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Apple Messages & Color Contrast

Apple Messages & Color Contrast

Well, color me this! I was griping to myself last night about just how gosh dang hard it is to read text messages in Apple Messages. You know, not the blue bubbles that you get when messaging other iPhone users. Those are iMessages.

What I’m talking about are the green bubbles you get when messaging non-iPhone users. Those are standard text messages.

Let’s run the green through a contrast checker to see what’s up.

Oomph. Now I know why I always reach for my reading glasses when a text message pops up. That 2.17:1 ratio is below the WCAG 2.0 AA requirement of 4.5:1 and wayyyyy below the AAA level of 7:1.

Turns out I’m not the only one griping. A quick search turned up a little trove of news and blog posts — some as recent as last week — about the readability of those green text message bubbles.

I’m no conspiracy theorist and like to give benefit to doubt. Buuuuut…

The current green background (#65C466) appears to be different than what is listed as the green “system color” (#30D158, converted from a RGB of 48, 209, 88) in the iOS palette listed in the guidelines. But it’s not like that gets us any closer to a passing WCAG AA or AAA rating.

🤷‍♂️

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