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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

In a wide-ranging commentary piece about WWDC 2016, tech journalist Walt Mossberg included an interesting bit about why Apple has not expanded iMessage to competing software platforms like Android.
When I asked a senior Apple executive why iMessage wasn't being expanded to other platforms, he gave two answers. First, he said, Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on. And, second, having a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices would help sales of those devices -- the company's classic (and successful) rationale for years.
Last week, a questionable rumor surfaced claiming that Apple planned to announce iMessage for Android at WWDC 2016, but the keynote passed without any mention. Apple's executive team evidently views iMessage as a big enough selling point to keep it exclusive to Apple devices like the iPhone and Mac for now, despite Android having over 1.4 billion active users worldwide as of September 2015.

Article Link: Apple Explains Why iMessage Hasn't Expanded to Android


macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
It's mainly due to fragmentation. You see, Android devices have a lot of different screen sizes, and screen resolutions. They have different hardware specifications, and they run different operating systems.

Now, put yourselves in the shoes of the poor Apple programmer faced with this. They have to optimise iMessage emojis and animations for all of those products, to ensure the size and obnoxiousness are consistent on any device.


macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2010
Apple knows if they released iMessage for Android they'd lose customers. Simple as that really.
In fact, it was one of the things I missed most when trying out an Android phone for a couple of months. Regular SMS functionality is all I really need, but the killer feature is being able to use my MacBook to send/receive messages. There are some 3rd party apps for Android that have a component that can run on your MacBook and they work fine when they're working, but I found them to be occasionally unreliable.


Jun 24, 2013
As much as I wanted iMessage on Android, let's be real, Apple will not give away one of their biggest advantages. People own iPhones just because of iMessaging. I for one think it's the best feature on my iPhone.


macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2002
Vancouver, BC
It works, this plan sells devices. I want to use iMessage and FaceTime with my Android-toting friends, but I can't. However, I have purchased or sent Apple devices to a special few. And the experience has been superior to Skype and the other chat apps.


Dec 7, 2007
Anyone who buys an iPhone just for iMessage is someone who doesn't deserve to use any technology. It's beyond comprehension why Apple would use resources to enhance something so banal and useless such as an instant messaging app instead of fabricating real features like the ability to force quit all apps at once. Priorities, Apple. Get them straight.


Mar 26, 2008
i have literally one person using iMessage, everyone else is using WhatsApp and i hate it.

I tried to force people to reply to me on iMessage but they are always like ooooops i didnt see ur msg cuz "that app" is hidden on page xy of my iPhone.

however i have to say sending pictures through iMessage is a pain in the ass, so slow compared to WhatsApp and also data hungry cuz it sends the HQ thing


macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2004
That's fine. As an Android user, I find Skype vastly superior for both Video chat and messaging. But like most Americans, I use standard SMS 99% of the time.
ALSO, people here in the USA are pretty dumb when it comes to messaging in general. They all have unlimited texting (which is pretty impossible not to have even on prepaid plans) but use iMessage which counts against their data caps just so they can see the three little dots when people type.

EDIT: Google Hangouts is also great for messaging, but like I said before, most people just use SMS.
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