Will Google / Android ever have an iMessage type app ?

Tig Bitties

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Original poster
Sep 6, 2012
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I'm a big Android nerd, specifically stock Android on the Nexus phones, and now Pixel's. But one thing that always irked me with Google, is their totally outdated, decade old text app technology, compared to Apple's iMessage.

I had the iPhone 7 Plus for six months this year ( returned went back to my rooted and ROM'd Nexus 6P, but that's not my point here ) I will admit the iPhone 7 Plus, was a pretty great phone, and iMessage really surprised me, at how great it was at things Android texts apps just can't do ?

- Full res picture texting
- Website links showing in the text with a thumbnail preview pic
- YouTube links that can actually be played in the text
- Videos that can be sent and actually played, and paused, and rewind in the app
- Seeing if other people are typing a response

And don't get me started on Android's million different apps they've had for communicating; Google Voice, Google Messages, Allo, Duo, Hangouts, etc...

I am not saying we need Apple to give Google, the iMessage app on the PlayStore ( Which would be super cool though ) But Google being such a big player and tech powerhouse, why can't they come up with one single app equivalent to iMessage already ?


Article here is interesting, giving us some hope of a gMessage or something;

https://www.wired.com/2017/02/google-support-for-rcs/
 

mclld

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Nov 6, 2012
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If so it doesnt need to be closed like imessage, getting locked down in a closed system is the worst.
 
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MRU

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They simply cant get their **** together when it comes to messaging .... rather than invent the wheel, they should merely create a 'unified' messaging app - in a similar fashion to BB HUB - which allows users to recieve / respond / create messages to the existing messaging solutions already available and already swamping the market.

1 unified place to get your facebook messenger / whatsapp / sms / hangouts / allo / viber / and the myriad other messaging services.

Instead they create more messaging apps people havent asked for, and in the process more mess ....
 

Fille84

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Aug 6, 2013
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But if, whatever google is planning to do, doesn't work with imessage (just sends sms to iphones) we just have another app iphone-users have to download like whatsapp etc. I would like something that works well with imessage, if Apple could accept that :)
 

SigEp265

macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2011
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100%. It seemed for a while Hangouts was being designed to compete but nope.

I don't understand why Allo hasn't integrated text messages into its usage. That would be a great first step.
I too thought Hangouts was going to be it. I still use hangouts for my google voice number and it almost seems like imessage to me as I can text people from the web.
 

widgeteer

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Jun 12, 2016
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But if, whatever google is planning to do, doesn't work with imessage (just sends sms to iphones) we just have another app iphone-users have to download like whatsapp etc. I would like something that works well with imessage, if Apple could accept that :)
Wha? No, it doesn't have to integrate with iMessage. iMessage's genius lies in being able to integrate a user's phone number so they can receive all their texts there along with iMessages. This creates a one stop shopping for users. All Google needs to do is create a messaging platform that does likewise.
 

mib1800

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Sep 16, 2012
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Wha? No, it doesn't have to integrate with iMessage. iMessage's genius lies in being able to integrate a user's phone number so they can receive all their texts there along with iMessages. This creates a one stop shopping for users. All Google needs to do is create a messaging platform that does likewise.
Caveat with iMessage is you are assuming everyone has unlimited text which can be send around the world.
 

widgeteer

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Caveat with iMessage is you are assuming everyone has unlimited text which can be send around the world.
Unfortunately that's the caveat with all of these messaging platforms. If Whatsapp or similar integrated texting into the app, that would probably be game over for anything else.

Well. Maybe except here in the States where lots of folks expect blue bubbles instead of green.
 

nburwell

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May 6, 2008
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Interesting article that Wired wrote to say the least. I know I simply do not switch from iPhone to Android due to the simplicity and ease of use it is to text family members and friends who, for the most part, have iPhone's.

Although I definitely would like to see Google come out with a unified messaging app. They continue to release new apps to add to the already crowed messaging app market.
 

hallux

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Apr 25, 2012
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Something to understand about iMessage is that you're not texting a full-res picture, you're actually sending it over a data protocol rather than SMS. Same goes for much of ther other stuff iMessage does that isn't handled by SMS apps. If one of the parties falls out of a data service area iMessage falls back to SMS and the messages sent through iMessage during that time have the same limitations as sending from iMessage to users of non-Apple users.

In all honesty, Hangouts WAS "iMessage" on Android for me. When messaging with other Hangouts users you COULD do much of the stuff explained in the OP.

The problem is with the "walled garden" of Apple and Apple not allowing 3rd-party access to the protocol. Google hopes to fix that with the introduction of RCS.
 

bigjnyc

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Apr 10, 2008
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This was probably my biggest frustration when I tried android with the Note 7 last year. I felt silly wanting to go back to iPhone simply because of iMessage but that was the level of frustration that I reached. eventually I didnt have to make that choice since the notes started blowing up, but I think it would have come to that.
 
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Mark316

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Oct 2, 2012
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This is probably the most annoying thing about Android. They make something like Allo yet they also make a regular texting app as well. What they need to do is make every Android phone come with Allo as the default messenger app, otherwise no one is going to use it.
 

LukinLedbetter

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Mar 13, 2014
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The file size limite alluded to in the OP is what irks me the most about not having iMessage on my Pixel XL. If I want the full res pic or video my wife sends me I have to resort to having her email it to me, which while doable, isn’t the same. The other big attraction for me of iMessage is the ability to do those conversations on iPhone, iPad, MacBook at any given time and they’re all updated in real time assuming they have a data connection. Google fixes these two things and I’m all over it! In the meantime, I use Facebook Messenger app on my Pixel XL for SMS because I REALLY like the chat heads and I keep hoping Facebook will add SMS support to the native web client to give some of that crossover capability I see in iMessage.
 

macfacts

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Oct 7, 2012
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The file size limite alluded to in the OP is what irks me the most about not having iMessage on my Pixel XL. If I want the full res pic or video my wife sends me I have to resort to having her email it to me, which while doable, isn’t the same. The other big attraction for me of iMessage is the ability to do those conversations on iPhone, iPad, MacBook at any given time and they’re all updated in real time assuming they have a data connection. Google fixes these two things and I’m all over it! In the meantime, I use Facebook Messenger app on my Pixel XL for SMS because I REALLY like the chat heads and I keep hoping Facebook will add SMS support to the native web client to give some of that crossover capability I see in iMessage.
Why not try WhatsApp. It uses your phone number to contact just like iMessage. I don't get why people want to put "all your eggs in one basket". As a android user, I don't need all my apps and services to be from Google.
 

LukinLedbetter

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Mar 13, 2014
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Why not try WhatsApp. It uses your phone number to contact just like iMessage. I don't get why people want to put "all your eggs in one basket". As a android user, I don't need all my apps and services to be from Google.
Doesn’t WhatsApp require the receiving end person to also have that app? That’s a deal breaker for me as most people I know use iMessage or SMS
 

Fille84

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Aug 6, 2013
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Wha? No, it doesn't have to integrate with iMessage. iMessage's genius lies in being able to integrate a user's phone number so they can receive all their texts there along with iMessages. This creates a one stop shopping for users. All Google needs to do is create a messaging platform that does likewise.
What Im saying is that it would be nice if this app from google would be able to send messages on data to iphones instead of sms and vice versa, without any need for the iphone user to download any new app.
 

macfacts

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Doesn’t WhatsApp require the receiving end person to also have that app? That’s a deal breaker for me as most people I know use iMessage or SMS
Yeah it requires both users to have the app installed, so what? Isn't that the great thing about a smartphone, apps?
 

mib1800

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Sep 16, 2012
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Unfortunately that's the caveat with all of these messaging platforms. If Whatsapp or similar integrated texting into the app, that would probably be game over for anything else.

Well. Maybe except here in the States where lots of folks expect blue bubbles instead of green.
I remember at one time hangout/whatapps have integrated SMS fallback if the receipients didn't have the client installed.

I guess it was scrapped due to issues with users using paid SMS as well as international SMS cost.
 

Zaft

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Jun 16, 2009
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Brooklyn, NY
Its really dependent on where you live. imessage is very popular in the US because the amount of iPhones.

I just came back from Russia and Viber is the most used chat app there. iPhones are outnumbered maybe 10:1.

Most people have some weird Samsung J phone that cost 1/5 the price of an iPhone.
 

lazard

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2012
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"so what?" you expect people to text everyone they know and convince them to use an app they never heard of for texting? Good luck.. hope that works out for you.
I'm sure it's difficult to convince someone to use a messaging app that has over 1.2B monthly active users and over 50B messages sent every day.
 

zone23

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May 10, 2012
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I'm sure it's difficult to convince someone to use a messaging app that has over 1.2B monthly active users and over 50B messages sent every day.
Actually.. yes it is, for example your numbers haven't convinced me.
 
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