iMessage for Android

I think Android is solid but default SMS messaging sucks. I miss iMessage. I miss iMessage’s encryption by default, rich content handling, group features, and that it rarely crashes when sending photos.  

I know there are other messaging options (whatsapp, telegram, [email protected]#%^$#k messanger) but ALL of my friends and family use iMessage or the default Android messages app. I would pay $2/month for iMessage if offered for Android. Would you pay for iMessage if Apple offered it for Android?

Conversation 35 comments

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    13 October, 2019 - 3:21 am


  • ghostrider

    13 October, 2019 - 5:24 am

    <p>iMessage will NEVER come to Android, never ever. Apple know all to well that this one app is what keeps a lot of their users on iPhone, which seems crazy, but it's true. I find the Android Messages app perfectly ok, but I guess if you've used iMessage for a long time, it might seem a little less feature rich. But, Google are now taking control of getting RCS into Messages on all Android vendor platforms. RCS will make a huge difference to messaging on Android, so watch this space.</p><p>I'll just add though, if you have made the switch to Android, just take a deep breath of fresh air, and take in that you've made the first move in breaking free of Apple's clutches. You can have a phone you can configure to your hearts content exactly the way you want it – its liberating!</p>

    • jchampeau

      Premium Member
      14 October, 2019 - 7:56 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#480230">In reply to ghostrider:</a></em></blockquote><p>Many would have said the same "never ever" thing about Windows Subsystem for Linux a few years ago. Things change fast in tech. And presenting opinion as fact tends to harm credibility and bring downvotes.</p>

      • michael_goff

        11 January, 2020 - 9:23 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#480438">In reply to jchampeau:</a></em></blockquote><p>Aren't iPhone sales still the main way Apple makes money?</p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    13 October, 2019 - 6:37 am

    <p>Everybody I know uses Telegram, Signal or WhatsApp. The only SMS I get are from my telephone provider. We don't use WhatsApp, because it contravenes GDPR, but most WhatsApp users these days also have Telegram or Signal.</p><p>I've never used iMessage – I moved away from iPhone before iMessage was released. None of my iPhone friends uses it – or at least they don't use it to send messages to non-iPhone users, but there again, iPhone penetration is lower here than Windows Phone was at its height (under 16%, last time I looked).</p>

    • Chris_Kez

      Premium Member
      14 October, 2019 - 4:46 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#480235">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>How much does SMS cost in Germany? Most plans here in the US offer unlimited SMS/MMS, which has helped to keep usage much higher than in other markets. If we had cheap data and expensive SMS ten years ago then we would have seen one or more alternative messaging apps really take root here, the way they did in other parts of the world. </p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        15 October, 2019 - 4:50 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#480584">In reply to Chris_Kez:</a></em></blockquote><p>Most plans have unlimited SMS, but I don't know anybody that uses SMS these days, it is too insecure. If you have to send an SMS and don't have an unlimited plan, you pay between 8c and 15c per sent SMS.</p>

    • Daekar

      27 October, 2019 - 8:05 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#480235">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>I have tried to get people to use Skype, Signal, and Telegram. Nobody knows the difference, nobody cares, and nobody wants to go through any even tiny inconvenience to switch.</p><p>I gave up in the end. I don't text enough to worry about it, and I can send full-quality photos or videos via OneDrive or Google Photos.</p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    14 October, 2019 - 8:00 am

    <p>What is the advantage of using iMessage over Threema, Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp? All the others are available on every platform and some through the web browser, iMessage is only usable by Apple users…</p>

    • basic sandbox

      14 October, 2019 - 12:16 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#480439"><em>In reply to wright_is:</em></a><em> I have tried all the messaging apps you have mentioned and like them (</em>Threema, Signal, Telegram, WhatsApp<em>). My problem is that 90% of the people I know are iPhone users that simply won't use a modern cross-platform messaging solution. My Android contacts simply don't care about privacy, security, and added messaging features so they stick to old SMS messaging. In a perfect world my contacts would all use Signal. </em></blockquote><blockquote><em>I want to stick to Android for now for cost saving reasons. </em></blockquote><p><br></p>

    • bill_russell

      14 October, 2019 - 2:47 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#480439">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>its mostly the IN kids (or wannabe) who all have to have iPhone and naturally use iMessage. I noticed those who don't really care about that tend to have android phones. Plus, a lot use instagram and snapchat which is on both. The iPhone is a great phone, nothing wrong with it, just for me I really hate using any applications that can only run on the same company's proprietary platform. </p>

      • jeffdbellin

        07 November, 2019 - 11:35 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#480545">In reply to Bill_Russell:</a></em></blockquote><p>Amazing how much emotion is stirred up by this issue! As a never-iPhoner I don't even know what my SMS messages look like to my (mostly) iPhone using friends, family, colleagues. Do they have to maintain a separate SMS app just to receive my messages? Do iPhone users have a way to integrate messaging platforms so they have a unified messaging notification? For me, I just send/receive SMS/MMS messages and have no idea what if any inconvenience it gives to my iphone collaborators. Not my fault; I neither want nor can afford an iPhone. But…no question in my mind – from informal polls of iphone users and even many unsolicited comments: iMessage holds 25%+ users (could approach 50%) captive to iPhone when they would otherwise prefer to switch. For that reason, of course, Apple will NEVER make it available on any other platform. Sad.</p>

    • Chris_Kez

      Premium Member
      14 October, 2019 - 4:42 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#480439">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>The primary advantage is that it is the default on iPhones, which make up half of the US smartphone market. No other modern messaging app except Facebook Messenger has anywhere close to that level of penetration in the US. Outside the US, people tend to use whatever mix of messaging apps their friends use. </p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        15 October, 2019 - 4:51 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#480581">In reply to Chris_Kez:</a></em></blockquote><p>That probably explains it. iPhone users are a small minority here, so they use what everybody else they know use.</p>

  • Chris_Kez

    Premium Member
    14 October, 2019 - 2:27 pm

    <p>I have a family member who uses a Galaxy S10 and I would gladly pay for him to use iMessage.</p>

  • bill_russell

    14 October, 2019 - 2:39 pm

    <p>This is why google is trying to move the entire world to RCS, not a small feat. I try to encourage others to use Hangouts, just because most everyone has a gmail address, it seems like the best option. No, I would not and apple would not do it anyway. </p>

  • Bats

    14 October, 2019 - 4:13 pm

    <p>iMessage is as overrated as the iPhone. It's just an SMS app. You send a message, you get a message and that's it. I have both an Android phone (mine) and a work assigned iPhone 7. LOL….what exactly is the difference? The answer is simple….NONE. One is better off using Facebook Messenger, Skype, Viber,…….even plain old email to gt a message over.</p><p><br></p><p>The bottomline is this: I was right years ago, when I said that NO ONE CARES about a computer's operating……and NO ONE really cares about a phone text messaging app. It's just a messaging app and like I said, one is better off with a platform agnostic one like the ones I mentioned above.</p>

    • Chris_Kez

      Premium Member
      14 October, 2019 - 4:38 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#480565">In reply to Bats:</a></em></blockquote><p>Over-rated by whom? iPhone users like it because it is the default messaging app so they're very familiar with it. SMS crushes photos and videos, and lacks niceties like receipts/typing notification, stickers, bitmoji, gifs, etc. Facebook Messenger is over-stuffed, though at least ubiquitous. All of the other modern messaging apps have a limited footprint in the US.</p>

    • ivarh

      Premium Member
      15 October, 2019 - 1:21 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#480565">In reply to Bats:</a></em></blockquote><p>If you took the time to read the OP’s post instead of revelling in your hate of apple you would have seen that one of the things the OP was looking for was a app that seamlessly sends photos/videos and other rich content without butchering the quality like for example Facebook messenger does. The whole point that makes imessage to be as highly regarded by it’s users is the seamless way it handles all types of content without recompressing the living daylights out of it like MMS does. The fact that imessage is integrated into ios as the standard messaging app is the clincher for iOS users. Apple hit a homerun with imessage and unlike google that seems to reinvent their messaging app every year causing none of their solutions to gain any foothold. This is what is going to kill RCS as well. A year or 2 with little market penetration and google will drop it like a hot potato and jump on their next incompatible iteration.</p>

  • Daekar

    15 October, 2019 - 7:03 am

    <p>WTB RCS on all platforms and apps. PM with offer.</p>

  • rvanallen

    Premium Member
    28 October, 2019 - 7:47 am

    <p>Have been using Pulse SMS for about a year, worth a look:</p><p><br></p><p>;=&nbsp;Website</p><p><br></p><p>;=&nbsp;Google Play</p><p><br></p><p>End-to-end encryption</p><p><br></p><p>Web interface one-time fee of $11 and Android free with no ads</p><p><br></p>

  • minke

    28 October, 2019 - 2:00 pm

    <p>Personally, I would never pay for a messaging app because it is way, way down my list of essential smartphone tools. OTOH, those I know who are on iPhones love iMessage and think those of us on Android are missing out on something, though I don't really see what it is. My SMS and MMS messages sent to others seem to work just as well as iMessage. I use the standard Google Messages app on a Pixel 2. Never crashes, can group text to my heart's content, can add emojis (though I almost never do), has a nice dark theme, works instantly. OK, maybe it isn't encrypted but if anyone cares about my shopping list or my reminders to my wife, have at them!</p>

  • Vladimir Carli

    05 November, 2019 - 1:38 pm

    <p>I would certainly pay for it. I have both an iPhone and a Huawei P30pro. The Huawei is an amazing piece of technology, superior to the iPhone in every possible way. When I look at the photos I am able to shoot I think it uses some kind of alien technology. But the only thing that keeps me on the iPhone is iMessage. Is ubiquitous and is vastly superior to any other messaging app. I don’t think apple has any intention or benefit in releasing it for android</p>

  • bob_shutts

    05 November, 2019 - 3:24 pm

    <p>Friday I tried to text an Android user from my iPhone the time and place of a meeting. He called me on the land line and asked when and where the meeting was. I asked him if he received my text. No.</p><p><br></p><p>Was my phone at fault? The carrier? Android?</p>

    • minke

      09 November, 2019 - 7:39 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#486660">In reply to Bob_Shutts:</a></em></blockquote><p>It's an iPhone thing. Google it. Their phone number was tied to an iPhone at one point and has to be disassociated from iCloud.</p>

  • Winner

    05 November, 2019 - 6:12 pm

    <p>iMessage is encrypted but Apple controls the keys and could intercept if required by law. Just so you don't harbor the illusion that you are guaranteed total privacy when using iMessage.</p>

    • briantlewis

      06 November, 2019 - 8:22 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#486685">In reply to Winner:</a></em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><a href="; target="_blank"></a></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote>Apple cannot decrypt iMessage messages.</blockquote><p><br></p>

      • ghostrider

        06 November, 2019 - 9:09 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#486787">In reply to briantlewis:</a></em></blockquote><p>Trust me, Apple can decrypt iMessages, just like they can unlock iPhones if they had to. In public, they say they can't, in private, it's a different story!</p>

        • JoePaulson

          06 November, 2019 - 11:03 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#486809">In reply to ghostrider:</a></em></blockquote><p>evidence?</p>

        • zorb56

          Premium Member
          02 January, 2020 - 11:42 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#486809">In reply to ghostrider:</a></em></blockquote><p>Why should I trust you and not them?</p>

      • Winner

        06 November, 2019 - 5:18 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#486787">In reply to briantlewis:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>Wrong. They carefully say "…in transit". However the messages are passed through Apple servers. See the Ars article </p><p><br></p><p><strong>"Contrary to Public Claims, Apple Can Read Your iMessages"</strong>.</p><p><br></p><p>The article subheading is "Control of keys gives Apple ability to read iMessages, despite end-to-end encryption."</p><h2><br></h2><p>For some reason I couldn't include the link (probably for this site to fight spam), but you should be able to Google for it.</p><p><br></p><p>Also discussed by Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson a number of times on the Security Now podcast.</p><p><br></p>

  • ghostrider

    06 November, 2019 - 9:10 am

    <p>Just think for one second what the one and only reason Apple keep iMessage just for iPhone. Read some of the comments. Many iPhone users only stay with Apple because of it. I'm not denying it's not feature rich and secure, but it's all controlled by Apple – top to bottom. It will never come to Android. Google are though pushing RCS now as they default messaging app on Android, and it won't be too much longer before it's more widespread. Personally, I don't see a problem with the standard messaging app. You send messages, it works.</p>

    • jimchamplin

      Premium Member
      06 November, 2019 - 9:16 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#486810">In reply to ghostrider:</a></em></blockquote><p>Ehhhh… RCS is probably DOA.</p><p><br></p><p>Last I heard, the carriers are back on their bullshit and while some are charging ahead with their own custom and incompatible versions, most of them have come together and after much deliberation (read: stalling and dawdling) have developed what is sure to be just a <em>great</em> app.</p><p><br></p><p>Oh, and no E2E encryption because reasons.</p>

  • innitrichie

    12 January, 2020 - 1:58 am

    <p>iMessage/Messages has become a rich platform in itself, with extensions, apps, and payments, and there's no way Apple is going to offer that up to a competitor. The blue bubble status symbol is also something Apple users pride themselves in – if you're green, you're obscene. Apple people don't want Fandroids turning blue.</p>

  • evox81

    Premium Member
    12 January, 2020 - 3:54 pm

    <p>There are options for iMessage on Android. It basically involves having a Mac at home that relays all of your messages to a custom messaging app on your phone. If you have the equipment, it would be worth giving it a shot. And it won't work as seamlessly, as your phone number won't be registered as imessage compatible. That means you'll have to give your Apple ID as your means of contact, instead of your phone number.</p><p><br></p><p>Edit; I don't necessarily recommend this… It's a curiosity at best.</p>


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