Apple’s iMessage is at the core of its thriving premium status in the tech industry. The blue bubble (although you can change its color) holds a lot of weight as far as messaging services go—its exclusivity to Apple devices enforces the dominance further. However, this leaves out a lot of non-Apple users who would love to enjoy the cool features like media sharing and Apple Pay.
So, does this mean Android users can’t use iMessage? Well, you can’t do it officially. Not when Apple is adamant about protecting one of its best products, and understandably so. The only solutions available are workarounds.
Can you use iMessage without a Mac?
The most recommended way to use iMessage without an iOS or macOS device is to download an iOS/macOS emulator or simulator on your PC. These are tools that enable you to run iOS apps on your PC.
Simply search online for emulators like the ipadian and download them on your PC. Next, follow the user guidelines, install iMessage, and start texting.
The second option is to use an app like Beeper, which combines your messaging apps, including iMessage, into one inbox. However, you’ll need a jailbroken iPhone to act as a bridge between your Android phone and iMessage. They charge a subscription fee of $10 per month.
How to use iMessage with a Mac
If you have a Mac running MacOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or later versions, you can use it as a server to get iMessage on Android. However, it must be on and connected to the internet throughout. Also, you must have the following:
- An Apple ID. It will be your iMessage account.
- An Android phone with Android (Lollipop)OS 5.0 or higher.
- Java 7 or higher on your Mac.
- Third-party apps like weMessage, Airmessage, or Bluebubbles.
The next step is to configure the third-party apps on your Mac and Android devices. We’ll use weMessage to show you the set-up procedure.
Disclaimer: When using third-party apps, understand that you may be exposing yourself to vulnerabilities. Make sure that you trust an app before using it.
How to configure weMessage on Mac
- Download and install the latest version of Java.
- Download weMessage for your Mac.
- Open the weMessage folder and double tap on the run.command file.
- If you get an error message, you’ll have to alter your settings by going to the Apple logo > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. Select “Open Anyway.”
- Enable accessibility features on Mac. Go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility.
- Click the lock icon at the bottom left. You may have to put your Mac login password to confirm this action.
- Tap on the + icon then go to Application > Utilities > Terminal > Open.
- double -click run.command again.
- When the terminal window appears, enter your iMessage email and password.
How to set up weMessage on Android
- Open Google PlayStore and search for weMessage.
- Download and install the app on your phone.
- Open the app and click continue.
- If you get a permission error prompt, click Okay.
- When your “Device Settings” page opens, tap the button adjacent to “Allow Modifying System Settings.”
- Tap on the back arrow to go back.
- Select weMessage followed by “Set as Default” to make it your default SMS app.
- Tap “Okay.”
- Enter your Mac’s IP address in your weMessage app so that the two can communicate.
- Enter your iMessage email and password.
To confirm that the setup works, send a message to another iMessage account. If you see a blue bubble, then everything is okay.
NOTE: Your Android phone must connect to the same Wi-Fi as your Mac for this configuration to work. However, if you enable port forwarding, you can access your iMessage anywhere.
iMessage alternatives for Android
You can see how hectic it is to get iMessage on Android with or without Mac from the breakdown. The same is true for Windows. Fortunately, you can avoid all that trouble by using the equivalent of iMessage on Android.
Here are our top 4 options.
With over 1.5 billion users in 180 countries, Whatsapp has won the popularity contest with iMessage by far. Its features are simple, secure, and highly reliable. It promotes easy and seamless communication from free messaging with end-to-end encryption to high-quality voice and video calls with up to 8 people.
You can also create group chats, share locations, and post statuses. You’ll only need a phone number, an Android smartphone, and a data or Wi-Fi network.
Telegram messenger is a cloud-based instant messaging service with very dynamic features. It’s simple, fast, and secure. Also, you can access it from different devices (phones, tablets, and computers). The app enables you to send any type and size of media to other users.
Telegram is a great platform if you want to host online communities. Its group chats can have up to 200,000 members, and you can set up bots to help you run specific tasks.
There are photo and video editing tools, animated stickers, and emojis to help you express yourself in a fun and entertaining way.
If you want a more private alternative to iMessage, then Signal is your app. It features strong end-to-end encryption and doesn’t store any of your data. The voice and video quality recordings are very clear, even while communicating with people in different time zones.
You can create a group chat, set disappearing messages, or change to a dark theme. In short, the app offers its users great value for free.
WeChat pitches itself as more than an instant messaging and social media app. And rightfully so. You can use the app to chat, make calls, read news, play games with friends, use local services, and even make payments with WeChat Pay.
Group chats can have a maximum of 500 members, while group voice calls host 9 people. There’s a personal moments stream for posting photos and videos to share with friends, a sticker gallery to help you express yourself, tons of accounts you can follow, and several mini-programs to boost functionality and efficiency.
Out of the four apps, WeChat has the most features. The app is a lifestyle for its users.
So, does iMessage work with Android? Yes, it does. But, the process of making it work is not entirely sustainable. Give it a try and share the outcome with us in the comment section.
Also, ask any questions you might have about iMessage on Android without Mac or the iMessage alternatives.
Alex is an IT technician who shares his experiences with Apple devices occasionally. He has a collection of Apple devices (from iPhone 4) and has recently started trying out Android.
IG: @I M_Alex