Why Are iPhone Videos Low Quality & Blurry When Sent to Android Users?

Jul 10, 2024 - 2 Comments

Amusingly bad quality video sent from iPhone to Android

Many iPhone users have noticed that when they record a high definition video on their iPhone, and then send it to an Android user through text message, that the video arrives to the Android user very blurry and in impressively low resolution, with the quality of the video degraded considerably.

The fuzzy pixelated image at the top of this article is a thumbnail demonstrating one such video of a scene from a Japanese garden with little waterfalls and plant features, recorded at high resolution on an iPhone 14 Pro, but when it arrived on the Android users phone (a new Samsung Galaxy), the video appeared so pixelated, low quality, fuzzy, and blurry, that the entire scene was practically indecipherable!

If you’re an iPhone or Android user, you might be wondering why videos sent from iPhone to Android show up as low quality ultra pixelated messes, and what to do about it, and that’s what we’re helping you with here.

Why HD iPhone Videos Look Terrible Sent to Android Users

When HD videos are sent over SMS or MMS, which is the standard protocol for texting between an iPhone and Android, these protocols will heavily compress a video (or image) to save bandwidth. This compression typically causes a dramatic reduction in video quality, for example you might send a 4K video from an iPhone and it arrives as what looks like a comically bad, super pixelated, almost indecipherable video when it gets the Android. Basically, aggressive video compression is to blame, which is necessary to send multimedia over MMS or SMS.

It’s important to remember that Android uses RCS, MMS, and SMS, which are different protocols from iMessage (which iPhone users use). Therefore when an iPhone user sends an Android user a message, the MMS or SMS protocol is used instead of iMessage, which leads to the dramatic compression of video and the lower quality.

What about Low Quality Image Mode on the iPhone?

This rarely applies to most iPhone users, but some iPhone users may have accidentally or intentionally enabled Low Quality Image Mode on their iPhone, which can reduce the quality of media sent from the iPhone. But this only applies to images and photos, so even if this feature is turned off, HD videos sent from iPhone to Android will still appear as low quality video.

How can I send HD videos from iPhone to Android?

If you are using an iPhone and want to send a high resolution video to an Android user, your best bet is to use a third party messaging app, or a third party cloud service.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, FaceBook Messenger, Instagram, and Telegram, are all cross-platform compatible with iPhone and Android clients, and support high resolution videos and photos.

You can also use third party cloud apps for sharing HD videos too, these apps include Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, and others.

Is there a fix on iPhone for this? What about RCS?

RCS, or Rich Communication Services, is a protocol that aims to replace MMS and SMS for text messaging. RCS supports the sharing of high quality media, including videos and photos.

Currently, iOS and iPhone does not support RCS, but that is set to change soon.

Apple is adopting RCS with iOS 18, which is set to debut in the fall of 2024 for all iPhone users with a compatible iPhone (brave users can also install iOS 18 beta right now to get access to RCS support, but remember that beta system software is buggier than final versions). RCS will allow iPhone users to send high quality and high resolution videos and pictures to Android users, offering a fix for the low quality video and media problem that has plagued the sending of HD content from iPhone to Android for years.

RCS is not a replacement for iMessage, nor is it encrypted like iMessage is, however.

Now you know why your HD iPhone videos are showing up on your family or friends Android with such low quality videos, and what you can do about it. Will you wait for RCS support in iOS, or will you use a third party messaging app for the time being instead? That’s up to you!


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in iPhone, Troubleshooting


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jean Pierre d’Elle says:

    “old coot” is correct.
    Last year on holiday in the land of Oz we had so much trouble communicating by txt message with an android at home, that we went and bought a second hand android.
    Problem solved. At the end of the hols we returned the phone to the same shop and got a refund minus 5 dollars. Well worth the effort !

  2. old coot says:

    That is if you can send them to a Android in the first place. Seems their is glitch in Messages that isn’t allowing some people to send anything to an Android, but it really is seen on group messaging.

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