For as long as iMessage has existed, smartphone owners have speculated about the possibility of Apple bringing its messaging service to Android. Although there have been hints and rumors in the past, the release of Apple Music on Android late last year reignited conversations about iMessage being ported over as well.
Nearly a year later, the blogosphere has been relatively quiet, but a new report from John Gruber of Daring Fireball claims that Apple has indeed been considering expanding the reach of iMessage beyond the iOS platform.
“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,” says Gruber. “iMessage for Android may never see the light of day, but the existence of detailed mockups strongly suggests that there’s no “of course not” to it.”
That’s last line is the key here. Whether or not Apple ever brings iMessage to Android remains to be seen, but the fact that the company has (reportedly) gone as far as to create mockups of the app in the style of Material Design suggests that Apple isn’t altogether averse to the idea.
Gruber believes that iMessage is “a” glue that keeps customers coming back to the iPhone, but it’s not “the” glue. In other words, iPhone owners aren’t going to dump the iPhone 7 just because they can get iMessage on the Google Pixel.
It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see iMessage make the jump to Android any time soon, but it’s not totally out of the question that it will happen in the coming years.