No offense to Apple, WhatsApp is more secure than iMessage (well, according to Mark Zuckerberg)
While Meta and Apple will soon be competitors in augmented reality and virtual reality, they are already more or less competitors when it comes to messaging. Indeed, on iPhone, iPad and Mac, the Cupertino company offers the iMessage messaging service, which is a competitor of WhatsApp on these products.
Moreover, as early as 2018, Mark Zuckerberg already considered Apple to be the main competitor. And today, the rivalry between the two groups is going up a notch.
Indeed, Meta has decided to launch an aggressive marketing campaign to promote WhatsApp among Apple customers. In an Instagram post, the Meta boss shared a display ad that tackles iMessage when it comes to security.
The difference between WhatsApp and iMessage
The ad also urges Apple customers to “protect personal messages” using WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption. As a reminder, thanks to this encryption, the messages are unreadable when they pass through the company’s servers before reaching the recipient.
“WhatsApp is much more private and secure than iMessage, with end-to-end encryption that works on both iPhone and Android, including group chats”comments Mark Zuckerberg.
“With WhatsApp, you can also make all new chats disappear at the touch of a button. And last year we also introduced end-to-end encrypted backups. Everything iMessage still doesn’t have,” he added.
On Twitter, Will Cathcart, the head of the WhatsApp application, announced the launch of this new advertising campaign which focuses on the encryption of WhatsApp. He also explains points to the defect of iMessage. When you send a text message from an iPhone to an Android device, SMS technology is used (the famous green bubbles of iOS). However, this is not secure.
Are messages encrypted on iMessage?
Like Meta, Apple uses end-to-end encryption. This is well specified by the Cupertino company on its website. When you send an iMessage message, or when you make a FaceTime call, the content is encrypted so that the content cannot be decrypted by Apple on its servers. This is valid for texting between two people as well as for group texting.
But the big drawback is that this protection is only valid if the recipients also use an Apple product, since iMessage is not available on Android. In other words, when you use Apple’s default Mail app to write to someone using Android, it’s not end-to-end encrypted.
Another advantage of WhatsApp underlined by its manager: backups. Indeed, Meta’s messaging service lets you create end-to-end encrypted backups that also become indecipherable in the cloud.
How can Apple fix this?
In fact, to allow iOS users and Android users to exchange secure text messages, without having to install an app such as WhatsApp or Telegram, Apple would only have to support RCS technology.
The RCS is a bit like the successor to SMS. And this one is already supported by Android devices. Compared to old-fashioned SMS and MMS, RCS allow you to have advanced messaging functions, and to take advantage of end-to-end encryption to secure exchanges.
Moreover, Google is campaigning for Apple to support this technology. However, the Cupertino company is not about to accept.