it to a whole other (and unnecessary) level.
  • No merit, just a nuance of society. Also a pretty sad indication of what people allow to affect them.
  • I wonder if green has some kind of uncomfortable sight type deal. Like red rooms are said to make you more on edge, etc.?

In all, it seems like most people surveyed don’t let green bubbles affect them too much. Twitter has fiercely voiced their bit, though. Who’s right?

Are Green Bubbles Are Here to Stay?

Perhaps it’s just me, but this phenomenon is deeply fascinating. How can such a tiny design choice, that likely didn’t have any malicious intent behind it, spark such a huge movement of people who hate green bubbles with a passion? It would be quite a sight to see the survey answers from people who are tweeting like this.

As the final word on this: no, Apple didn’t do this on purpose. That’s a bit of a far-fetched claim. However, they’re probably loving the effect green bubbles have had on iPhone users, and if just a few people switched to an Apple device because of this minute complaint, they’ve made a profit.

The question that survey respondents answered that folks on Twitter haven’t is why they prefer blue bubbles. Is it an OCD-like effect where they want everything to be the same color, or do they really feel that people with iPhones are above texting people without them? That’s a study for another day.

Another interesting point to bring up is that changing the color of your text message is a simple tweak you can make on Android, even without rooting. Using an alternative texting app, you can fine-tune the color for both incoming and outgoing messages. So, if it’s really all about the bubble colors, then maybe these iPhone users are using the wrong device.

If you enjoyed this topic, I invite you to view all the responses (only names have been removed) and if you’d like to take the survey yourself, I’d love to read your thoughts! You’ll also be able to find plenty of tweets about green bubbles by searching for the term on Twitter, if you’d like to see for yourself.

Hangouts, an all-in-one app that’s Android’s closest counterpart to iMessage, is a great app and one Android users might enjoy for messaging each other.

If you’re an Android user and are interested in ways to make your device look more like an iPhone How to Make Android Look Like an iPhone Are you an Android user with iPhone or iPad envy? Check out these apps to make your Android phone look like an iPhone. Read More , check out our suggestions!

Image Credits: Young casual woman Via Shutterstock, woman holding phone Via Shutterstock

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. John W
    December 8, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    I found this fascinating and distressing.
    I came across the topic-discussion-animosity since I upgraded from my Blackberry Z10 (Yes, I was still using it in Nov-2018); I bought a Google Pixel 3 XL during the Black Fri. sale from Google (saved $200!). So, now I have to learn Android.
    1) never heard of Green Bubbles
    2) never heard of iMessage (but it copies the functions of BBM [Blackberry messenger] that has been around for MORE than a decade...see how behind you are Apple users?)
    3) I find it annoying Apple would do this without allowing customization and without EXPLAINING IT to their users.
    As a corporate telecom engineer I have issued and supported dozens and 100's of both iPhones and Android devices (in addition to lots of BB's in the distant past).
    It seems to me, while reading this and other articles that Apple has done an extreme disservice to their users by pushing a DIVIDE between their users and those users' friends...that seems counter productive to the social good, Apple!
    You are causing your users to force them selves apart from their friends!
    Just stop it, already, Tim Cook.

  2. Jess
    May 20, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Personally I only tend to text people if they have an iPhone / iMessage, because i went through a period of time where I discovered my mom was able to see who I was texting and when I texted them, and it really creeped me out, but she still couldn't see that info for the iMessages.

  3. Jim Nelson
    April 2, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    Again this is evidence the Apple is a cult not a product. Anytime a friend cares what color your text is and tries to force you to use his or her product that is a cult.

  4. Micah BOWEN
    July 1, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    I hate people knowing I read their texts! I love the denial part of where I never received them! Won't be switching from Android ever, love my galaxy s7 edge!

    • Jim Nelson
      April 2, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      There are certain people in my life I care about and they might need my help. When I'm in the shower or on a phone call it is good to let them know I have not read their text. But you can turn this on and off in iphones anyway. I don't care if they know I read their text if I am being open and honest. I wish android had this option.

  5. Evan
    July 1, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Nah, the green bubbles are a red herring. The real reason Iphone users hate us android users is because they can't tell that we've received their messages, and thus we don't have to respond right away. I would be pissed off if android suddenly switched to a messenging service with read receipts, because I get texts all the time that I might not feel like responding away because i'm busy and it's not an urgent matter. Now I don't have to look like a dick for ignoring someone and getting back to them later, which is not at all a dickish thing to do if I'm busy, but will come across that way to entitled Iphone users. It's funny how android users always make legitimate criticisms about apple, too much proprietary stuff, not enough customizability and Apple complaints against android owners are about inane shit like text message bubble colors (which Android users have the option to customize). As smug as Iphone owners are, there's a part of them that knows they are using an inferior product and are either too dumb, or too lazy to learn new, yet in virtually any conceivable metric, a far superior platform.

    • Anonymous
      July 13, 2016 at 3:06 am

      No, Android is not a superior platform, you stupid idiot. You personally think it's a superior platform, just like we iPhone users personally think Apple is a superior platform. Learn how to respect other people's smartphone choices, you worthless, pathetic, dumb piece of shit. And let me tell you, you are far dumber than any smug iPhone owner (and the majority of iPhone users are not smug, and again, we know we're not using an inferior product, we're using the product we like the most). Dipshit.

      • neil
        October 12, 2016 at 6:28 pm

        Mmmm I think you have some issues with your mental health getting that upset !

      • Chris
        October 26, 2016 at 5:01 pm

        Let me get this straight. Not ok for them to criticize Apple fanboys but perfectly ok for you to personally attack them back. Sounds like you have your head on straight alright.

  6. Eric
    December 17, 2015 at 6:50 am

    It's not about bubble colors whatsoever. People get annoyed when they receive a green message because iMessage instills a conversation behind the text. It's like half way between a phone call and an IM. You have the ability to see when the other person is interacting and when they are acknowledging your message and then you can start to expect your reply. With a green message you don't have these options, the message gets sent and then the iPhone user has no way of knowing if it's read, if it's been delivered or if the person ever has even seen it! Since iPhone users have grown accustomed to the practice of communicating in real time this green message comes across as an annoyance and gives slight anxiety. Hence the "I hate green messages" comments

  7. Rob Ross
    November 16, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    I'm really surprised this wasn't brought up, but as an droid user the biggest problem I've ran into receiving message from iPhone users is that they have no idea that they cannot send 200MB videos over MMS the same way that they can with iMessage, and so I often get videos sent to me that the iPhone automatically recompresses down to 1MB without telling them, and it is entirely unwatchable on my end. I then have tough decision to make:

    1. Geek out slightly and explain to them what happened and why, to which they usually just blame me for not having an iPhone.

    2. Just reply with "haha nice" and forget about it, having no idea wtf was just sent to me.

    Totally sucks. I wish Google/Android would release a universal protocol which all third-party texting apps could use to bypass SMS/MMS the same way. I use Textra and it is absolutely beautiful, but WhatsApp is currently the only popular data-messenger, and it's proprietary and quite ugly.

  8. KCH
    November 16, 2015 at 5:08 am

    This is dumb and Apple is terrible anyways. Android gives you so many more possibilities than Apple does. I have a Samsung Galaxy S6 and all my Android phones have given me the ability to change the bubble colors and background. Clearly, Android is better. I have never understood why people love Apple products so much. One Apple product is pretty much ONLY compatible with other Apple products. Android, in their infinite wisdom, knows that people generally will not have just one specific brand, so they make their products compatible with other brands. Lets use music as an example. If I buy music on iTunes, my Android device allows me to play my iTunes library on their device. However, if I buy music on Google Play, iTunes does NOT allow me to transfer that music into their library. Apple is terrible and Android rocks!

    • Anonymous
      July 13, 2016 at 2:59 am

      Stupid Android fanboy detected. Apple is not terrible. Both Apple and Android are great in their own way, you dumb idiot.

      • Chris
        October 26, 2016 at 5:03 pm

        Dial it back a little. It's not that serious.

  9. Rick Tree Treharne
    June 1, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    My company forced me to use an IPHONE. I hate the fact that you cannot customize your text color or message bubbles. It's infuriating that Apple does this. I have tried a few apps, but none give the full ability to customize your message windows. You would think an IPHONE6 would at least give you some flexibility and be able to compete with Androids in this area, but they are stubborn and inflexible in allowing you to do anything with messaging. The absolute most boring messaging experience I could ever think of is to use an IPHONE to message anyone.

  10. Jonathan
    May 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Text Messages always showed up as green (which is a pretty shade of green) on iPhones for as long as I remember. When they introduced iMessage, the messages showed up as blue (another pretty shade) to signify that the message was sent via data and didn't cost you your text message. When I receive a message from a Windows or Android user and it's in green, I cringe a little at the fact that if it were blue it could have been free. However, it's preposterous to believe that I dislike the color green, that I dislike anyone because of their phone brand, or that I even care that you have an Android phone. These articles are the reason people thin that Android users have a technological version of 'short-man syndrome.'

  11. Matt
    May 16, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Whiny little pricks... I'm not going to get a new phone and switch everything over to a different OS just because you don't like the colour of the text bubbles.

  12. dino
    May 15, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I just don't get why everyone seems pissed about the colour green. I use a green theme in my Go Sms app, Google hangout is green even nature is green.????

  13. William
    March 15, 2015 at 2:52 am

    I love the way so many people jump on bandwagons. Android users love their devices and Apple users love theirs. Seems in all the fanboy name calling, many missed the fact that before iMessage came on the scene, all messages on the iPhone were green.

    Anyway... if you have an iPhone and turn iMessage off, guess what color your messages are when received by iMessage users? Yep. Green. And if you own multiple iMessage capable devices there are times when you'll miss messages on one device that go through on the other.

    Personally, I own devices from both ecosystems (and even a Blackberry). I don't play favorites and just use whatever I have at the time. Each platform is its pros and cons... and green bubbles isn't a conspiracy.

  14. Serpedina
    March 6, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I had to laugh (quietly) then thought, when it comes down to it, it is really about phone superiority, and definitely not the color of bubble (they aren't clever enough to make a person think otherwise) is what most of those over freaking dramatic people (again I'm talking about green is being associated with being stressed, bring negativity or trying to decide if people without the blue sane calm (oh the irony) bubble is worth keeping in their lives.) One person distrusts a person who's text returns in green bubble... Just glad there isn't a big possibility running into some disturbed people like them.

    They would be perfect for a psychiatric evaluation.

    Thankfully though, there are rational iphone users who just can't be bothered by "color" of short hand messages vs imessage (again it isn't the color that bothers the irrational crowd, just the phone they own that makes them validate their superiority choice)... I do wish they came with a visible to eye warning sign that one is headed near you, just so you can deliberately flash the color green and watch them implode.

  15. Redheadfae
    March 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Apparently the iGod has never made little green apples.

  16. Snshineintherain
    March 3, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I have an android and I use Message+ and I can change mine messages to whatever color I want. Apple users I guess you are stuck with blue or green.

  17. keg13206
    March 2, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    OK, I'll be honest...I'm an Apple person from way back. Got my first Mac in 1987 and planned my wedding on it. Every computer everyone in my family has owned since then has been a Mac. Got one of the first iPods in 2001 or 2002 (my house was being overtaken by vinyl). Got my first iPod Touch back in 2009 or thereabouts, and my first iPad in 2012.

    But never got an iPhone.

    Why? Because as much as I would've loved one, as much as it would've been nice to have "one device to rule them all," instead of having a phone on my belt and an iPod in my pocket (and no, I'm *not* happy to see you), the iPhone was just too expensive in so many ways. In fact *smartphones* in general were just too expensive in so many ways for the way I was using my cell phone.

    The guy at the AT&T store actually told me that my family wasn't using our phones enough to get our money's worth out of the "Friends and Family" plan, and that we'd be better off just ditching our contract phones and going prepaid. He was right. And you can't...or at least couldn't...get an iPhone with prepaid.

    Plus...the cheapest plan for the cheapest iPhone still required me to pay for a data plan that I either wasn't ever going to use all of because I was so stingy, or cost more than I could afford to do what I wanted to with. So I limped along with a dumbphone, and then later on a featurephone, until Tracfone recently made smartphones available at a price I liked...*prepaid* and ala carte.

    I'm an Apple fan...a big time Apple fan...but $80 for my Android and $100 for my yearly phone, texting and data is worth a lot more to me than being one of the "cool kids." I didn't choose Apple products because they were cool, I chose them because they did what I wanted them to do. The coolness factor was secondary.

    So if there are people out there who won't text me back because my bubbles aren't cool enough for them f*** 'em. I don't need shallow people like that in my life. Dealt with enough of them in high school. I don't have the right phone, so I'm a loser? When Android has the vast majority of the market? I don't think so.

    Besides, as my 12yo daughter says, one of the advantages of having an Android is that no one wants to steal it.

  18. Paint Thrower
    March 1, 2015 at 3:48 am

    A different take: Green bubbles = money spent. Until recently I had a pay as you go text plan, each green bubble cost me 20¢ where the blue were free. I had a friend ask me about "green bubbles" and I responded that to me the color green represented the color of money, so every time I got a green bubble I was spending REAL GREEN (dollars), blue, on the other hand, was like a BLUE summer sky, FREE to endlessly enjoy (at least that is how I translated this simple color scheme). FYI an unlimited text plan added to my then current plan would have cost $25 per month, so even though I never got anywhere near that number, an additional $2.20 on my cell bill would always irk me, which subconsciously translated into less communications with those who would cause me these extra fees. Now that I have unlimited texts you would think it wouldn't matter, but somewhere deep down I am still flinching at the sight of a green bubble.

    • keg13206
      March 2, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      But did it ever occur to you that you were spending too much time looking at the short term math and not enough at the long term? I mean, as you pretty much said, that $25 unlimited texting plan is possibly costing you more per month than all the texts you might receive at 20¢ a pop previously.

  19. Nobody
    February 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Has anyone here ever seen the Futurama episode with BRAINSLUGS?
    Anyone recognize that blankly submissive gaze?

  20. Nobody
    February 28, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    iPhone users are being given GREEN messages to look at by APPLE.
    NO Android user is sending green messages.

    iPhone owners that holds Android users to blame for the harsh green, are only demonstrating traits the rest of us already suspect in them.....arrogance, and a willful blindness to reality.

  21. Govertz
    February 28, 2015 at 11:34 am

    As a user from another part of the world, I can't help thinking. Is this real, don't people in the states have a life.

  22. PlaGeRaN
    February 28, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Queue Lawsuit from Whatsapp for trademark "Green". Frankly I couldn't give a crap about colour schemes. Can Ios users even choose a different app to use? Life is always about choices.

  23. John Williams
    February 28, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Let's be quite clear here, if you don't own an Apple phone you will never get to experience the green bubble phenomena. You can also afford a crate of mint Aeros (other bubbly confections are available) with all the money you have saved by not owning an Apple phone.
    On a point of psychodelic nostalgia, the last time I saw a blue apple was in the Beatles "Yellow Submarine" movie.

  24. Randall Wright
    February 28, 2015 at 8:39 am

    It looks like Hangouts is on iOS too ... and it's all GREEN. I had known of the color difference, but could never remember which was which. It's only important that there is a difference so you know if it's using the messaging plan or data.

  25. 80s Rocjer
    February 28, 2015 at 7:05 am

    In the non-Apple phone (Android & Windows) you can use the built in text application or use a 3rd party application. Most of these give you total control over what color you text bubbles are. You can even change the color scheme of the built in texting application in windows. If I was an iPhone user I would be upset at Apple that they are making me look at free bubbles with no way to change it. Don't hate non iPhone user's, be made at the maker of iPhone who are control freaks and don't give iPhone users even the simple option to change the color scheme of their texting application.

  26. Richard tonge
    February 28, 2015 at 1:41 am

    I have an iPhone and a Nexus tablet. I couldn't really give two F*@#$ks what color the bubbles are. Some people really need to get a life!!!

  27. Kliker
    February 26, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Umm, well... it's okay. iPhonies can go into a corner, and cry over green bubbles all day.

    Thank you Apple for prooving once more that, most iPhonies are a-holes.

  28. Dave Leigh
    February 26, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I judge a person by the content of their messages, not the color of the bubbles. #growupApple

  29. Tom
    February 26, 2015 at 3:44 am

    I wonder how many of these iphone sheep are obamaphone users?

    • Coby
      February 28, 2015 at 1:23 am

      What does "obamaphone" refer to? I've never heard that term before.

    • Tom
      March 3, 2015 at 3:31 am

      Google it.

  30. Cheryl
    February 26, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Blue bubbles, green bubbles...who the hell cares? I'm just grateful for the technology that allows me to connect with others in real time.

    • Ben S
      February 26, 2015 at 1:27 am

      This is a good thing to keep in perspective. It's not like SMS is some ancient technology that takes days to send your message. What's a few seconds?

      We're in a "need it now" society.

  31. Victor
    February 25, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Android user here, but I understand how some of the green bubble people feel. In IOS 8 with all the shiny new things, green just FEELS a little out of place.

    • Ben S
      February 26, 2015 at 1:28 am

      I suppose, but is the color really out of place? It's not like the image is low-quality, or it plays a noise, or anything else... it's just a color. Do you mean the lack of iMessage or the actual color?

    • Victor
      February 26, 2015 at 7:13 am

      I wouldn't say low-quality, but in a space-like theme that IOS8 has, the green has a weird undertone. I'd say its a bit too.. bright maybe? Basically because of all the blue and white everywhere else in the UI (the send button, back button, etc), the stark green bubbles do seem a bit off...

  32. Knut
    February 25, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Silly article, exhibit gross ignorance. SMS is an integral service of the GSM network, that delivers encrypted messages between phone. The message cannot be duplicated, cannot come from anywhere but where is says it comes from - well the operator (US:"Carrier") can interfere at the main switch. The message is coded - not in ASCII, but according to ITU T-57 character set, and can therefore include graphics and mix languages.
    iMessage is an Apple only chat service such as IRC, Yahoo IM, AIM and even not as safe as Skype. It can be intercepted and copied, and Apple can intercept everything and relay it - like Yahoo does with Yahoo IM. I suggest that you compare apple with other apples - and not consider sticking two bicycles together with tape makes a car.

    • Ben S
      February 26, 2015 at 1:31 am

      You grossly misunderstood the purpose of this article. This wasn't meant to be an in-depth look at exactly how SMS and iMessage work - it was a sociological look at an online phenomenon (hence the Web Culture section it's in).

      I wasn't trying to nor would I attempt to explain the security or anything else of iMessage without doing proper research first. I found a post looking at something crazy and built my own article around it.

      There wouldn't have been an article if people weren't so vocal about their bubble color preferences on Twitter.

    • Knut
      February 26, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Ben S: You do NOT understand - SMS is not a WB or tcp/ip based service.

      There is a gross misunderstanding in the US about the Internet and the mobile network , essentially based on ignorance and promoted by stupid journalists, that believe they know - but do not. Apple can use SMS to encrypt the iMessage - but do not. Your bank can use SMS and not iMessenger or AIM, it is like tying up two bicycles and compare it to a car.
      Once the US start to acknowledge the difference, and show some understanding, I will stop arresting you and others. If this world is to move forward, and not just 10 years back, Apple and Google also has to understand the difference: "Hangouts" is NOT SMS but just another Internet chat service - insecure and whatever goes hare can end up anywhere - not only the NSA:

    • Ben S
      February 26, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      I'm done discussing this. Your latest comment, again, addresses something that has nothing to do with what this article is about. I appreciate your knowledge and passion on the topic, but it's just not what this was about.

    • Ryan Dube
      February 27, 2015 at 5:11 am

      Knut, what on earth are you going on about? This isn't even what this article was about.

    • John H
      April 23, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      SMS is not inherently encrypted; this is why apps like TextSecure had to be created in the first place (though that one has ironically dropped SMS encryption in favor of its own IP-based encrypted delivery service - see here: ). I can't even follow most of the rest of that.

  33. Chris
    February 25, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    What if you're genuinely texting someone because you don't have data or something from an iPhone to another iPhone. The green doesn't imply it's an android phone...

    • Ben S
      February 26, 2015 at 1:29 am

      That could happen, and in fact many people mentioned it in their responses - they turn off iMessage because they don't like it for whatever reason. I think iPhone people just associate Android with green since most non-iPhone users have Android. But it's definitely a generalization.

    • Chris
      February 26, 2015 at 2:35 am

      Well apple is about branding after all. It's an interesting thought to branding their competitors though haha.

    • Chris
      February 26, 2015 at 2:36 am

      That's really weird...why am I asked my name, email, and spam when I post a reply O.o

  34. Paul Werner
    February 25, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Great article. Another Android user here that really doesn't care how people want to reach me or what they prefer to be reached on. I use Hangouts and love that you can have a read receipt if you are using IM or SMS (face showing position they last read with IM and a check mark if an SMS was viewed).

    iPhone elitism is just stupid. Nobody cares what phone you prefer and tweets about it doesn't make it any more valid.

    • Ben S
      February 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      I'm open to most lines of communication too. It helps that we Android users aren't limited to just one.

      I wasn't suggesting that these tweets make it valid, but the sheer number of them intrigued me.

  35. Hildy J
    February 25, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    The groupthink psychology (psychosis?) of iDrones never ceases to amaze me. It's so high schoolish - "she can't sit with us, her clothes are so last year."

    I prefer Android phones and Windows tablets but rejecting someone with a iPhone or iPad is something I just don't understand. Unfortunately, be together, not the same seems as alien to Apple as it is to religious fundamentalists.

    • Ben S
      February 25, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      It is astounding how exclusive iPhone users are. There's no acknowledgement of the merits of other devices - rather, a minute detail (the bubble color) is all people care about with Android. Forget what your device can do, mine is better!

  36. Guy
    February 25, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    If anyone I knew said the things about 'green bubble texters' like what is shown in the tweets above, I would rethink my assessment of their intelligence, and their value as a friend.

    Really? That's all it takes? I have a different phone than you? Give your head a shake, world.

    Disclaimer: I know that many of those tweets are just people exaggerating their feelings about this issue. I'm just playing as the Android's Advocate. :D

    • Ben S
      February 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      I wonder if they're actually exaggerating. This isn't just a handful of people; it's a ton!

      This is crazy, though. I'm glad I don't know anyone like these people.

  37. Kosh Nardana
    February 25, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Unbelievable. With all the stuff going on in the world "green bubbles make you stressed"?
    Green bubbles add too much negativity in your life?
    So let's put this in perspective for a moment.
    Green bubbles more or less stressful than being burned alive? (ISIS)
    Green bubbles more or less stressful than being out of a job? (pick a local paper for the numbers)
    Green bubbles more or less stressful than being beheaded? (again, ISIS)
    Green bubbles more or less stressful than being on of the 20 or 30 million people currently enslaved? (The CNN Freedom Project)
    Green bubbles more or less stressful than being homeless?
    Green bubbles more or less stressful than having to hold down a full time job?

    I can't help but wonder at how utterly shallow each and every one of the people cited in this article are and nothing delights me more than to know that I am not acquainted with a single one of them. While I have no idea what their political or religious views are I am pretty sure they are just as free thinking and open minded in those areas as well.

    • Ben S
      February 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      I understand what you're saying for sure. The fact that the color of text message bubbles is what people get upset about in this world, with all the crap that goes on, is amazing.

      We're so different from past generations.

    • TynnaXX
      February 25, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Kosh Nardana, finally someone with a grip on reality. :)

    • Kosh Nardana
      February 26, 2015 at 2:57 am

      LOL! Thanks for noticing many do not. :)

    • Ryan Dube
      February 27, 2015 at 5:10 am

      You're right Kosh, it does seem terribly shallow.

  38. Jessica C
    February 25, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Fascinating story here, Ben. Whether the design was intentional or not (I'd call it a coin flip - it could just as easily have come up in a quirky little design meeting between a couple of people, one guy says, "Hey, make the non-iPhone incoming texts green, it'll be funny. See if anyone will notice.") I think at this point it's clear that Apple knows there's some hate out there for the green bubbles, but they won't change it.

    • Ben S
      February 25, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      I couldn't believe the tweets about this and I was totally enthralled by the whole thing.

      The other funny bit is that it's actually not the incoming messages that are colored, it's the outgoing ones. The green shows you that your device is sending as a text, not what their device is doing.

      Another little quirk most people ranting about this don't notice. Not than it changes anything.

    • Franz
      February 28, 2015 at 8:25 am


    • John H
      April 23, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      And further, the angry Tweeters are blaming the wrong party. APPLE is the entity that is making the messages a color they dislike, but they blame their non-iPhone-using friends instead of the entity that's causing their problem. So weird. I'm actually happy about all the Tweeters saying they won't have anything to do with someone for whom they get green text bubbles: that means there is some subset of the sort of people who victim-blame and project their own issues with whom I'll never have to interact. That's a win, not a loss.

  39. Hildegerd
    February 25, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Turn iMessage the back and use BBM instead. Simple & Secure.

    • Ben S
      February 25, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      I've never used BBM. In my mind, the service that the most people use is the one I want to use - I wouldn't demand my friends use WhatsApp just because I want to, for instance. I use SMS almost exclusively, but I wouldn't be opposed to trying another messenger.

    • m-p{3}
      February 26, 2015 at 4:06 am

      Except that it's not simple, especially if you use more than one device (phone, and tablet).

      Seriously, a PIN to add a contact which is specific to a device? This is like Nintendo's half-assed sorry attempt to online gaming.

  40. Eddie Cochrane
    February 25, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Another Textra user here. I'm struggling to recall the last time I used a messaging app that couldn't be themed. Might have to pay for additional themes with some apps, but the customisation was always there.

    • Ben S
      February 25, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      I love Textra, and though I've used some SMS apps I wasn't a huge fan of, they all had tons of customization. It seems to be pretty much standard for apps that deal with messages.

  41. tim
    February 25, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    As an Android user I love being able to use whatever texting app I choose. The one I use, Textra, allows me to change to color and look of the interface. Apple users wouldn't know anything about that level of freedom and customization, though. Of course, I wouldn't get upset over something so trivial if I was an Apple sheep.

    • Ben S
      February 25, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      I also use Textra, Tim (after trying Handcent, GO, and Chomp) and think it's a perfect blend of customization and ease of use.

      I did find that amusing through this whole thing - on Android they could change the color in five seconds, and aren't bound to one Messages app. It's interesting.