Apple to announce iMessage messaging App for Android smartphones at WWDC to take on Facebook’s WhatsApp
Apple plans to announce iMessage for Android smartphones and tablets at a Monday, June 13 WWDC 2016 keynote event, a move that could significantly expand the service’s footprint, reports MacDailyNews citing “source familiar with the company’s thinking.” Until now, iMessage is only available for iOS and OS X users, with Apple never really showing any signs of bringing the messaging service to Android.
If the rumor turns out to be true, it would not only make it easier for users to shift between the two competing platforms but it would also be the first time that iMessage service would be opened up beyond Apple-branded hardware.
The report claims that Apple’s plans are continuously changing, so it is possible that the company might not make the announcement of iMessage coming to Android smartphones at WWDC. However, the service would “definitely” be launched on Android this year, claims the publication sources.
Apple is increasingly focused on building services that are available across the platforms and not just exclusive to iOS and OS X users, the source says. The company released Apple Music for Android smartphones and tablets last November. Later, Apple Music landed on the Google Play store as Apple’s first in-house developed Android app offering.
The announcement would come at a time when Apple is witnessing a slowdown in iPhone sales, while Android smartphone shipments and adoption continues to grow. By bringing iMessage to Android, Apple will open up the messaging service to millions of additional users and help lock in users to its services.
We would recommend you to take this rumor with a pinch of salt. It is likely that Apple’s decision has been influenced by the launch of two new messaging services — Allo and Duo — from Google that will be available for both iOS and Android devices when it launches later this year. Google already offers Hangouts for both Android and iOS devices.