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Apple will probably never release iMessage for Android

Published Jun 17th, 2016 8:27AM EDT
iMessage Android App Release Date

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One of the crazier Apple rumors that hit the internet in the weeks leading to WWDC said that Apple will unveil an iMessage for Android application at the show. iMessage is one of Apple’s best iOS apps, an SMS/messaging client that even Android fans would want to use on their devices.

During the keynote, Apple proved it’s interested in upping its iMessage game, as the chat app received the biggest update in years. The new features make iMessage an even better alternative to Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, but an Android version of the app was never announced.

Now we know why that happened, and we get the feeling Apple might never go forward with iMessage for Android plans.

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Writing for The Verge, Walt Mossberg said he had a conversation with a “senior Apple executive” about iMessage for Android following the event. It appears Apple isn’t really interested in bringing its app to the other side for two reasons.

First of all, there are over 1 billion of active devices in use, so iOS provides a “large enough data set “for any possible AI learning the company is working on.”

Secondly, and this might be the most important reason why Android won’t get iMessage support soon, is that Apple wants to keep its competitive edge over Android. Google has struggled to offer users an iMessage-like alternative. The company released quite a few messenger apps, with the latest one being announced at Google I/O in May, the AI-enhanced Allo.

With iMessage, Apple wants to have “a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices,” to drive sales of those devices. This particular stance isn’t surprising, and it’s in line with Apple’s way of doing business.

This doesn’t mean Apple can’t change its mind in the future, but, for the time being, there an iMessage for Android app isn’t in the making.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.