Apple’s native messaging service iMessage will never be available for third-party platforms. But, once upon a time, Apple had plans for it.
According to Scott Forstall, former iOS Chief, Apple tried to convince carriers to include the best features of iMessage to make a standardized messaging service that would be available for everyone. However, the “explorations didn’t pan out” and the plans were not successful.
iMessage brings many features for iPhone users that are not available in the native texting service available on other platforms like Android. These features also help Apple in retaining users as once you and your friends start using iMessage, it is difficult to switch to any other traditional messaging service.
An article published by The Wall Street Journal, reporter Joanna Stern has described the part iMessage plays in retaining users in the Apple ecosystem. The article highlights the issues users face when they try to switch to Android.
“The biggest barrier comes in the shape of a big green bubble,” she said while referring to the green bubbles that appear when you send traditional messages whereas while sending iMessage, blue bubbles appear.
“If you don’t pay attention to the details, you could lose precious communication with your loved ones,” she added.
As per Scott Forstall, Apple “approached the carriers to pursue adding features to the existing texting systems and removing the additional customer costs.” They wanted to bring the best of iMessage to every platform but carriers refused to cooperate.
“For various reasons, from the difficulty of extending the existing standards, to challenges with interoperability between texting systems and carriers, to the desire of carriers to protect a significant revenue stream, these explorations didn’t pan out.”
Apple could still develop an iMessage Android application but that would mean paving the way for iPhone users to switch to Android phones which Apple does not want. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that iMessage will remain exclusive to the iOS platform and would never be available for other platforms.