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

https://medium.com/@_sdc/how-apple-taught-its-users-to-hate-android-through-subtle-design-cues-518cd7eda80

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: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @05:31AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @05:31AM (#1211199)

    As a professional UI designer, both digital and tangible product, I can confirm I never would have let the green/white combo pass testing. Not only does it (as TFA says) violate Apple's own minimum contrast ratios, it's also subjectively fugly.

    Less confident in the author's claim that it's malice, vs. convenient incompetence.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @05:59AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @05:59AM (#1211204)

    You missed the Wall Street Journal article about it:

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/22/01/08/green-texts-in-imessages-nudges-teens-to-use-iphones [appleinsider.com]
    https://archive.fo/uw5zN [archive.fo]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @09:43AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @09:43AM (#1211222)

    This article is full of shit. Both messages from other iphones and from android users are easy to read - make your font bigger , problem solved.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @05:49PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @05:49PM (#1211273)
    Seriously? Take another look at Android's UI. It was Android that made me hate Android before I ever switched to iPhone. Apple isn't perfect, but Google products are a mess.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by FatPhil on Sunday January 09, @11:43PM

    by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Sunday January 09, @11:43PM (#1211344) Homepage
    > Not only does it (as TFA says) violate Apple's own minimum contrast ratios

    Apple's webpage documenting their minimum contrast ratios violates their minimum contrast ratios.

    Expecting anything sensible from Apple nowadays is a hobby for fools.
    --
    I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.