There’s been long running speculation that Apple may one day bring its iMessage platform to Android, unifying us all under one glorious system full of doodles and animations. Rumored plans for a 2016 debut didn’t pan out, but it seems that Apple hasn’t completely given up on the idea of cross platform chat just yet.
According to the latest rumor, mockups of iMessage for Android have been circulating around the company, suggesting a range of different potential UI styles. These apparently range from a iOS Messages style to a pure material design look and feel. Of course, that’s far from a confirmation that Apple actually has any plans to bring iMessage to Android any time soon, but it seems that the idea is still being mulled over at the company.
Despite the popularity of Google’s Docs, Maps, and other services in the Apple community, the company can’t crack messaging, even in the Android space. iMessage’s unique set of features and prevalence across iOS devices makes it the incontrovertible king of messaging apps in the Apple ecosystem. So much so, that the lack of iMessage is often cited as one of the prime reasons that iPhone customers can’t bring themselves to make the switch to Android.
Previously, an unnamed Apple executive has stated that the app remains a direct incentive for users to keep buying the company’s products. That’s not something that Apple is going to give up without a very good reason. Perhaps competition from Google’s new Allo and Duo platforms could nudge Apple into a decision, but that seems rather unlikely given their current lack of popularity compared with other services. Instead, iMessage may appear if and when Apple decides that it needs to bring more consumers into its software ecosystem, which is already expanding onto Android with the introduction of Apple Music and the Beats Pill+ companion app.
For now, Android users will just have to settle for one of the many cross platform messaging apps out there. There’s also the option to use PieMessage to make use of some iMessage features on Android devices.