If iMessage was available on Android, would you use it?

Google Messages And Imessage Icons
Google Messages And Imessage Icons (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Recent reports from the Apple vs. Epic Games trial unearthed communications between Apple executives, confirming that the company had at least considered bringing its popular iMessage service over to Android as far back as 2013. It's pretty easy to understand why Apple wanted to protect its ecosystem lock-in, but it's also interesting to speculate what might have been.

Sure, we have no shortage of great messaging apps over here on Android, but being able to securely communicate with our iPhone wielding friends on their preferred chat app would have been nice too.

So what say you, faithful Android community? Would you have rushed to download iMessage for Android to join club blue bubbles? I probably would have.

We want to hear from you — If iMessage was available on Android, would you use it? Why or why not? Let us know!

Join the conversation in the forums!

Jeramy Johnson

Jeramy is the Editor-in-Chief of Android Central. He is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

  • Nope. It's just another over hyped Apple product. I don't feel like I'm missing anything not having it.
  • No. I have no need for it. I honestly don't know what the point it. Messages works fine.
  • No. There isn't really a need here, everyone uses FB messenger and/or WhatsApp. The petty little people who won't include a green bubble because it ruins the flow of their groups seem to mostly be a US thing.
  • It's not mostly a US thing, IT IS a US thing iMessage isn't important outside the US bubble.
  • I honestly don't think it's as important within the US bubble beyond tech bloggers.
  • In the US, iMessage is important because its what every man, woman and their dog uses and exclude anyone who doesn't use iMessage from their chats. Because most people in US think everything revolves around the Apple logo and their overpriced, overhyped, overrated and restrictive products.
  • https://youtu.be/Qj_iShO4ePg
  • You are so right about FB messenger a lot of people use it both android and iPhone users I think tech bloggers live too much in their own Private Idaho where they think the world revolves around iMessage.
  • When I was using iPhone I used to hate the green bubbles and would only text my non iPhone (most people I know use Android/Samsung) using friends on WhatsApp.but since I switched to my S20 FE 5G, I couldn't care less anymore about iMessage or the green bubbles.
  • but why would you care about green bubbles, that is so bizarre.
  • Because i hated how the green bubbles look on th4 messages on the iPhone when iMessage isn't used and defaults to sms which I hated. But since using my S20 FE 5G, I've not cared about the green bubbles, even on my S20 FE 5G which is what's used for non Samsung device and I know a lot of people who use Samsung.
  • Maybe, if it works better than Textra.
  • Everyone mentions how this is a US issue, and so yes I would probably use it because it's more likely that the people I text are also using iMessage. I don't think iMessage is special but it has plenty of users as the default messaging app. I'd do the same if it was WhatsApp or Facebook. In fact, if I don't have someone's number, messaging them on Facebook is my current solution. So maybe Facebook is really the winner here. Dan
  • Nope. I have no need for it.
  • This is an easy yes. For me (not everyone) it has nothing to do with the color of a bubble and everything to do with simplicity and robust features. Simplicity? If you live in the US, you know several people that use iMessage. It functions in a way nearly identical to text from the end user’s perspective and easily syncs across tons of iOS devices. For the features, try taking a 2 minute video of say a child or pet that you want to share with someone in another location. You *will not* get the quality over MMS that you do over a pure data messaging solution, you just won’t. There is a ton of compression and at times the content looks like a spilled drink. This circles back around to simplicity, because the incoming argument is “but what about RCS?” Are you kidding? Does my phone support it? Do I need a new app? Does my carrier support it? Has the carrier imposed quirky carrier-esq limitations? …we’re talking to average folks here. The other thing is privacy and security. When you get down to brass tacks, I trust Apple more with my P&S than I do “Carrier Corp. 5G.” Simple as. Carriers are gree-ee-easy, Julian and if I could circumvent them entirely when it comes to my data, I would (fat laugh there). Of course, the geographical argument is a valid one. iMessage is a thing in the US, but it seems other solutions are more popular globally - as far as that is concern YMMV depending on location. But yeah, I would love to have iMessage on my S21U. No real need to look at the iPhone again simply *for iMessage* would be a fantastic option.
  • my phone supports RCS and so does your S21 RCS is gradually becoming standard sooooo what's your point. I have friends on the iPhone I send them high quality video, they see my meme's, my Gifs my enhanced links etc. Be honest it is about the Green bubble for you.
  • RCS is NOT universal. Tech savvy likely use it/turned it on. But Squarrow's point is "average" user adoption. If a single app that is feature dense, efficiently designed, and broadly used that removes the complicated parts, it is superior. RCS is nice. But if I can't to continue to use call/text continuity on my Samsung phone and Samsung tablet, RCS will not work. Having a universal app that uses data rather than SMS backbone and is availableto all is a game changing app.
  • I didn't say it was Universal yet but it is gradually and will become standard, think early days of USB-C.
  • I got myself a new Oppo phone a few weeks ago and RCS was not set up as default, I have not had any notice to say it is available or how to set it up, so a lot of people buying new phones would have no idea it is there. The other thing is a lot of providers don't support it, so if you do enable it, your message will be going through Google servers.
    Myself, I have no need for it, so it is disabled on messages, but then again I am have started to use textra and that don't support RCS, which for me is fine.
  • If you have the Google Messages app, none of that setup/compatibility stuff matters and it's also end to end encrypted. Maybe you're one of the very few people not already using it as the default, but it is easier to download it than imessage/facebook/whatsapp/(insert closed messaging app here). You'd still have to download and setup an account for imessage- the thing that "average" people find difficult. It would really be better for everyone if iphones just started working with the same standards as everyone else as a baseline. If they can find some gimmick to add value between their users like Snap, Facebook, and everyone else do, then fine. But Apple should really take care of the basics first. Right now, it's an absolute joke to receive a video clip sent from an iphone. Does apple really want me, the non-apple customer they'd theoretically like to win over, to think the apple camera is actually that terrible? Do they want me to think that texting with an iphone necessarily has to suck?
  • There is a messaging standard, it is called SMS, it may not be high tech these days, but it still works and allow people to do what it was intended for and that is to send short messages.
    I use it most of the time, the only other messaging system I have on my phone if Facebook messaging and I only use that once in a blue moon to message people who I don't want to have my number and that is a problem with Whats app, in that people need to know your phone number to contact you by the looks of it.
  • I have no problem sending videos to anybody. First choice would be telegram fallback to WhatsApp
  • No I would not use it I have a iPhone and old iPad and I have iMessage turned off, occasionally I'll turn it on for a couple days just to see but then I turn it back off. With Google voice I received my text and calls on all devices iPhone, Samsung, Windows, Pixelbook, pixel 2 romed with Lineage.
  • Probably not. Been using Textra for years and have had no difficulty sending or receiving texts from anyone, no matter what platform/app they use.
  • Nope, I love Samsung messages, which like Android as a whole gives me freedom of choice and I can actually send pictures to other non Samsung users albeit with a charge from my carrier but again, its more choice and it doesn't downgrade to an sms like on iPhone also I use WhatsApp and Telegram which are cross platform so iMessage is irrelevant to the rest of the world, IMessage only matters in the US which is the home of the iSheep.
  • I think it's safe to say, if you are serious about group messaging, you're not using SMS/MMS. You've chosen a platform that works for everyone in the group. That's why must of us don't miss iMessage. And it just sucks for in the group.
  • IMessage is basically another way that Apple locks it's users into its walled garden of an ecosystem, which is anti consumer and so typically Apple, I'm done with all that as my S20 FE 5G supports RCS and I can send high quality photos and videos to anyone who uses an iPhone.
  • Actually you can't do that toward people using an iPhone, that's the point. You can try to but since iMessage doesn't yet support RCS that high quality pic gets squeezed down to an MMS message.
  • My work provides me with an iPhone, it's just a text app. I don't see anything that makes it any different from any other text app. Maybe I just don't understand iPhones very well, I dunno. I can on and on about what I don't like about iOS as well, but I also can see why people like it. It's just not for me.
  • I agree with you 100%
  • Record a video, say 2 min long. Play to see quality then send it to someone NOT on iPhone. Ask them how does the video look (quality etc). Now send same video to another iPhone user. Ask same question. You will get TWO VASTLY DIFFERENT ANSWERS from those 2 users.
  • So the problem is that iMessage is used in the first place.. stop doing that then..
  • If you want apple anything on your Android, then you should switch
  • Apple music isn't a bad service. I'll stick to YouTube music currently though.
  • it's not a great service either and offers nothing you can't get on YTM or Spotify
  • Their services and apps are pretty weak, but hypothetically if they had any worth using, you should be able to use it without having to also settle for using one of their phones, computers, or anything else they do badly.
  • If it was available across the range of devices I use daily I would definitely consider it.
    If they were going to bring it to Android the right most likely way would be as part of a subscription package. Tie it in with apple music, apple tv+, and maybe their news or podcast service and charge $10-$15 a month.
  • No. I don't have any issues texting anyone with any other messaging app. And most of the people I text are using Android phones save for maybe 1 group text.
  • Yep. Google has had YEARS to prepare any type of software that could compete and they've either failed or cancelled the project. RCS is okay, but I'd rather have a fully developed and functioning product that can work cross-platform.
  • Probably not. I just SMS my iPhone friends. Don't feel like i'm missing anything.
  • I doubt it, I don't see any reason too, I don't go for all this sending media stuff, I use standard SMS. I'm just trying out Textra, but only because it has a function that gives me a few seconds to change my mind once I press send.
  • If I could use it conjunction with what I already have then I'd probably get it but if it required me to set it as my default then probably not.
  • No why would I, I have friends and family on the iphone we are able to communicate with each other just fine. They see my meme or gifs and photos and links .
    If this is still about green bubbles, then people have serious issues.
  • Yes because it makes it easier to communicate with iphones. I like the rcs android has but as apple has very little interest in implementing it. why not put imessage on google store for like 10 bucks. people would buy it
  • I wouldn't. It would be nice if iphones went ahead and started using RCS, but everyone I care about talking to already uses Messages.
  • Absolutely yes. Not even a second thought.
  • Hell yeah! iMessage is the undisputed leader in messaging. That’s why I bought my iPhone 11 Pro.
  • WhatsApp is the undisputed leader, not iMessage, which Apple uses to snare uninformed consumers into their evil and restrictive walled garden and is only important in the US, while the rest of the world laughs at the US being so rigid in their messaging.
  • No. No need for it at all. Nobody i know I need to use that to contact him or her
  • Ya I would use it to text the iPhone users who want to talk to me on it but honestly, here in Canada, WhatsApp dominates, even iPhone users use it more than iMessage since it's so universal. iMessage isn't as big of a killer app as it is in the States.
  • Yes. I have lots of US friends, most of whom use WhatsApp too but it's not as natural to them as iMessage. As one of the very few people using Android, it would be fairer and easier if I could just add iMessage, particularly when I'm over there.
  • I've been happily using whatsapp for several years now. I think I'm in like 4 different group conversations and I love it. We send each other audio messages, share short videos, pictures etc. I cannot imagine myself using a regular SMS messaging app (like I think most people do here in the US)on daily basis, with all this mess Google has going on not being able to catch up to Apple with something similar to iMesage. If whastapp didn't exist and didn't know anyone that used it either. Then my answer is heck yes I would! Specially if I were able to use it on different devices such as how Apple does it. That would be so convenient.
  • No. Why would i need to...
  • No I have no need for it.