Android's answer to iMessage/BBM?

Bugeyeblue

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 27, 2011
514
9
It's so strange to me that google hasn't figured out a solid alternative to the other messaging systems I'm comparing to. BBM is old now, so I know it's kind of out of the picture, but iMessage really seemed to take a lot of blackberry users away since there was now an integrated messaging system for ios. Why isn't there a messaging app or system set up for android? This is probably the one thing that constantly keeps me going back to iPhones. Being able to send decent quality pictures and videos seamlessly with other users of the same platform, and have read receipts is mostly what I'm quantifying as essential aspects of the messaging that I would like to see on android.

Also, having a good video chat app would be nice. Hangouts is getting pretty good, but in the area I live, and the people I know and talk to the most, all have iPhones and very few of them use google services and wouldn't want to sign in and have the annoyance of signing in and opening the app to make and receive video chat calls. FaceTime is really good at making it easy, and most of all for me, it doesn't have to be "on" or a special app open to see the call come in.
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
It's so strange to me that google hasn't figured out a solid alternative to the other messaging systems I'm comparing to. BBM is old now, so I know it's kind of out of the picture, but iMessage really seemed to take a lot of blackberry users away since there was now an integrated messaging system for ios. Why isn't there a messaging app or system set up for android? This is probably the one thing that constantly keeps me going back to iPhones. Being able to send decent quality pictures and videos seamlessly with other users of the same platform, and have read receipts is mostly what I'm quantifying as essential aspects of the messaging that I would like to see on android.

Also, having a good video chat app would be nice. Hangouts is getting pretty good, but in the area I live, and the people I know and talk to the most, all have iPhones and very few of them use google services and wouldn't want to sign in and have the annoyance of signing in and opening the app to make and receive video chat calls. FaceTime is really good at making it easy, and most of all for me, it doesn't have to be "on" or a special app open to see the call come in.
Why so they need to?
 

Fireblade

macrumors 65816
Jan 25, 2011
1,101
318
Italy
Hangouts.

But why use a messenger which is limited to one OS?
What's App or similar is the way to go.
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,312
8,706
Other
Hangouts has replaced the stock messaging app in stock android and does the same as iMessage.

But as fireblade says you could use whatsapp or even hangouts on iOS and be cross platform.
 

Dolorian

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2007
1,086
0
They have Hangouts, which can work on Android, iOS and any computer via Gmail or Google+ or an extension using Chrome. I think it is a better solution than iMessage / BBM.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,449
4,454
Why would Android need to respond to BBM when BBM also runs on Android?

It may exist since a long time, but it is not "old" and out of the picture, as it has been adding features others don't have, platforms, and millions of new users.
 

mib1800

Suspended
Sep 16, 2012
2,859
1,240
Imessage is just proprietary. Worst piece of junk in my part of the world as most people use Android. None of my friends who have iPhone use imessage.
 

JaySoul

macrumors 68030
Jan 30, 2008
2,589
2,685
Google should have bought WhatsApp.

Oh, and I know 1 person that uses Hangouts.
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,112
7,507
UK
Talking of handouts. I've replaced the stock app with handouts. What I want to know is can I sent picture messages over wifi for free, just like I can with what's app/iMessages or will it be charged as a MMS?
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,199
1,048
It's so strange to me that google hasn't figured out a solid alternative to the other messaging systems I'm comparing to. BBM is old now, so I know it's kind of out of the picture, but iMessage really seemed to take a lot of blackberry users away since there was now an integrated messaging system for ios. Why isn't there a messaging app or system set up for android? This is probably the one thing that constantly keeps me going back to iPhones. Being able to send decent quality pictures and videos seamlessly with other users of the same platform, and have read receipts is mostly what I'm quantifying as essential aspects of the messaging that I would like to see on android.

Also, having a good video chat app would be nice. Hangouts is getting pretty good, but in the area I live, and the people I know and talk to the most, all have iPhones and very few of them use google services and wouldn't want to sign in and have the annoyance of signing in and opening the app to make and receive video chat calls. FaceTime is really good at making it easy, and most of all for me, it doesn't have to be "on" or a special app open to see the call come in.
The solution to your first paragraph, is Google Hangouts. And it's far better than iMessage. It's cross platform, has a great app on iPhone/iPad and runs on PC, and is seamless.

Regarding paragraph 2, is a fault with the company you keep, not with Google/Android. The iPhone/iPad Hangouts app is fantastic. It's better than iMessage. Most of my family use it instead. You can seamlessly move from PC to iPhone and conversations flows in sync.
 

Shuri

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2011
330
0
The solution to your first paragraph, is Google Hangouts. And it's far better than iMessage. It's cross platform, has a great app on iPhone/iPad and runs on PC, and is seamless.

Regarding paragraph 2, is a fault with the company you keep, not with Google/Android. The iPhone/iPad Hangouts app is fantastic. It's better than iMessage. Most of my family use it instead. You can seamlessly move from PC to iPhone and conversations flows in sync.
It works ok, all in all not better or worse than whatsapp for example. Big Advantage is the PC/Mac Compatibility. That was the reason for me to switch. With the new update which came not long ago and gave iOS 7 support it got to this point. The older version was really really bad. Glad they fixed the send button, too.

I wish they'd make it possible to switch off auto download of pics. Gifs are alowed and they can be really big. I cannot understand why you cannot abort downloading them.

iMessage works seamless and is great for people who want it to work out of the box and Siri support is also cool, but on the feature side it lacks behind the competition.
 

Nabooly

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2007
851
2
Hangouts is the best sms app on android, imo. It is unfortunate though because it's kinda clunky and lags a whole lot. The emoji integration is nice but use more than a couple emojis and the whole app will stutter significantly. I'm only on 4.3 so this may be why but you would think Google could implement it better. It also severely limits attachments.
 

Tarzanman

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,301
14
As people have already pointed out, Hangouts is Google's answer to BBM/iMessage.

Adoption is slow, and it isn't perfect... but it has the most range in terms of being able to recieve messages on different devices (phones, tablets, or anything that can run a web browser). Even among people who have it, a lot do not understand all of its features.
 

Oohara

macrumors 68030
Jun 28, 2012
2,627
1,316
Like others have said, with WhatsApp around I really don't miss an "official" iMessage equivalent. What I miss even less is how messages would sometimes disappear on iMessage....

The nice thing about Android is also that there are good apps that let you send/receive regular SMS directly through a laptop, just like one used to be able to do only with iMessage and a Mac. I use this most of all as I'm usually working at the PC, and unlimited SMS come free with most phone plans around here these days anyway.

If anything, messaging has only become more convenient since I got an Android phone. :)
 

blairh

macrumors 68040
Dec 11, 2007
3,745
1,250
I used to want the same thing OP but now carriers in America are pushing for unlimited text plans across the board (unlimited talk and text + x amount of GBs for x amount of dollars).

I use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with my friends abroad. I have unlimited texts now with AT&T so I could care less about iMessage and the like if I go back to an iPhone in the future.
 

Hastings101

macrumors 68020
Jun 22, 2010
2,110
736
K
I never understood the point of all the messaging apps/iMessage etc. in the era of unlimited text messages. A few years ago it would have been cool but what's the point now outside of very niche uses like large sized files? Maybe I'm missing something
 

ChazUK

macrumors 603
Feb 3, 2008
5,394
24
Essex (UK)
Unlimited SMS and http://mightytext.net works well for me but for sending images and the like, Hangouts does the trick perfectly.
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
16,449
4,454
I never understood the point of all the messaging apps/iMessage etc. in the era of unlimited text messages. A few years ago it would have been cool but what's the point now outside of very niche uses like large sized files? Maybe I'm missing something
International SMS may not work and you have to pay for each one.
 

kevinof

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
716
131
Dublin/London
You're also missing the fact that most operators don't give you unlimited texts unless you're on a "monthly plan". Take all the kids, teenagers, students and others who are on pre-pay/pay as you go - its usual with these plans that once you go over a limit or outside your operator a text costs you. Add in international texts and there's even more demand.

Where I'm from sms volumes are declining at a rapid pace.

I never understood the point of all the messaging apps/iMessage etc. in the era of unlimited text messages. A few years ago it would have been cool but what's the point now outside of very niche uses like large sized files? Maybe I'm missing something
 

Tarzanman

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,301
14
I never understood the point of all the messaging apps/iMessage etc. in the era of unlimited text messages. A few years ago it would have been cool but what's the point now outside of very niche uses like large sized files? Maybe I'm missing something
1. Messaging apps use data, which means that you do not incur an extra charge for service.
2. International texting costs extra money. International messaging does not
3. Non-english characters (like chinese) do not always go through properly with SMS texting
4. Sending images or other data via SMS is hit or miss. The photos are compressed and sometimes don't go through at all (I'm looking at you, Sprint). Messaging lets you send full size files of many types
5. Messaging lets you do video chat or voice chat that sounds 10x better than phone quality sound.
6. Group messaging is a million times better with messaging than SMS. Easier to create and follow the flow of the conversation in a single group without having to open up 3 or 4 different conversation streams to keep up.
7. Messaging lets you send messages seamlessly on different devices like phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
8. You do not need carrier phone service to use messaging. You can create your own free account then go to any hotspot and communicate
 

TechGod

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2014
3,163
840
New Zealand
The solution to your first paragraph, is Google Hangouts. And it's far better than iMessage. It's cross platform, has a great app on iPhone/iPad and runs on PC, and is seamless.

Regarding paragraph 2, is a fault with the company you keep, not with Google/Android. The iPhone/iPad Hangouts app is fantastic. It's better than iMessage. Most of my family use it instead. You can seamlessly move from PC to iPhone and conversations flows in sync.
iMessags works better then hangouts.