Apple Rumored to Announce iMessage for Android Next Week at WWDC 2016

Rafia Shaikh
Posted Jun 9, 2016
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A new report has surfaced claiming that Apple will announce iMessage for Android at its WWDC 2016 keynote on Monday. Is Apple trying to compete with Google’s newly released messaging app? Doesn’t seem likely.

Apple to reportedly release iMessage for Android

Citing “a source familiar with the company’s thinking,” MacDailyNews has reported that Apple will announce its messaging app iMessage for Android next week. While many users might appreciate such an offer, it is not something that Apple usually does. Along with other services and apps, iMessage has also remained exclusive to Apple’s own devices. Only those who own an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or a Mac can use this service, which makes this report an unlikely development at Cupertino.

Apple will announce that iMessage encrypted text messaging is coming to Android users at WWDC next Monday at WWDC 2016, according to a source familiar with the company’s thinking.

Apple is increasingly focused on services which means opening up certain avenues beyond its own iOS and OS X platforms, the source says, specifically noting reports of Apple adding person-to-person Apple Pay payments via Messages.

While a surprising move, we have to consider that Google announced its messaging apps at the Google I/O developer conference keynote last month. Unlike Apple, Google’s messaging app called Allo is a cross-platform service that users will be able use on both the iOS and Android, making it a possibility to communicate with their friends without OS restrictions. One reason behind this decision could also be to offer more convenience to its own users, giving them the ability to communicate with their Android contacts using the same app. This strategy might help Apple retain their iMessage users before they move to Allo. Both iMessage and Allo offer end-to-end encryption, and if security conscious users have to use one of these apps, they will have to go for Allo until iMessage is offered to Android users too.

But, even after all this reasoning, it is yet to be seen if the report is actually true. If Apple does decide to bring iMessage to Android, it would probably be the first time that the company is opening up its services to non-Apple users. Yes, there is a Music app, but the company needed to target more users with its then-newly launched service. It doesn’t need to do so with iMessage.

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Apple’s opening up its massively popular iMessage app – that sees 200,000 messages being sent per second – would be a strong sign of the company finally opening up. But, would that be a good decision for a company that likes to be considered “exclusive” by its users?

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