Apple is changing. The first Apple-made app to ever come to Android’s Google Play App Store was simply an app that makes it easier for users to switch from Android to iOS. That was an app where it was easy to understand why Apple went out their way to make. Shortly after, Apple started to produce apps that raised a flag as to their new direction when it comes to their iOS only apps. With Apple Music and the Beats Pill app finally finding a place on the Google Play Store, there’s now rumors stirring up that Apple is getting ready to launch iMessage on the Android platform.
Here’s why the rumor makes sense.
While cross-platform messaging services like WhatsApp has been the king of the messaging platforms, Google took the stage at their developers conference to talk about their latest attempt at a unifying chat app for Android and iOS users called Allo.
Allo has a bunch of cool features that set it apart from Facebook Messenger, Whats App and iMessage. Google is hoping to entice users by allowing the platform to be available for both Android and iOS. I don’t think it will cause users to stop using iMessage altogether, but it would allow Google to capture a percentage of users that Apple cannot simply because they don’t have a cross-platform app that allows for the type of communication that Allo provides.
Additionally, reports have indicated that Apple is looking to introduce a payment system of sorts in the iMessage App. Apple would benefit if they were to extend the iMessage functionality to Android if these reports are true.
There’s a negative side to Apple bringing iMessage to Android.
If Apple were to bring iMessage to Android, it may cause a number of users to no longer have to opt in to the iOS platform. There’s no way for me to divulge how many people are tied to iOS simply because of iMessage, but it’s something to be considered especially when taking into consideration children who only use their iOS devices on Wifi or people who generally don’t have a phone plan, commonly outside of the US.
For example, if a family buys their child an iPad he can now communicate with his parents while on Wifi using iMessage. With iMessage being on Android, the parents may no longer feel the need to keep the iOS ecosystem for their children since it’s often the more expensive option and therefore result to getting an Android device instead. Like I said earlier, I can’t imagine this would be the case for a large amount of people but it is something that should still be considered.
For the most part, as an Android user, I welcome the cross over. If this decision was made by Apple because Google’s Allo forced their hand, we are already seeing what good competition can bring. iMessage on Android would force all the companies like Facebook, Google and Apple who are at the forefront of mobile messaging to make their services better at a faster rate.
The rumor makes way courtesy of MacDailyNews who claim “a source familiar with the company’s thinking,”. The source also noted it may not actually be a highlight at Apple’s WWDC event but expects iMessage to launch on Android at some point this year.