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posted by martyb on Sunday January 09, @04:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the green-with-envy dept.

If you use an iPhone, you might have noticed that SMS conversations (green-bubbles) are harder to read than iMessage conversations (blue bubbles). That's not by accident — in fact, green bubbles weren't always so difficult to read.

You've probably heard of the green and blue text message bubble colors inside the iOS Messages app. On an iPhone, normal SMS text messages are colored green, while iMessage (Apple's iPhone-exclusive chat platform) conversations are colored blue. Many iPhone users shun the "green bubble" due to the fewer features provided by SMS. If you own an iPhone, you may feel the same frustration when trying to read a green-bubble chat, as they often feel harder to read than blue-bubble chats. That's no accident.

To begin, we have to take a trip back to 2011. As you may know, iMessage, along with the signature blue bubble, didn't exist until the release of iOS 5. Before iMessage was introduced, every message in the Messages app was green, as the only messaging supported at the time was SMS. Once they added iMessage to the Messages application on iOS, the blue bubbles came along with it to help differentiate between iMessage and SMS. Given that the Messages app has stuck with the same green bubble/blue bubble differentiation, it may sound like the hatred towards SMS isn't related to the color at all. However, along the way from iOS 5 to now, a tiny design change opened a user-experience chasm between SMS conversations and iMessage ones. This isn't a story about about the green or blue colors themselves — rather, it's a story about contrast, and its astonishing impact on our perceptions.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @05:25AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @05:25AM (#1211196)

    Never thought about it. My side of a text is white on green. The other person's is black on dark grey. Yet another reason to not get a smart phone, and not play their game. Don't need multi-party chat. Don't want it. Get off my lawn, my pleasant green bubble of grass, which is mine. Get off it.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday January 09, @06:54AM (1 child)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday January 09, @06:54AM (#1211207)

    My side of a text is white on green. The other person's is black on dark grey. Yet another reason to not get a smart phone

    Either that or it's a good reason to get tested for color blindness.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @10:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @10:20PM (#1211328)

      LOL, I was tested for that as a kid and don't have it. I'm pretty damned sure my flip-phone is white on green for my text, and it isn't hard to read at all. People are just being silly. I meant to say "black on grey" though, dark grey would be bad. I don't think my flip can customize those colors, but I don't care. My sister has an iPhone. We've texted. She knows I don't care about it, or the Kardashians and she loves me anyway. The real point, is that if your "friends" are judging you by the kind of phone you use, maybe don't dump them right away; but think about the kind of people you want to be around and get moving in that direction.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by driverless on Sunday January 09, @10:48AM (1 child)

    by driverless (4770) on Sunday January 09, @10:48AM (#1211225)

    All I can say is, never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by a bunch of hipsters pointlessly wanking around with the UI because there's nothing else they know how to do.

    It's not any conspiracy by Apple at all, if it was that then they'd have retained the easy-to-read high-contrast iOS 5 scheme for iMessage and let the hipsters keep endlessly wanking around with the SMS one, producing a "UI refresh" with each new release, all equally shitty, just like Microsoft and Mozilla have been doing for years.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by corey on Sunday January 09, @10:34PM

      by corey (2202) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 09, @10:34PM (#1211333)


      I’m no Apple fan, but I do have an iPhone. I just checked, my incoming messages are the same colour whether in SMS or iMessage. I have my system theme as dark so either way it’s white text on dark grey bg. The blue/green sent messages are the same to read, I don’t see one as being harder to read than the other. It must be so subtle than even when I focus on it and try, I don’t see the green to be harder to read, and make me not want an Android phone.

      I call bs, another clickbait FUD article.