macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Earlier in the year, rumors began swirling around the possibility Apple might launch a version of iMessage for Android smartphones due to the company's increased focus on services, "which means opening up certain avenues beyond its own iOS and OS X platforms."

The original report pointed to a potential announcement at WWDC, which came and went with no such news, and an Apple executive later commented that keeping iMessage on iOS has the understandable advantage of helping sales for iPhones and iPads.

In a larger piece today discussing the degree to which iMessage's "stickiness" is acting as the glue to help keep users loyal to iOS, Daring Fireball's John Gruber briefly outlined these previous rumors and provided further fuel to the flames. Gruber mentioned that he's "heard from little birdies" that a handful of "detailed mockups" of iMessage for Android have been shared around Apple.

The user interface of the Android app is said to have gone through numerous designs, from one that looks identical to the version on iOS, to another that has a "pure Material Design," using Google's design language it developed a few years ago. Gruber still thinks iMessage on Android "might happen sooner or later," mainly because of iMessage's new monetized Messages App Store, which could net Apple increased income in its already profitable services category if it translated the app to Android.
I've heard from little birdies that mockups of iMessage for Android have circulated within the company, with varying UI styles ranging from looking like the iOS Messages app to pure Material Design.
Apple undoubtedly creates mockups for all types of products and services, the vast majority of which never make it to release, and it's unclear exactly how far along the iMessage for Android preliminary designs were at the time of their circulation through Apple, or when exactly that occurred. Still, Gruber notes that while an Android version of iMessage "may never see the light of day," even the existence of such mockups "strongly suggests that there's no 'of course not' to it."

Apple currently distributes three apps on the Google Play store for Android, including Apple Music, Move to iOS for users who are transitioning from an Android smartphone to an iPhone, and Beats Pill, an app used to interact with a Beats Pill speaker. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said Apple Music is Apple's way of testing the water ahead of bringing additional Apple services to other platforms, so it's a possibility that iMessage could be one of those services.

Article Link: Apple Has Created 'Detailed Mockups' of iMessage for Android


macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
BBM was the loyalty card for BB users and when they tried to expand to other platforms, it was already too late. While Apple isn't BB at the moment, I think that expanding to Android is an idea worth taking a serious look at. It's not as if they don't have experience writing for Android.

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
It really surprises me that there's so many messaging apps out there and not one has been universally adopted as a standard.
Most of the current ones are proprietary, with a large amount of cash behind it for development, which means they are just better and more exposed. If you want something free and open, check out the Jabber protocol.


macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
I think Apple should bring iMessage to Windows before they bring it to Android.

Many workplaces require that you have a Windows laptop. None require that you have an Android phone (at least, none that I know of). It'd be nice if I could send and receive iMessage from my Windows laptop from work.

They could just throw it into - I already use that a lot for accessing my various iWork documents and Notes from my work computer.


macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
I can't see Android users embracing iMessage. I think they would rather continue to get regular SMSs from their iOS-using friends than install yet another messaging app.
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Dec 6, 2012
I use imessage almost exclusively because everyone i care to message with has an iphone. However, something interesting to me, several of them are now abroad. One is Spain, another in Chile, any yet another in France (all with iphones) but they now prefer to communicate with WhatsApp. I don't get that but it does seem that imessage is not that sticky outside of the US at least in my small personal experience.


macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2009
Apple should do this, and quickly.

The problem with relying on "stickiness" is that it reveals a fundamental lack of confidence in Apple's products to sell themselves. Apple has to have courage that its products are good enough to sell even absent "exclusive" access to iMessage or, if it lacks that courage, make the products better. Otherwise, something better than iMessage will catch on anyway, and if Apple is relying on that to prop up sales, everything will evaporate at once.


macrumors 68040
Apr 2, 2007
The minute iMessage goes to Android is the minute I start looking at how to get that new edge to edge display Xiami phone in the UK.

iMessage is the only thing keeping me tied to iOS at this point, everything else can be done on Android.


macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
But where is the multi-party FaceTime? Such a disappointment that this capability was dropped when FaceTime was introduced. iChat was truly ahead of its time, I guess.

This. Imagine multi-party FaceTime, with iChat effects (though more up-to-date). Properly good effects, that turn you into a CG ogre, etc.

I think this will come in the next iteration of iOS/macOS, having a look at Apple's recent acquisitions: Faceshift, Emotient... I'm sure there are a few others.
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macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
Florida Resident
But where is the multi-party FaceTime? Such a disappointment that this capability was dropped when FaceTime was introduced. iChat was truly ahead of its time, I guess.

Yes. That was just one of the features. iChat had a Presentation mode, special effects, up to 10 people in an audio chat. FaceTime is not even in the same league as iChat. Apple shows no signs of upgrading FaceTime to match iChat.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2008
Boston, MA
"the degree to which iMessage's 'stickiness' is acting as the glue to help keep users loyal to iOS"

I've never heard anyone cite iMessage as a reason for preferring iOS to Android.

As others have pointed out, there are already a number of other cross-platform ways of exchanging text messages. I'd personally prefer to see FaceTime supported on Android, since the only other option I'm aware of is Skype, which sucks.
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macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
Apple should spend more time focusing on IOS (and I don't mean on emojis and sticker packs) instead of some garbage mobile OS used by the competition.

It's not about the competition. It's about more than a billion Android users that Apple (and Apple's customers) cannot reach otherwise. Platform-exclusive messaging apps don't serve a purpose.


macrumors member
Mar 31, 2010
iMessage could've been the standard messaging App, but instead Facebook owned WhatsApp is quickly taking that crown in most of the world outside of the US. Honestly though if I could iMessage from an Android phone, I'd ditch iPhone. Apple still hasn't figured out how to even offer a decent sized battery at an inflated cost (you'd think they could do THAT).
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macrumors 68040
Apr 13, 2007
It's neeeever going to happen. They'd lose too much iOS users to Android.

Not if they had a subscription fee on android. It would be a constant revenue stream from MILLIONS of customers on the android platform. Plus, iPhones are still a better hardware choice.
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