Rumor: Apple has made mockups of iMessage for Android with 'Material Design'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2016
Whether or not it's ever released, Apple has allegedly toyed internally with the idea of releasing iMessage for Android, going as far as to make mockups for the text messaging client in Google's "Material Design," according to a new report.




Citing anonymous sources, John Gruber of Daring Fireball said this week that various Android iMessage mockups have circulated within Apple. The concepts have had varying user interface designs, with some adhering to Android-consistent Material Design, while others replicated iOS on Android.

The details were dropped as an aside while Gruber spoke of the "stickiness" of Apple's iMessage platform. iMessage is exclusive to Apple devices, including iOS and macOS.

Gruber cautioned that iMessage for Android may never actually be released. But he pointed to the alleged mockups as a sign that it's at least possible.
Such a move would not be unprecedented for Apple --?last year, the company brought its Apple Music subscription service to Android devices.
In a footnote, he also acknowledged that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs promised back in 2010 that FaceTime video chat would become an open standard, available for other platforms and services to integrate. Of course, that never happened.

Gruber said FaceTime remains Apple-exclusive for a variety of reasons, including engineering concerns, and a patent infringement lawsuit from VirnetX which forced the company to develop workarounds.

"So I don't think we're ever actually going to see FaceTime as an open standard," Gruber said. "But I think the sentiment that drove Jobs to want it to be an open standard applies to the idea of releasing iMessage for Android. Apple doesn't need to rely on platform-exclusive lock-in."

Earlier this year, in what ultimately turned out to be a bogus rumor, it was claimed that Apple was planning to debut iMessage for Android at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Such a move would not be unprecedented for Apple --?last year, the company brought its Apple Music subscription service to Android devices. It features elements of Google's Material Design.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    Could be useful for "mixed" families or Android users with mostly iOS friends. Otherwise it's hard to see why people would use it unless the user experience is really that much better. Same goes for Apple Music on Android. Same goes for Allo on Android - the only real reason to use it now is for Assistant and in future because Google will force it on people.
  • Reply 2 of 56
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 414member
    I still don't see a single benefit for Apple to release an Android version of iMessage. I say this as a user and as a shareholder.
    caliperkedelmwhitemacseekerairbubbletallest skil
  • Reply 3 of 56
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    NO.

    If iKnockoff users want the real experience they need to buy a real iPhone.
    redgeminipamwhitemacseekerairbubblewatto_cobrauraharacornchip
  • Reply 4 of 56
    Maybe they open iCloud and CloudKit for other platforms? iMessage is build on top of iCloud. Biggest problem for using CloudKit (as a developer) is that it is Apple only. At the moment you release an Android version of you App, you have to move the data to another cloud platform.
    ireland
  • Reply 5 of 56
    igorsky said:
    I still don't see a single benefit for Apple to release an Android version of iMessage. I say this as a user and as a shareholder.
    I think Whatsapp sees a lot of benefit to Apple keeping iMessage an iOS-only application. If it weren't, nobody would bother with that invasive turd. But if you have friends or family abroad that use Android, it's pretty much the only way you can communicate without either party spending a fortune.
    lightknightrob53repressthisirelandjahajauraharacornchip
  • Reply 6 of 56
    sog35 said:
    I'd say go for it.


    Think about how many people use non-Apple services that are cross platform because their services are superior to Apple's. Bring iMessage to Android and you've given all these people a reason NOT to own an iPhone (I don't think privacy is as big of a reason for people choosing iOS). But I suppose since you follow the Wall Street herd mentality you think Apple should get out of hardware business anyway so who cares.

    I'd rather see Apple make their hardware, software, services and ecosystem best in class so people aren't tempted to use Google services or someone else's hardware.
    perkedelmwhitemacseekercornchip
  • Reply 7 of 56
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,531member
    Maybe they open iCloud and CloudKit for other platforms? iMessage is build on top of iCloud. Biggest problem for using CloudKit (as a developer) is that it is Apple only. At the moment you release an Android version of you App, you have to move the data to another cloud platform.
    This would be smart. But I agree with others who have said iMessage should be iPhone-only. 
    mwhitecornchip
  • Reply 8 of 56
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,531member
    sog35 said:
    I'd say go for it.


    Think about how many people use non-Apple services that are cross platform because their services are superior to Apple's. Bring iMessage to Android and you've given all these people a reason NOT to own an iPhone (I don't think privacy is as big of a reason for people choosing iOS). But I suppose since you follow the Wall Street herd mentality you think Apple should get out of hardware business anyway so who cares.

    I'd rather see Apple make their hardware, software, services and ecosystem best in class so people aren't tempted to use Google services or someone else's hardware.
    "I'd rather see Apple make their hardware, software, services and ecosystem best in class so people aren't tempted to use Google services or someone else's hardware."

    Agreed. When you buy Apple, you buy the UX of the whole product: hardware & software.
    cornchip
  • Reply 9 of 56
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,815member
    sog35 said:
    I'd say go for it.


    There is no real winner in the messaging App area. Google can't seem to settle on anything. iMessage is very popular on iPhones. With all that it can do now, it's the perfect time for it to come out on Android also. I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. If Apple doesn't do it, you leave it wide open for anyone and everyone else to take a huge chunk of the market. If that becomes the so called standard, that starts getting used more and more, and iMessage less and less. Android is 80% of the marketplace NOW. So just cutting out 80% of the possible users seems dumb. I don't have a iPhone because of iMessage. Having it on Android wouldn't get me to switch to Android for a long list of reasons. BBM tried to come out for everyone, but it was already dead. They waited and waited for years, and Blackberry phones as that point were almost dead and they finally decided to put BBM out on iOS and Android, and by that point it was to late. Look, Who uses it now? I sure don't. I don't think many do. There's zero reason to. I hate having to resort to 3rd party texting app's because iMessage is not out on Android!!! That's Apple basically forcing iPhone users to use some other 3rd party app for texting. How is that good for Apple?
    MathieuWacowichireland
  • Reply 10 of 56
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,166member
    Is this a good idea? I seem to recall that the biggest issue people had with Apple's programs on Windows was that it didn't conform to the Windows look and feel. Would that be the case with iMessage on Android?
  • Reply 11 of 56
    jbdragon said:
    sog35 said:
    I'd say go for it.


    There is no real winner in the messaging App area. Google can't seem to settle on anything. iMessage is very popular on iPhones. With all that it can do now, it's the perfect time for it to come out on Android also. I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. If Apple doesn't do it, you leave it wide open for anyone and everyone else to take a huge chunk of the market. If that becomes the so called standard, that starts getting used more and more, and iMessage less and less. Android is 80% of the marketplace NOW. So just cutting out 80% of the possible users seems dumb. I don't have a iPhone because of iMessage. Having it on Android wouldn't get me to switch to Android for a long list of reasons. BBM tried to come out for everyone, but it was already dead. They waited and waited for years, and Blackberry phones as that point were almost dead and they finally decided to put BBM out on iOS and Android, and by that point it was to late. Look, Who uses it now? I sure don't. I don't think many do. There's zero reason to. I hate having to resort to 3rd party texting app's because iMessage is not out on Android!!! That's Apple basically forcing iPhone users to use some other 3rd party app for texting. How is that good for Apple?
    Put iMessage on Android and I guarantee you will see a drop in iPhone sales. I'm sure Google would love nothing more than having iMessage available for their Pixel phone. What is going to make up for lost iPhone revenue? Apple's 30% cut of iMessage sticker packs? Does Apple have high margin non-hardware revenue streams waiting in the wings?
    igorskymwhitemacseeker
  • Reply 12 of 56
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 414member
    igorsky said:
    I still don't see a single benefit for Apple to release an Android version of iMessage. I say this as a user and as a shareholder.
    I think Whatsapp sees a lot of benefit to Apple keeping iMessage an iOS-only application. If it weren't, nobody would bother with that invasive turd.
    But how does this hurt Apple or iMessage? It doesn't. I'd say, if anything, it hurts Apple to give up that exclusivity. I don't love WhatsApp but it's not a big deal to use on occasion. Not to mention that WA has 1 billion daily users...who's to say that Android users will be so quick to use iMessage?

    iMessage is a big Apple asset. It's really the only messenger, to date, that's been able to seamlessly mix internal messaging with SMS. If I'm Apple why would I want to take away such a differentiator?
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 13 of 56
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,166member
    sog35 said:
    No one is going to stop buying an iPhone because an Android phone has iMessage. That is flat out silly.
    How sure are you?

    mwhite
  • Reply 14 of 56
    If the other end is Android, your communication is always under risk, no matter the messaging application used is, whether this is WhatsApp, Messenger, iMessage or another chat app. If you want a true secure communication always communicate iOS-to-iOS.

    Since the encryption keys may be stolen on the Android device and that would put the whole iMessage's reputation at stake, Apple will never release an Android iMessage. If it does, all hackers will concentrate to break it on the Android side, succeeding in a week with the insider trading of the very Android insiders and the blame will be still on Apple. A manager must have suicidal tendencies to authorize such a destructive project.
    edited October 2016 mwhite
  • Reply 15 of 56
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,267member
    Apple makes money from Apple Music, so it makes sense to bring that to Android.

    Apple _now_ could make money from iMessages with they new Store integration, so we very likely will see that on Android, too. Prior to the Store features, there was very little incentive for Apple to support iMessages on Android. Apple is increasingly becoming a "services" company.
    edited October 2016 ronn
  • Reply 16 of 56
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 414member
    jbdragon said:
    sog35 said:
    I'd say go for it.


    There is no real winner in the messaging App area. Google can't seem to settle on anything. iMessage is very popular on iPhones. With all that it can do now, it's the perfect time for it to come out on Android also. I think the benefits outweigh the negatives. If Apple doesn't do it, you leave it wide open for anyone and everyone else to take a huge chunk of the market. If that becomes the so called standard, that starts getting used more and more, and iMessage less and less. Android is 80% of the marketplace NOW. So just cutting out 80% of the possible users seems dumb. I don't have a iPhone because of iMessage. Having it on Android wouldn't get me to switch to Android for a long list of reasons. BBM tried to come out for everyone, but it was already dead. They waited and waited for years, and Blackberry phones as that point were almost dead and they finally decided to put BBM out on iOS and Android, and by that point it was to late. Look, Who uses it now? I sure don't. I don't think many do. There's zero reason to. I hate having to resort to 3rd party texting app's because iMessage is not out on Android!!! That's Apple basically forcing iPhone users to use some other 3rd party app for texting. How is that good for Apple?
    Put iMessage on Android and I guarantee you will see a drop in iPhone sales. I'm sure Google would love nothing more than having iMessage available for their Pixel phone. What is going to make up for lost iPhone revenue? Apple's 30% cut of iMessage sticker packs? Does Apple have high margin non-hardware revenue streams waiting in the wings?
    Totally agree with this...no doubt Apple execs are thinking the same.
    mwhitemacseeker
  • Reply 17 of 56
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,902member
    igorsky said:
    I still don't see a single benefit for Apple to release an Android version of iMessage. I say this as a user and as a shareholder.
    I think Whatsapp sees a lot of benefit to Apple keeping iMessage an iOS-only application. If it weren't, nobody would bother with that invasive turd. But if you have friends or family abroad that use Android, it's pretty much the only way you can communicate without either party spending a fortune.
    I agree. It doesn't matter how much I strongly suggest to people not to use anything from Google and any Android-based smartphone, a bunch of them only care about the bottom line and Android phones are cheaper (in both ways). That said, iMessage doesn't use SMS so it doesn't cost against anyone's text messaging costs. It's also secure and I hope it would be on Android. If I could get Android-user friends to use iMessage it would benefit me as well as them. The world will never be Apple-only so we might as well allow Android users to see what they're missing with iMessage. (For all you Apple haters, don't even bother to reply to my comment, I know how you feel.)
    ronnirelandcornchip
  • Reply 18 of 56
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,512member
    Could be the rumor is slightly incorrect and it's just a phone fire alarm message?
  • Reply 19 of 56
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,522member
    Apple makes money from Apple Music, so it makes sense to bring that to Android.

    Apple _now_ could make money from iMessages with they new Store integration, so we very likely will see that on Android, too. Prior to the Store features, there was very little incentive for Apple to support iMessages on Android. Apple is increasingly becoming a "services" company.
    I think that's now the biggest incentive, though it would raise questions about how much of he iMessage Store any Android release would have access to. Stickers would be simple enough, but some of the widgets are doing pretty complicated mini-app type things, utilising iOS APIs that may not map to Android easily or at all.

    I'm not sure Apple can justify it on sticker revenue alone.
    palomine
  • Reply 20 of 56
    Soli said:
    Is this a good idea? I seem to recall that the biggest issue people had with Apple's programs on Windows was that it didn't conform to the Windows look and feel. Would that be the case with iMessage on Android?
    Hard to say what an Android look and feel is. So many manufacturers and carriers skin the OS their own ways.
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