Apple Reportedly, Maybe, Possibly Thinking About Bringing iMessage To Android Devices

If there’s one feeling that many iOS users share, it’s the anticipatory rush you get when you see those three blinking dots in the iMessage app that means someone is typing (unless they just stop and destroy you entirely). Android users may someday share that distinct emotion, according to renewed buzz.

The rumor going ’round the Silicon Valley water cooler (really, it’s more of an autonomous hydrating system) this week is that Apple may bring iMessage, its proprietary system that uses a data signal to send texts to other users instead of the traditional SMS message, to Android devices.

“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,” Apple-centric writer John Gruber wrote (Material Design is Google’s official design language for its apps).

Does this very definitely mean that Apple is planning to bring the idea to fruition? Not necessarily, as MacRumors points out: the company likely puts together mockups for many different products and services, and not all of them become a reality.

The mere existence of such mockups however, “strongly suggests that there’s no ‘of course not’ to it,” Gruber notes.

Then again, it wouldn’t make much sense for Apple to make one of its exclusive products — something that might draw consumers to buy iOS devices in the first place — un-exclusive. A senior Apple executive said as much in a discussion with The Verge‘s Walt Mossberg in June, when rumors about iMessage on Android had started to swirl.

“When I asked a senior Apple executive why iMessage wasn’t being expanded to other platforms, he gave two answers,” Mossberg said. “First, he said, Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on. And, second, having a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices would help sales of those devices — the company’s classic (and successful) rationale for years.”

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