Skip to main content

iMessage for Android is the messaging solution we need, not the one we want

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

This week, I received a new Android phone in the mail. I removed its plastic wrapping, opened the top, unfurled the hastily-placed screen protector and turned it on. When I booted it up, I logged in with my Google account, restored from a backup of my Pixel 3, and waited for the 80 or so apps I regularly use to restore some or all of their user data.

This is my routine for getting a new phone, and it allows me to get up and running, thanks to Google Cloud Backup, in about 30 minutes. It's a tantalizing and delightful taste of automation, but its usefulness is only as good, and as engaging, as the apps on my phone.

Android has a messaging app abundance, but it's often too much of a good thing.

With messaging being the quintessential smartphone experience, and with the definition of 'social networking' expanding to include feeds like YouTube, Twitch, Reddit, and even Fortnite, communicating on a smartphone is often disjointed and frustrating.

Everyone has a preferred means of communicating, and while the ownership of many of these tools has consolidated over the years — looking at you, Facebook — the choices themselves have proliferated.

On Android phones, the messaging conundrum is no secret, and Google's done nothing to help the problem by seemingly releasing, or modifying, its flagship messaging tool every few months. Allo, goodbye.

The maelstrom of choice is exacerbated by geographic divisions; WhatsApp is popular in much of Europe and South America, while WeChat is preferred in China, Kakao in South Korea and Line in Japan. Facebook Messenger has an enormous built-in audience of Facebook users but it's normally considered the path of least resistance, rather than the preferred option, for its hundreds of millions of users. And then there's iMessage, which is the default messaging platform (and widely considered a social network) on Apple-built devices, but its dominance doesn't extend beyond North America.

Still, iPhone users love iMessage, and their reasons for amity are not surprising: its seamless integration with regular text messages means that you don't need to open a separate app. Once Apple's servers detect whether a recipient — via phone number or email address — is part of the iMessage database, it switches the bubbles from green to blue.

Google's tried to compete with iMessage, directly and indirectly, for years. Hangouts and Allo fizzled as consumer products, so it's worked with the GSMA — the standards body and carrier advocacy group — to implement RCS Univeral Profile across a number of devices. Heralded as the Great Messaging Unifier, RCS builds on traditional SMS in the same texting app that ships with your phone.

While right now it's limited to a few apps and carriers, the eventual goal is for every phone on every carrier to natively support RCS and make something like iMessage for Android unnecessary.

Except for one thing: end-to-end encryption. The Verge's Dieter Bohn argued earlier this year that there's a "moral case for iMessage on Android," noting that while there isn't much of a business case for Apple to bring iMessage to Android, there is one that appeals to the greater good.

Every time I hear Tim Cook talk about privacy as a human right, I think about the biggest thing his company could do to help ensure that privacy: spread the ability for people to have conversations that are safe from government snooping across the world. And the largest, most impactful way Apple could do that is to release iMessage on Android.

RCS brings most of the features we take for granted in nearly every messenger — support for longer conversations, high-quality images and video, scalable group chats, file transfers, and lots more — to the Android user's native SMS app. Similar to iMessage, once two devices "shake hands," all of these features kick in automatically. In practice, the experience is quite similar to iMessage, with one important difference: RCS does not support end-to-end encryption.

Services like iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal, and with some tweaks, Telegram and Facebook Messenger, encrypt communications between the sender and receiver, so there's no possibility of interception or surveillance. While governments are increasingly decrying the use of encryption as they attempt to prevent terrorism, it's seen as similarly indispensable for consumers looking to maintain a semblance of control over their online privacy.

And while WhatsApp is bigger than iMessage, Facebook's encroaching overbearance over the service, and its inevitable back-end integration with Messenger and Instagram, have given many of its users pause. Other options, like Signal, are more extensible but more difficult to use, and like WhatsApp don't sync across multiple devices.

Which brings us back to iMessage. A small but vocal set of people continue to argue that Apple should bring iMessage to Android. As recent as six months ago, the notion would have been absurd — the company's finances didn't warrant any such entreaty to the other side. But lately, with the iPhone train slowing and the company increasingly putting its focus on services revenue, there's an argument to be made that enough Android users subscribing to iMessage at $5 or $10 per month would make the investment worthwhile. Or Apple would bundle it into a wider iCloud subscription, which would likely make it easier to justify the cost.

Or, even better, it would be free, a service that Apple sees as adding value to its overall brand rather than, as it is today, a lock-in mechanism for iPhones. If it were free and available to all Android users, iMessage could operate as a Trojan Horse into Apple's other cross-platform services — Apple Music, Texture, and perhaps its forthcoming TV service, which is all but a lock for Samsung, LG, and Vizio televisions already.

The idea of Apple shoring its services revenue through an iMessage subscription is unlikely but more possible than it's ever been.

Then there's the other side of the argument: would Android users even want an iMessage that's merely an app-based alternative to WhatsApp and countless other siloed alternatives? Much of iMessage's appeal is that you don't have to think about it — it just works. It's also pre-installed on every iPhone in the world. That's a very big built-in audience for Apple, even if its users choose not to download a single app. On Android, however, it would be yet another app to seek out, download, sign into, and manage.

So I put the question to Twitter and found a minute amount of support for the idea — not surprising given the audience, but still, the virulence of the response was surprising.

See more

As in so many areas, Android users are awash in options for communication tools but the consensus I'm seeing is that it's too much of a good thing. An official iMessage app for Android could utilize Apple's backend to sync across devices, as iPhones, iPads, and Macs do today. It would also free the blue bubble from the confines of the iPhone.

How valuable that expansion would be to the average Android user, and whether Apple could turn it into a viable side business, remains to be seen. The bigger question, at least in my mind, is whether Google cares enough about privacy and security to stop relying on third parties to build encrypted means of communication. It knows that a fully integrated solution like RCS is a powerful and audacious unifier, but without encryption, it's just another mediocre option in a sea of competitors.

Want another take? Watch Rene Ritchie's opinion in video form above or read his written take over at iMore

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

197 Comments
  • Hard to imagine people paying for iMessage in any numbers that would justify the service. At one point it looked like Apple was going to really build out iMessage to be a more full featured "WeChat style" platform. That effort seems to have stalled, but it would have given Apple the right incentives to expand to Android. Probably not as good for privacy, though. Having said all that, I think this is mainly a tech journalist issue.
  • I'd pay to have iMessage. There's a real beauty to how seamlessly iMessage works across Apple devices, and I've love to see that extended to Android. Also, I'm the only Android user in my family, so it would make communication just a little easier (though RCS has helped).
  • Apple is too greedy to introduce iMessage to Android. Personally, I think WhatsApp is way better than iMessage.
  • Totally agree with you
  • You could argue the merits of the apps themselves compared to others, but where iMessage wins over WhatsApp is seamless integration across all your devices. WhatsApp won't work on both your phone and tablet at the same time and doesn't have cloud storage of your messages (at least not just time I used it).
    YMMV
  • IMessage doesn't seamlessly integrate over any of my devices at all. What you mean to say is it'll integrate only over other Apple devices...then yes that is indeed a limited feature of iMessage. Huge difference. The biggest differentiator and why I use whatsapp is it's cross platform so I can text anyone and, most importantly, everyone. I'd rather 100 times over be able to message everyone on my one cellphone rather than only 30% of people but over several devices...(And I have an iPhone).
  • WhatsApp isn't cross platform. It has horrible desktop support and the desktop app only works when linked with a phone. This is in complete contrast to iMessage, which is WAY better there. I'm not even sure what argument you're trying to make... you are so off base. The reason why Apple can afford to keep iMessage Apple device exclusive is because it is such a solid selling point and value-add for their hardware and platforms. WhatsApp gained prominence as a poor man's iMessage - particularly in areas where Apple has less market penetration due to people not being able to afford their devices. Facebook is too "vulnerable" to foreign governments, etc. due to their social network business model to trust. Apple isn't, because they have strategically stayed out of (or dropped out of) those markets to protect themselves (contrast with Google, which spent a decade trying to compete with Facebook in its markets, and derives most of its revenue from search and advertising).
  • Wait, so imessage works on Linux and Windows? If not, why the hell should I or over 80% of the market care?
  • Well iMessage doesn't work on the most popular platforms in the world at all .
    So as imperfect as Whatsapp is is still better than Nothing.
  • No, that's not at all what I meant to say. If you have Apple devices, Messages will work on all of them at the same time, send a text message to my iPhone phone number and the message simultaneously appears on my iPad, my laptop, etc., even if they're turned off, the messages come down when turned on. Presumably, since it's cloud based, the same would happen with my Pixel 3XL if it had an approved Messages app.
    WhatsApp is tired to a single phone number and the data is not cloud based, so one phone only and maybe crappy log on to the web for partial functionality. You can only message "everyone" on your one cellphone with WhatsApp if they also have WhatsApp, right?
    Messages will message everyone with a cellphone number, whether they have Messages or not, it just sits out some of the rich features. It will also message anyone with a registered email address in the Messages system.
    Other than people around the world who adopted WhatsApp for free text messaging making it widely used it's hardly a one solution for all unless it's changed radically from when I stopped using it.
  • Actually, Telegram is way UNDERrated in my opinion.
    It does seemless integration across all devices. I get messages on my PC, Note 9, iPhone, Tablet all at the same time.
    Not that I use all at once but it integrates really well. I prefer Telegram over WhatsApp too.
    Only thing is WhatsApp has been marketed really well and is used by many so I use that as well.
  • Nobody knows how great Telegram actually is..
    I think, we're the only ones who use Telegram..
  • Totally agree about Telegram, it's VERY underrated. Everbody I get to switch to it loves it. Plus you don't have to disclose your phone # to others like with WhatsApp
  • " iPhone users love iMessage" is a sweeping statement. When I used an iPhone, I HATED iMessage. My other half dislikes it, and one of the fruits-of-my-loins never uses it on his iPhone. We don't use it on our Macs, either. It's a ghastly, poorly designed messenger. Integration with SMS is a nightmare to work with. Telegram, on the other hand... every member of my family – immediate and extended – uses it. Voice calls, video calls, groups, private chats, self-destructing messages, sending files, and storing files* all work perfectly and seamlessly across all platforms. *Storing files: send a file to yourself through Telegram, and it's stored in the Telegram cloud, and is accessible from all your devices. Who needs AirDrop?
  • I can't switch to android from my iPhone bc of iMessage. I use a mac for my desktop and iPad when I travel. With my iPhone, I get my texts everywhere all the time and always in sync. There is no equal solution for Android. iMessage for Android might cause Apple to lose some iPhone users, but they would probably pick up iPad and Mac users.
  • Except for people that use iMessage if your device doesn't have iMessage and the other does no biggie because the message will still be received by the recipient but in WhatsApp that doesn't happen because both devices have to have the app installed. SMS is the universal chat platform as of now.
  • Yeah and installing an app is way easier than buying a new phone. Thta's why Whatsapp has way more users than iMessage(above 2 billion on Android Alone).
  • WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, and I don't agree that it's better than iMessage + FaceTime. WhatsApp also had really bad Desktop support. The fact that iMessage and FaceTime work so much better on macOS, without being tied to a browser tab or browser masquerading as an app is a big plus, as well. iMessage will work even if you don't have an iPhone. You just need an iMac, MacBook, Mac Pro, iPad, or iPod Touch. WhatsApp is simply not an answer to that; and neither is RCS.
  • I am surprised Viber is not even mentioned.
  • I think the fact that everyone in these comments wants their favorite chat app to be mentioned is a point the article tries to make... There are too many, and this leads to too much fragmentation whicih only exacerbates the issue. People are fatigued with these messaging app wars, and they don't want to have to install 5 chat apps just because their friends all have different favorites. With Apple you buy iPhones and everything just works. Google could have done this with Google Talk, but they were too lazy. When Microsoft killed WLM, most of my friends moved to Google Talk... Almost none moved to Skype. When Google announced Talk was getting killed off (and no longer bundled with Android), almost everyone moved to Facebook. The only way to get a decent IM experience out of the box without using Facebook, was to buy an iPhone (cuase the marketshare here is very high for them). That's what I did. I just came back, to the Note 9, but I'm pretty sure I'm going back to Apple in a few months.
  • WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and people are OK with that after all the controversy surrounding FB and Zuckerberg? I deleted my facebook and instagram and I have no regrets.
  • Same here. Nothing with Facebook in my house.
  • To be honest I think most of the "normal" people completely disassociate WhatsApp from Facebook in their minds somehow... Same with Instagram.
  • Shocking as this may sound, FB still has hundreds of millions of users. While, I'm not one of them, many people are "OK" with it all.
  • Quarter 4 of 2018 they clocked over 2.3 billion unique active users per month.
  • I love iMessages but there is now way I'm paying $5 or $10 a month for it. I mean I wouldn't mind a one time $4.99 buy for it but a month. Hell no. It's not worth that much. Whatsapp might not be as pretty or have as much features but it's end to end encrypted and that's just fine by me
  • BlackBerry Hub and services costs me £11 a year - which I think is a bargain but YMMV. iMessage would be worth about that to me.
  • I love being on Android over iOS but I do miss iMessage. Of my core group of friends, only 3 are on Android while everyone else is on iOS. Texting/messaging is horrid on Android and I would gladly pay for iMessage on my phone. Sending pictures and video between my wife and I have made us choose another messeging service because videos of my daughter in a grainy mess are unacceptable. Then Google goes and announces the shut down of Allo. Time to go hunt for another service we can use. Ugh. Then forget about getting my friends and family to download and sign up for another messaging service when imessage works great for them. I know what others say but iMessage would have a place on Android. It wouldn't move the financials much at all but the convenience is there for most everyone with large amounts of iPhones in their life. I dont want to switch, I cant convince my family and friends to find a new messaging app, hell I cant even get my wife to use the one we decide on regularly. If apple doesn't step up and deliver thos then maybe its time to find new friends and a new wife.
  • It doesn't fix everything, but you and your wife can share videos through Google Photos.
  • That doesn't fix the problem at all. The problem is getting people to adopt a new app. The problem is lack of a seamless user experience. Every time the messaging app discussion comes up people always say "well you can use this app to do that, and that app to do this, and it's basically the same thing". But it's not. It's not even close, and actually it highlights the very problem that's trying to be solved. Honestly, if you haven't used iMessage for decent period of time then it's really hard to "get it".
  • You're right. I don't want to teach my parents to use Google Photos. They are in their mid to late 60s and it would be a battle. iMessage just works like any normal text app.
  • Yup and Google could have built one years ago and just flat out didn't bother to.
  • Google should have bought WhatsApp when they could have. Would have solved all their messaging problems.
  • Actually Google Photos is the answer for sending pictures and videos. Especially videos actually. The reasons- The receiver does not need Photos to view pics or video. You can send links vs data heavy pictures and video...and the person getting it also doesn't have to burn their data to download it if they want to wait till they have wifi...or they can just download it. You can also discard the link. Having been an iMessage user in the past...Yes...it is still faster to send a pic just through it as it is itergrated but honestly most of the time i want to send media I open Photos first select the media I want to share and them send the link. Note- the data savings only apply if you wait till your media uploads via WiFi and at that point iMessage wouldn't burn your data either.
  • I do the same with Amazon Photos and it works great!
  • Apple has had iCloud Photo/Video Sharing forever, and you can view them in a web browser without an Apple ID (which is free, anyways). This existed years before Google Photos was a thing, so no... Google Photos is not the answer for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch/macOS users who want to share Photos and Videos. iCloud Photo Sharing is like your own private, secure Instagram between you and your friends, even... Complete with Likes, Comments, and the ability to allow friends to add their own content to the shared libraries, etc. Many people don't use it, but it's there... The issue isnt' that iMessage is faster. You can MMS Pictures and videos without issue. The issue is that MMS applies such awful compression that the content is usably bad by comparison. iMessage is, at its heart, an IM services... it just steps in and takes priorities - transparently - when both sender and recipient are using Apple devices. It's the implementation that makes it so good, not necessarily what it does ;-)
  • >so no... Google Photos is not the answer< Actually it is the answer.
    Google Photos is cross platform and it allows users to both share and receive files/links. It's also unlimited and free, unlike icloud.
    You can also have shared albums with another person between an Android and an iOS device. Every time you add a file to that shared album the other person is notified and it can view them.
    Also the last point. Google Photos has well over 1 billion users on Android alone. It's not an uncommon app.
  • I agree ,,at least try bro🤔🤔🤔😂😂😂😂
  • "That doesn't fix the problem at all. The problem is getting people to adopt a new app. The problem is lack of a seamless user experience." Let's not exaggerate. In itself Google Photos is a better app for sharing than iMessage anyway and not both persons need to have the app. If the person that revives the link doesn't have Google Photos installed he ca still view the files in his web browser. It's very easy and seamless.
  • Or my friend wit benefits 😂😂😂😂
  • Define horrid, and how that applies to messaging on Android. Most of the time any issues with sending images or other media arise when one of the people is using iOS and the other Android. Android to Android usually send pretty well. No issues that I can recall.
  • Android to Android is an absolute mess compared to iMessage when sending videos especially, and large pics. Some just don’t want to admit it.
  • Try sending another Android user a video over SMS. "Horrid" would be putting the result lightly.
  • I did, it worked really well, the contact got the link to my photos and videos and all I needed was his phone number.
  • LoL what a bunch of salty liars.
  • This is hilarious. I was in the same boat and tried to convince my friends and family to use FB messenger and did a very good job of it. That’s how my wife and I communicated cross OS’s for the same reasons you’ve mentioned. I found that messenger wasn’t reliable to reach my iPhone friends as the notifications would get lost like the other hundred per day. NOTHING as reliable as iMessage to communicate with the casual iPhone user and I finally caved and got an iPhone XR. Promotion for half price didn’t hurt. I was a “Pixel for life guy” too, so this was a big deal. Not to mention I spent years trying to convince friends to get on a messaging platform with me, arrived at Messenger and love it still. Conclusion, make the switch to iPhone and you will look back at Android and say “ get your ******* act together with messaging and maybe just maybe I’ll give you another chance loser dick. “
  • "Conclusion, make the switch to iPhone and you will look back at Android and say “ get your ******* act together with messaging and maybe just maybe I’ll give you another chance loser dick. “ haha. Yes, this.
  • Doesn't that just show you how bad iOS is with notifications? I had an iPhone 7 just to see what the big deal was about iOS and missing notifications was the WORST PART. Christ, I got yelled at by my boss for not responding to emails. It made me far less productive in multiple ways.
  • "I found that messenger wasn’t reliable to reach my iPhone friends as the notifications would get lost like the other hundred per day." Oh so the problem was the dreadful notification system on iOS.
  • These stories come up on different tech sites every month. It's not going to happen. Apple knows at least 30% of their customers would leave if iMessage was on Android. I own both platforms, but Android is the better platform for my needs and wants. With that being said, I would gladly pay a one-time fee of $19.99 for iMessage on Android. Or, maybe even .99 a month. I wouldn't pay more than that though. I just don't see Apple ever doing this.
  • I'd be in for 99 cents per month. Anything more than that and I'll just stick with what I've got
  • Most of my extended family is on Apple. They love iMessage. My family has been on Android for years and years and I don't want to switch. That said - I've been searching for a single app that would send end-to-end encryption and fall back to sms for those that aren't on it. It also had to be a pretty good app. I've been playing with Signal. Full sms/mms integration with secure communications to those on Signal (sound familar, iMessage?). Open source so it's been vetted and shown to be extremely secure. Contrary to what the article says, it's very simple to use on Android. Apparently, Apple is such a closed system that the SMS fallback doesn't work on iOS forcing them to use 2 apps. Couple of downsides. First group management needs a little work, but it's not bad. Second is video sharing. There are limitations through sms so I've taught my family to use links to google photos to share video. Works great and the resulting video on the other end is excellent quality. The developers are working to make the app better all the time. Try it out for awhile and help show the love. And no - I'm not going to pay a subscription to use iMessage. That's just silly.
  • As I said in a response above, your example didn't solve any problems. People still have to use multiple apps, and the user experience is not seamless. Plus, you're using an entirely different method for sharing videos. You have worked out a great way to get around the issues, but you have not duplicated iMessage at all.
  • You have absolutely duplicated iMessage with Signal. Signal completely replaces the Android text app so you only need the one app. It's seamless and automatic. I can't picture a more perfect solution. If you're referring to iPhone needing multiple apps because Apple won't allow cross platform solutions then that's an Apple problem. Those type of anticompetitive decisions are why I no longer use iPhone.
  • Did you miss where they use an entirely different method outside of Signal for sharing videos? That alone makes it not a replacement. Plus there's no SMS continuity between your phone and other devices.
  • The original poster is referencing a workaround for sharing video via SMS not Signal Messages. The same limitations that exist for sharing video via SMS in Signal exist when sharing video or photos via SMS through iMessage. When sharing video via Signal Message or iMessage message there is no limitation thus links are not necessary. So, the point that it is a fair one to one comparison, at least in this regard, is still valid. The point you make regarding the lack of SMS appearing on your other devices with iMessage and not Signal is a valid one. I do have a question though, I seem to recall that while iMessage is end to end encrypted but Apple holds the encryption key thus making it inherently less secure than Signal. If I am write about this, then it could be considered a trade off which, depending on the importance of locked tight security to you, could bring the 2 messaging platforms back in feature parity.
  • I have converted many a iPhone user to add signal albeit with some resistance. But for the most part it has been well received. On android signal is supreme for me. Remember BBM king of the messengers? They locked themselves into blackberry only and by the time they went cross platform it was too late. Apple might learn a lesson from the other former fruit phone manufacturer.
  • I hope this actually does happen to them. I would laugh
  • I would definitely pay for iMessage. So many of my friends use it and it just works well. I'd love for Apple to take Microsoft's strategy of meeting users where they're at rather than the walled-garden approach. I'd love to get away from using Facebook's products (Messenger and Whatsapp) for something more secure, but don't want to leave Android to do so.
  • I think a better poll might have asked "Would you use iMessage? Yes or No", then "Would you pay a subscription for iMessage? Yes or No" because personally I l think iMessage is great, but I wouldn't pay to use it.
  • Especially with all the user information that is pulled from it.
  • Oh? Do you have a source link? Like maybe www.bs.com?
  • You are grasping straws now. Lol!
  • Here's an idea. Use Skype. It's cross platform, has video chat, and is secure.
  • AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Ugh, that was a good one, my sides hurt. Well done!
  • Not sure what's so amusing. I can use Skype on iOS, Android, PC or Mac. If you open a session with me, it would ring me on any and all devices I'm signed into. It's encrypted, does multiple user calls and supports text/chat, audio and video. I can do Skype handsfree on my Echo devices, or my Invoke. Numerous other capabilities that aren't even part of typical messaging apps. It's just not something most people think about when discussing messaging.
  • I am not sure but I think he was laughing at the notion of Skype being secure. Skype does not use end-to-end encryption. Skype recently introduced "private chats" (kind of like Telegram) which are end-to-end encrypted using the Signal Protocol but is not the default and there is no option to E2E video calls within Skype at all.
  • Oh, you must be laughing because all of your friends aren't using it. You aren't actually judging the products in the features that it provides. How stupid.
  • Once RCS is fully deployed across all carriers, Android Messages will be fine. I loathe the idea of being on anything that makes me have to be stuck to what Apple defines as needed or not in an application or standard.
  • You also loathe security? RCS would be a great alternative if 1) Apple supports it and 2) it allowed end-to-end encryption. Why did I make the first point? Because the premise of the article is making messaging easy across the two major mobile OS's. The second point is a major thing for me right now, and it's becoming more important generally as time goes on.
  • Actually it just goes to E2E but it defaults the same way when sending to a different platform.
  • RCS does not support E2E. At least not the way carriers are implementing it.
  • iMessage is the #1 competitive advantage of Apple products in my opinion. Although I’d love to see it on android devices, it makes absolutely no sense for Apple to do this. I love Android but until somebody can release a true iMessage competitor, I will always have an iPhone in my primary pocket.
  • Ever heard of RCS? Too bad Android is far superior to iOS in every other juncture.
  • I have heard of RCS. Where is implemented that I can use it right now? Oh wait .....
  • Much of that is a carrier issue though, and not a direct Android issue. That's the problem.
  • No one will support an iMessage competitor, because Android users are triggered and become whiny babies the minute an OEM releases innovative tech (on the platform) that is exclusive to their devices. They want all of the benefits of that OEM's R&D on their Pixel, HTC, LG, Samsung, OnePlus, whatever device... but don't want to buy the hardware. They fail to understand that iMessage is used to sell apple Hardware. If you want it, you buy an iPhone. Android users are too dumb to realize this and just "deal with it" when an Android user tries the same thing. Samsung has tried multiple times to "ape" Apple services with its own, but people just call it bloatware (while crying and begging for Apple to release theirs as a subscription). That's why it made little sense for Android OEMs to buy services like WhatsApp and Instagram. What could they do with it, that wasn't already being done? These services offered very little value to them, since they can easily develop their own competitors and integrate directly into the Messages app on their phones! But that doesn't seem to sell devices on Android - in contrast to iOS. There is too much OEM wars and tearing down of the competition in this ecosystem. It's really quite toxic.
  • I would absolutely pay for imessage. I pay for services that I use and make my life better. Of the 15 people I talk to most often, 2 maybe 3, use androids. Only one of those has RCS like me. My Mom / sisters / GF / coworkers / all have iPhones. I refuse because I perfer Android for so many obvious reasons. Even if the Android iMessage didn't have SMS fallback I could deal with that just for HQ photos and group chats. If it did support sms fallback (RCS) that would be most epic. After RCS comes out to all android, even if Apple gets it, maybe then they could make it happen.
  • I'm sorry but... you're messed up in the head if you ever think that iMessage should be a paid SUBSCRIPTION..... I'm sorry.. but why on this screwed up planet, would ANYONE... and I really do mean ANY... ONE..... PAY a SUBSCRIPTION to do something every other service out there does for FREE? Yea sure, end to end encryption.... but is that worth even a single dollar as a subscription to the everyday person? Only the so called 'terrorists' that the government is so freaked out over, would actually want to pay for this.... So no.... we don't need nor want ANY messaging app that you have to pay a subscription for.... EVER.....
  • This iMessage obsession is ridiculous. Love iMessage so much? Buy iPhone!
    If people really care about privacy, they wouldn't use a proprietary software which we can never really know what the app does.
  • Exactly.
    Open source or bust , if you are that into "security".
    **** Apple and Google as well.
    For convenience Android wins and for security Apple. For overall security, users on both sides are losers.
  • No. I just hope Google steps up there game
  • iMessage is the ****. I carry both iOS and Android phones for that very reason.
  • I have Android as my primary and an iPhone 8 from work. iMessage or not, if I could smash this POS iPhone on the ground, light it on fire, and dance around it in celebration - I would in a heartbeat. An utter pile of garbage I actively try to avoid using at all cost. Couldn't care less about iMessage if the rest of the experience makes me want to punch a baby in the mouth. The whole experience is torture to me... Apple would be smart to open up iMessage for Android users, even with a subscription... It would allow people like me to at least consider using something from them. Otherwise, I honestly want nothing to do with Apple. Ever.
  • Overwhelmingly, people I interact with are on Facebook Messenger- in the US and other countries: family, friends, businesses, etc- Bank of America, some remote hotel in the Philippines, even the California Highway Patrol one time. No one mentions privacy concerns. heck no I wouldn't want anything to do with Apple - smug douchebags they are.
  • I use Pulse SMS, and it just works on my phone, tablet, and Chromebook.
  • I use it as well, and with Q coming out they are supposed to make rcs advisor like available to third party apps and pulse said they would support it.
  • Pulse is great! Now THAT is the solution Android needs!
  • My one big problem with Pulse is that they say none of your data is stored unencrypted. Note that they don't say your data isn't stored.
  • Not sure where you read that, but Pulse is completely encrypted, even the stored data. https://messenger.klinkerapps.com/encryption.html
  • I'd probably get rid of my iPhone if FaceTime and iMessage were available on Android, but I don't think a monthly subscription would be popular with most Android users, and it's hard to imagine Apple going that route.
  • What I got out of this was that Messages needs E2E encryption and for the color of those messages to be different.
  • And sending full res photos and video.
  • I guess I'm old and out of touch because I use basic text messaging - and sometimes FB Messenger - for all of this stuff. I get the appeal of end to end encryption, but basic text messaging has worked fine for me.
    Now, get off my lawn.
  • The vast majority of people don't know or don't care. They know green bubbles are annoying, they send awesome pictures and video from any Apple device, and it has lots of cool stuff with it.
    SMS is like comparing an 8 track to a FLAC audio file.
  • I get t that some people in some situations need encryption. But even those people probably don't need it very often. Here is the easy fix. Use RCS for 99% of what you need. Then with the one or two people that you need more security with, jointly agree on a more secure service. This is not complicated.
  • In other words, convince everyone else to change because you don't want to use an iPhone?
  • In other words, tell the 30% that they aren't the majority.
  • The 30% are a lot when your solution is inadequate and they may jump from Android to iOS. This affects more than just your messaging solution. It also affects Android OEMs, App Developers, Service Providers, etc. The mountain of inadequacy in this platform (in multiple areas) makes it a volatile market, and it's why apps, etc. are given a lot more attention on iOS. iOS is a lot more predictable. You know the hardware, software, APIs, SDKs, etc. are going to be top notch... Things just work - really. The hardware on my Note 9 is as good as any iPhone, but the Android platform is the absolute worst thing about this phone, IMHO.
  • Your mistake was getting a phone from Lagsung.
  • LoL, so much bla bla bla
  • Exactly. Why the hell should I change for them? Just to message them I should suffer with retarded iOS?
  • I'd gladly pay a low monthly for iMessage on Android. Personally I think it should be a tiered system, with higher features such as browser based access falling into a higher price structure. What I wouldn't give for a one-stop shop for text/chat that I can use seamlessly regardless of what device I'm currently on (my Android phone, iPad, Mac or PC).
  • This will never happen, and if I were in investor, I would riot if it ever happened. Browser based Access? So that people can iMessage from cheap-as-*** ChromeBooks instead of a $1,000 MacBook Air? It almost feels like you people never learned Math in school. Apple is not a Software and Services company. They are a hardware company. Apple giving iMessage with Resolve is similar to Blackmagic Design giving away DaVinci Resolve for Free or with their Cameras. The software can't do certain things (like full screen playback on a second monitor) without BMD hardware, etc. The whole point is to use the software as a means of selling more hardware. Services like iMessage and software like Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro, iMovie, iWorks, GarageBand, etc. service a similar purpose for Apple. This is why they polish them up so much, and why "just works" is such a high priority benchmark for them... The whole point is for them to be so good that users are willing to ditch Android/Windows/Linux/etc. for iOS/macOS to get access to them... In markets, like the USA, where iOS has high market share… this is very hard to ignore as you're going to know tons of people with Macs and iOS devices. In markets where they have lower market share... it's not as huge a deal, obviously.
  • Really? I've used an iPhone for about 2 month and that was one of the things I hated. It doesn't even show a receipt for regular text messages. I'd have replaced it with Signal if that was allowed... Basically, if Apple pays me to use it, I'll think about it...
  • Apple can't buy my sanity.
  • Besides the encryption, I don't see much difference across apps, iOS or Android. Why do people waste so much time thinking about this? You text someone, then move on with life.
  • There's a major difference. You probably only use a few apps, and/or have far less exposure to the iOS ecosystem. Some of us come from 4+ years of using iOS, and going to Android the same apps are considerably worse... worse enough that I'm jumping right back on their gravy train in a few months... Android has amazing hardware, but the software is lower-class... easily. There are some great Android apps out there, but some of us have needs beyond the basics, and we use our phones as serious tools for work/professional reasons. Dealing with the app gap is harmful beyond simply our preferences or biases.
  • $5 or $10 a month for iMessage subscription? That's the dumbest argument I've seen so far on this site.
  • I will keep using Hangouts with Google Voice until they take it away completely and since I'm a Gsuite user it is coming sooner rather than later :( If only Google had made it the default messaging app from the get go. I just hope that they come up with a smooth transition. Time will tell.
  • Hangouts is still a killer app if you use Google Voice.
    You can still text using your Google Voice number, make calls, send MMS/SMS and do video calls as well. It'll be a shame when it finally goes away.
  • I don't think Apple would make iMessage available on Android. I know people who don't want to switch to Android for because they would be embarrassed to lose their blue bubble. Apple does not need one less reason for people to stay with their hardware. I would possibly pay a one time fee for iMessage, but but not a subscription. Honestly though, when I moved from iPhone to Android, I did not even think about iMessage because I found HTC's messaging app also "just works".
  • You don't need these people in your life. If they're obsessed with the color of a little bubble on a phone, they need to get out more.
  • For them it's more the social stigma of not being a trendy iPhone user. No one I'm personal friends with are quite like that, just acquaintances and coworkers, although a close long-term friend reminds me she's "an Apple girl" when we talk tech.
  • Not sure why What'sapp doesn't come pre-installed on every android device out the box. It's such a nice messaging app to use. Unfortunately no one besides my three friends on our group chat know about it. Of course Europe and down the border it's a whole different story, everyone uses it.
  • Whatsapp pre-installed on my phone? No thanks. I don't want any part of Facebook creeping on my messages.
  • Exactly. Because Facebook. The company I trust least to not harvest my data. Zuck might as well be called Farmer Mark.
  • I'm so confused. Why doesn't Google build an app like imessage and build it into the OS?
    You basically have apple and Android phones and since apple isn't going to play ball have yours work with the majority of phones and send basic texts to none Android users.
    I know they are pushing RCS but they should have just made a standard for themselves years ago and it wouldn't even be an issue. Instead they created multiple secondary apps that anyone could have told them would not get the user base they needed.
  • Because Europe would sue them
  • They originally used XMPP with Google Voice. As XMPP will handle messages, images, videos, audio, group messaging, etc, they could've just used what is already an open protocol.
    The only problem is that they wouldn't have full control over it.
  • I actually wouldn't use iMessage if I was being paid $10 a month to do so, let alone pay a subscription. Bit of a toss up as to which I care about less; iMessage on Android, or The Verge's opinion on the subject.
  • Apple would end up suing me because one day I'd throw the iPhone into a wall.
  • Oh man I've wanted to have this discussion for some time. Apple is smart for keeping it's real killer app exclusive to it's platform...but the revenue opportunity here is incredible...I'd pay for iMessage. I'm sickve the "oh I can't see that emoji" or" your videos look ******" lol I remember once I tried to play pool through messaging with a friend and he sent me the link and it was just a image lol
  • Blackberry and bbm used the same strategy for too long. Look where it left them.
  • As a android- windows user I can say I love love love Android but the messaging apps let's be honest suck!!!!! I come from Apple till the iPhone 5s. Went with windows and then found my home with Android. Yeah, we can name this app, that app insert whatever name you want but Apple beats Android around the school yard with iMessages! Sorry but it's true I find myself wishing I could grab my tablet and go to living room and know if I get a text on my phone it's in my tablet or laptop. That I could respond from them to a friend on a phone. Play a game and use stickers on a image sent to me with my kids.
    See if they read message or responding. I would pay a one time fee only if it works everywhere!!!! We have enough that may work on phone or tablet but not computer. Sorry I hate Facebook and any other messaging app only does half what Apple does. Typing this proudly on my honor 7x and would never go back to Apple but I will give credit when it's due
    iMessages..... Kicks everything on Androids ass.
    Now get to work Google!!!!!!!!
  • You can, if you are using Windows 10 you can use the your phone companion app. Install it on Windows, link your phone and bam, you can receive/send texts and see all your phone photos on your PC.
  • And of course install the app on your Droid phone
  • The only parts in your comment that aren't available in any of the apps I mentioned are Games and Stickers. In other words, the parts designed for little kids.
  • All they had to do was make an iMessage clone where Allo also had SMS.. but no. Google just needs to come up with an ACTUAL iMessage competitor and run with it. Imagine if Signal was owned by Google and came standard on all Google devices.. Google to Google (Signal to Signal) would be encrypted and could be sent over wifi, while Google to iOS would send through SMS/MMS.. Problem solved right? Moral of the story.. Google should just buy Signal..
  • Most Signal users would instantly switch to something not owned by Google. Currently, Signal is fully encrypted and unreadable by any save those in the actual conversation, including the company who develops Signal.
    If Google bought it, say goodbye to full encryption.
  • I can't see any android users paying for anything. Freemium is what android is about, the only cost is privacy. Google gives out android for free and the users have to come expect free things. It's the nature of the beast at this point.
  • You're an idiot.
  • I just want an app that can send SMS and fallback to WiFi when SMS isn't available... Like Hangouts USED to be able to do.
  • Just because RCS doesn't support end-to-end encryption doesn't mean it can't A. Be added, or B. Encrypted within the app before transmission.
  • The article seems to mischaracterize iMessage as being the only messaging app out there that incorporates both the proprietary service and regular SMS. But I know for a fact that other apps do this, and I'm using one myself: Facebook Messenger. I made Messenger my default messaging app, and now it handles both its own messages and regular SMS within the same app. Now obviously you as a user are going to have to make your own decision on whether you want to use a Facebook service, but the simple fact of the matter is that Messenger has the best UI of any messaging app I have used thus far. Nobody has been able to beat Chat Heads as far as I'm concerned, NOBODY. The UI and overall convenience of unified messaging are why I have continued to use Messenger on my Android phones.
  • I pay enough for my cell service and then pay more to send messages, that requires some kind of stupid.
  • The only reason I would want this is to be able to text iPad users. My son has an iPad and loves texting his friends and other family members. Unfortunately he cannot text me as I have Android. I know this is a very small thing and I'm not a fan of apple but....... It would be nice to have the option.
  • Please we don't want iMessage for Android for Eavesdropping.
    There are plenty of truly encrypted communications app like signal
  • It's a matter of choice and convenience. When the majority of your family and friends are on iMessage, it would just make my life easier to have it on my choice of phone.
  • The messaging situation on Android brings out in sharp relief a profound incompetence at Google.
  • When I had Windows Phone 8 in 2013 and 2014. I had Facebook Messenger messages integrated in the same thread as my SMS text messages.
  • Having to use an iPhone for work, iMessage does nothing for me. I could care less and wouldn't is a dime for it.
  • I've had Android phones and apple phones. iMessage is what differentiates the phones. When I was on Android, I had friends that just wouldn't connect with me. God forbid you were in an iMessage group, it messes up everyone's messages. The apple users will cut you before they will go to another app. That's why apple will never put it on Android. Putting it on Android gives apple users an avenue to move away from iPhones. Apple is not retarded. They rule messaging
  • Are iOS users that retarded?
  • It’s a good thing that all fandroids aren’t as stupid as you.
  • OK, so:
    > The apple users will cut you before they will go to another app. < I don't see what makes him stupid. He's right.
  • When's Verizon getting RCS for samsungs?? Seems like other carriers are using it already
  • I have no problems syncing my Galaxy phone messanger with my Galaxy tablet.. It works the same way as iMessage but better... I can fully customize it changing the bubbles, background image, font colors, font style.... These are things you can't do with iMessage.... I have no issues sending long messages to family that are using iphones. No issues with security as it's on Samsung's Knox system.... Samsung doesn't use third party companies for it
  • I'm a pretty visual guy. I like to customize everything on my phone. Colors, widgets, app placement, folders, icons, you name it. Which is why I love using whatever texting app I want on my Android. Depending on the app, in my case Pulse, I can make every conversation look different. Speech bubble color, send button color, all that. Having iMessage on my iPad I love being able to use it with other iOS friends but it's so bland and boring. So if they could bring the customization to iMessage on Android, I would definitely pay monthly for it.
  • I would pay a one time fee of $5.99 to get it otherwise I'd continue on as I have. I would certainly never pay a monthly fee.
  • With the plethora of messaging applications available that are cross platform (including desktop operating systems) such as telegram, Wire, signal (requires setting up on a phone but is cable of use from a desktop once that's done), Skype (if you're going proprietary), jabber (still a thing), and the many many others, the one thing we don't need is a hook into the Apple ecosystem.
    What we do need is to convince those who have been hooked on the almighty Apple to switch to something more sane, more OS agnostic, just as easy to setup and use (which Signal is, contrary to what has been stated) and that is completely free.
    Why would anyone pay even a dollar a month for a messaging app when you can get any of the ones I listed for free?
    Why would anyone choose something that only works cross device if all your devices are Apple when you can use any of the above across multiple devices on multiple Operating Systems?
    For example, I'm able to communicated via Wire from my phone, running Android Pie, pickup that conversation on my laptop, running Arch Linux, get the app, sign in and continue that conversation from my roommates desktop, running Windows 10, go to a Chromebook and continue that conversation via the only Wire messenger webpage, etc.
    Were I using iMessage, I'd have exactly one device I could communicate with and I'd be paying for the "privilege" to do so.
    I can do the same with telegram, with jabber, with Signal (once I'm connected via my phone), from Skype and from quite a number of others.
    I conclude how I started. What Android absolutely, positively does not need is a proprietary blob to hook us into the Apple ecosystem.
  • Hell no. I don't want any Apple software or hardware in my home.
  • Same here. Just last night I had to get involved in a conversation because my wife's messages were not reaching my brother-in-law. They both have iPhones.
  • It just goes to show why they elected Trump..
  • I think that this is very much a USA problem where 50% of the market uses iMessage. In the RoW we use different services quite happily. In the UK Whatsapp is very strong and iPhone and Android users quite often default to that. Why would I need to install iMessage?
  • Agreed. I posted something similar
  • I agree with this post but I think it's too late, Android needs something original 😎😎😎😎
  • My experience has been this :
    I'm from the States and I use my phone there, in Canada, and when I travel overseas (I use Google Fi, by the way).
    The vast majority of the people whom I meet overall are Android users. In the US and Canada it's split between Android and IOS users. Literally everyone I've met outside of North America uses Whatsapp because most of them use Android. When I sign up for Airbnb Experience tours, the tour operator immediately asks for my Whatsapp. This has happened in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, UAE, Turkey, Germany, Portugal, Lebanon, and many others. Whatsapp has become the dominant messaging app throughout most of the world. And now most iOS users use it as well to connect with their Android friends. So when one really thinks about it, it's actually IOS users who have to use at least TWO apps to connect with the world: iMessage and Whatsapp. The rest of us could get away with using just one app: Whatsapp.
    While it is true that Google missed the boat on a good iMessage competitor, I don't think it matters any longer with strong third party alternatives such as Whatsapp.
  • Completely agree. The article is very US centric and completely ignores the fact that ROW practically stopped using sms/mms many years ago. Carriers in N.America have a near monopoly, charge exorbitant prices for monthly data plans and then throw a bone of unlimited texts. Carriers elsewhere have cheap monthly data plans and limited free sms/mms messages/month. Result ROW enjoys cheaper data and switched to data based messaging plans ages ago. China: WeChat
    Japan/Taiwan: Line
    ROW: WhatsApp Even Apple users stick to these options because iOS hardly has a significant market share in individual markets outside of USA. So an iMessage dependent user simply has to juggle back and forth between multiple messaging apps. And I can cite multiple instances of not so tech savvy users in Asia (generally ageing parents) who were taught to use iMessage by their children settled in the US to communicate with them for free. And they get shocked when they realised that the seamless integration between sending imessages thru data (free) or carrier network (international pay per 160 characters) cost them a shocking few hundred dollars as the local carrier was happily charging them 10-25 cents / message/160 characters for every single international sms sent from their iPhones.
  • I would pay $5 or $10 for the app. It's hard to get people to use another app. Luckily I've been messaging everyone on Instagram and that works.
  • People need to remove the tinfoil hats and use the ready made cross platform solution that's there already and offers everything needed - WhatsApp.
  • Trust me, that won't be used in Europe..
    There WhatsApp is quite dominant and also telegram..
  • I can confirm you that everyone in Europe uses WhatsApp; its services are becoming ubiquitous and are used from customers and businesses of every sort, or even public instances. It's also extremely easy to be used (ask my 70plus parents).
    In fact, the only real problem it has it's being owned by Facebook.
    If it wasn't we could dream of a option where SMS are integrated into WhatsApp just the way they are into iMessage.
    Telegram (pretty popular in Europe) it's a great service too, but it'd take too long to let billions of people switch to it. If any.. Google should definitely try to buy Telegram, but that's never going to happen. Back to the main conversation: i think asking Apple to make iMessage available on Android it's like asking them to make iOS available to third party phone makers.
  • LOL You confirm that everyone in Europe uses WhatsApp? You clown...
  • I recently switched to iPhone after getting a MacBook as my primary laptop, and the integration between the Watch 4, the iPhone and the MacBook mean I’m not about to switch back despite missing many Android features. I used to think iMessage wouldn’t provide much added value beyond what was discussed in this article. Now that I use it routinely with many other iPhone users, I’d definitely pay for using it on Android if I switched back. It’s far and away the most comprehensive and interactive MMS client on the market. It’s defijurely not just WhatsApp like. It’s way nicer than WhatsApp. Examples include the ability to comment on previous text messages with a “?” Or a “HaHa”, the ability to play game compendiums like Game Pigeon through iMessage, and things like messaging using a fireworks active background or a champagne effect in the background or others. In short it’s mich easier to have rich, expressive convos on iMessage than any other messaging platform I’ve used including Samsung’s, Google Messages, Allo, FB Messenger and WhatsApp,
  • Fb messenger does the things you listed as benefits of imessage... The reactions and games in particular
  • Google's Messages app is great for using any platform via a browser. badge alerts and notification options are a plenty, syncing is seamless. it doesn't permit sms without a carrier signal on your device yet, which is the only drawback I can find.
  • Google should just buy Signal and use it as its default. It already has everything they would need.
  • $1/ year is the most I'd pay for iMessage. Apple is making the same mistake as BBM. By the time they release it, nobody will care.
  • Agreed. With respect to the author's opinion, the last thing Android needs is a walled garden approach to anything. Don't get me wrong I can see the benefits of iMessage. I think given time, the RCS standards will over take iMessage much like Hey Google surpassed Siri. Apple has zero incentive to open iMessage up to Android, it goes against the heavily ingrained culture of the company. And as a subscription service? That is a good laugh.
  • This is not the answer, by a long shot. Even if iMessage came to Android, there is no way I'm going to pay $5-10 a month for it. That's just absurd, and a deal breaker. Nor would it be universal, which is the crux of the issue. While you might get a lot people trying iMessage out (if it was free), you still wouldn't have everybody coming over. A real solution needs to be universal and RCS is still miles ahead of any other solution. The lack of end-to-end email argument is overplayed. RCS is extremely secure. The only time an RCS message could be intercepted is if there was a legal warrant issued. So, basically, if you're a normal person (ie not an international terrorist) your personal messages will be perfectly secure. And if that is still enough to concern you, don't get too comfortable with iMessage. You're naive if you believe law enforcement agencies can't get ahold of your iMessage activity. So, iMessage is by no means some magical unicorn that will save us from the messaging existential crisis. There will still be Facebook messages, what's app, and RCS. Moreover, iMessage isn't that great. Apple users love it because it ignites their collective lizard brain when they get a blue bubble instead of a green one. That's it. There's nothing especially special about iMessage, which is why Apple will likely never make it available to Android. It's the one thing keeping people from switching over to Android. I used to work in phone Sales and the number of iPhone users wanting to switch to Android, but didn't want to lose their precious blue bubbles was mind boggling. The delusion is real. In fact, I would make the argument that iMessage is why we have a messaging "crisis" to begin with. It's a vestige of messaging past when you could only text people on your particular carrier. Without iMessage we would be that much closer to a universal fix. As long as iMessage exists we will never have a truly universal solution.
  • You basically said the same thing as I did... People don't realize what they are asking for... Even if Google makes an imessage like app everyone is still not gonna use it so it still won't do any good... A universal fix like rcs or maybe even a phone manufacture like Samsung, since most people with Android has a Samsung, creating an imessage competitor for it's phone would be more realistic than Google making one
  • The simple solution is to use Signal, which wasn't even discussed (and only briefly mentioned once). It's open source, so unlike iMessage and WhatsApp, corporations can't monitor or monetize your interactions (not what you're saying, but who you're talking to). On Android, it can act as your default SMS app. It offers lots of privacy tools, and even offers free encrypted VoIP calls between Signal users. There are also iPhone and desktop clients, and encrypted messages sync between devices. The only problem, of course, is Apple (…as always). They won't allow Signal to be the default SMS client for iPhone, so you have to convince a bunch of lazy, trend-following, tech-illiterate iPhone users to download and install the app. But for some reason, most of them want to trust their privacy to a corporation like Apple and not to a selfless, security-minded community. My solution is to tell all Android users to switch to Signal and try to convince all iPhone users to install it if they want secure communication with Android users. If enough Android users switch and enough iPhone users install it to communicate with the Android community, then Signal can start to take over and SMS can finally die.
  • I would pay $5 to use imessage. Most of my family and friends are on iphones and ipads. My wife would love it as she has a Galaxy Note and a Macbook.
  • They're incapable of installing whatsapp or similar on their iPhones? I don't get the fuss. Apple invented the concept of having multiple apps,
  • I wish tech sites would let this go... It is almost, not completely, impossible for Google to make an imessage for Android bc that would still mean they would have to force everybody on Android to have it on their phone and use it... Even if Apple opened iMessage to Android it would probably fail, just like y'all don't want to have y'all friends/family install WhatsApp or other big messaging apps y'all are not gonna want to go through the trouble of installing and making sure they only use iMessage... Imessage was/is so successful on Apple bc they had no choice but to use it... Unless Google forces everyone to use an app everything is gonna either fail or be moderately successful... Let me put it like this, if they would've forced everyone to use Hangouts and then further developed it it probably would be in the same lane as imessage right now but even pre-installing it on people phones they didn't use it. Edit to add: even if they somehow find a successful way to make an imessage for Android it would still not help y'all out if y'all are texting an iPhone... So everybody on here that is saying they only have 1 or 2 ppl in their circle besides themselves to use an Android it'll only do you any good really with those 1 or 2 people 🤦🏾‍♂️
  • It would be better if G created gMessage for iOS and Android. iMessage isn't a genius invention. Messages could be extended with encryption and Allo functionality ++. I guess G is working on something.
  • It's too bad Skype isn't more popular. It isn't number specific so you're not limited by devices or having the info relayed in some way. Or BBM which lost such traction. That was great too until they failed to innovative quick enough. Really though who cares. Something else will come along and be a fad for awhile and then be forgotten. It would have just been best to stay on AIM haha since that was the first way to stay in touch with all the friends you'd make from outside your area. I have lost touch with friends because it was ahead of its time and before all this mobility and so people moved on and you wouldn't have another means to communicate once every one switched away from AIM.
  • The constant talk of imessage just illustrates how American centric tech is. I get the impression American iPhone users are all a selfish bunch for insisting on sms with everyone who doesn't have an iPhone? Install WhatsApp and move on. Why would I want to install another instant messaging app on my android phone? I suppose my iPhone friends use it, can't say I care. All except except literally one friend uses WhatsApp. Incidentally sync across devices on WhatsApp? It's not available on Android tablets or iPads but I can access WhatsApp on Windows, Mac OS and Chrome OS. It's lack of tablet support doesn't seem to hinder it much
  • RCS is a much more solid idea. It'll be truly cross platform, maybe IOS too. If you care about encryption enough there are plenty of platforms already,
  • There are some third party whatsapp clients available on the ipad. They are a bit buggy but they work. I agree that imessage is popular in the US but here in the UK most people use whatsapp. Even I as an iphone user with other apple devices (ipads, mac, apple watch) use whatsapp all the time. Even with other iphone users.
  • Lol, Americans are selfish as hell. One of the comments above stated how iOS users would just cut off Android users who, of course, can't use imessage. Some of the fools think that you only buy an Android phone if you can't afford an iPhone. They don't think that you can just possibly not like the locked down iPhone.
  • CrApple can keep their iMessage.
  • While the Chinese are watching every word you type on your chinese phone.
  • Lol, the iPhone is made in China dumbass
  • It’s not a Chinese phone, dumbass.
  • It's sad that every iPhone user thinks that the only messaging app is IMessage. It's the only app that they can use since it's the only message app on the iPhone that can send texts. I use Android Messenger on a Pixel and it can do anything that iMessage can do. The iPhone world need to get over that the only messenger app is iMessage.
  • I'm not sure that imessage on android would really solve the 'problem'. If one really exists. I think it's too late in the day to try and introduce a universal messaging app on android. It would require users to download the app. Most users are simply going to use whatever text messaging service is pre-installed on their phone. There are already plenty of good third party apps available on android. Some are used widely and others wont be used due to both users (Sender and recipient) having to have the app already downloaded on their phone. I have an iphone and an ipad and a MacBook and an apple watch. However I don't use imessage. This is because most of my contacts use whatsapp so that's what I used. If I want to send media to a non iphone user if I send it via imessage it goes as an MMS and I get charged. If I send it via what'sapp it's free even though the quality is degraded.
  • I've noticed most of the people who push for iMessage on Android also happen to be in North America. I wonder how prevalent iMessage is outside of the states.
  • Not very..it's a US only problem. Americans think that the world revolves around them. That's why they call their little baseball series the, "World Series" among other stupid things.
  • Have to disagree with the comment 'it just works' 2 members of the family regularly receive text and video via imessage from unknown people meant for another person, also when sending messages the intended recipient doesn't always receive them. they always use whatsap now as this doesn't have the same issues.
  • As usual, I disagree with this dude. Leave Apple and their crap alone. That is one if the most selfish and overbearing companies that I've ever seen. Use an app that cross platform. I don't know what's the big deal with I message.
  • I would pay around 5 bucks for iMessage if Apple decided to sell it for Android. But there is no way I would subscribe. No matter how cheap the subscription price.
  • I would rather see Google eliminate the bevy of messaging apps it currently develops and pick one or two to use moving forward (ex. Messages for SMS/MMS and Hangouts for team collaboration). Maybe they cannot duplicate every feature of iMessage, but they can certainly make an iMessage-like experience for Android users.
  • Unless iMessage was free on Android I'd think about it, but I gotta admit. iMessage is one thing Apple has over Android. But I'm happy with Android messages to honest.
  • There are so mant cross platform messaging apps that are popular that i never understood how iMessage can be a lock in... itcis a convenience when you are in the ecosystem but barely a lock in if you want to change...
  • I would pay $2 a month for iMessage solely because of so many friends and family on iPhone. This is most definitely a 1st world problem and really not worth the discussion. Send green bubbles, use WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Telegram, Signal, Skype, Teams...whatever works