Apple considered bringing iMessage to Android in 2013, but chose not to

iMessage open on an iPhone X
iMessage open on an iPhone X (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new deposition by Epic Games has revealed Apple's Eddy Cue wanted to bring iMessage to Android as early as 2013.
  • Most other Apple executives were not in favor of porting iMessage to Android as it would make it easier for users to switch to Google's mobile OS.
  • While there are a few workarounds available, iMessage on Android may never become a reality.

A court filing by Epic Games had revealed earlier this month that Apple had decided against releasing a version of iMessage compatible with Android to keep users within its ecosystem. A new deposition by the Fortnite maker has now surfaced, which affirms Apple's senior VP of software and services, Eddy Cue, was in favor of bringing iMessage to Android as early as 2013 (via The Verge).

In its latest deposition, Epic Games has cited an email exchange between Cue and Craig Federighi, who currently serves as Apple's SVP of software engineering. Per the exchange, Cue wanted to make iMessage the industry standard by making it available on Android. He believed that Apple would "lose one of the most important apps in a mobile environment to Google" by keeping it restricted to iOS.

Federighi, however, wasn't convinced and responded saying it would take "more than a marginally better app" to get users to switch to iMessage from the best Android messaging apps such as WhatsApp. He added that iMessage on Android "would simply serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones."

While it is now unlikely that iMessage will ever be available on Android, Cue still appears to be convinced that porting the messaging app to Google's mobile OS wouldn't have proved to be a mistake. When asked by a questioner if not having iMessage on Android has created an obstacle to families giving their kids Android phones in the deposition, Cue replied saying, "No, not at all."

Babu Mohan
News Writer