Let’s face it; iMessage isn’t coming to your Android device any time in the near or distant future because it’s intended to work exclusively on Apple gadgets.
With the right software, some technical know-how and a bit of patience though, there’s a way to get the iMessage on Android and enjoy the cool features that iOS device users brag about.
Why Can’t I Use iMessage On Android
As we’ve already stated, iMessage is built exclusively for iOS devices, which is why you can’t use it normally on an Android device.
Further, iMessage secures messages from the sending device, via Apple’s servers to the receiving device using a special end-to-end encryption system. For this reason, the iMessage network can only be used by like devices that know how to decrypt such messages.
The other reason is purely commercial – so that more people buy Apple products.
There are two programs you can use to get iMessage on your Android device: weMessage or AirMessage. Let’s look at how you can set up each one of them so you can know which one to pick when you’re ready.
This program routes your text messages via the iMessage network using Apple’s encryption, to send to and from macOS, iOS, and your Android device.
In order to use weMessage, you’ll need your existing Apple ID or iMessage account, an Android phone (Lollipop or higher), weMessage app on your Android device, a Mac running Yosemite or higher version and Java 7 or higher.
Setup weMessage to use iMessage on Android devices
Before taking the steps below, make sure the Mac computer you’re using has Java 7 or higher installed on it to use weMessage. You can go to “Finder -> Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal” and type
java. Click Return. If you see an error, Java isn’t installed on your Mac.
1. Download weMessage, install it and run it on your computer, and then go to “System Preferences -> Security & Privacy” and click Privacy tab. Click Accessibility to enable some features therein.
2. You’ll see a lock icon at the lower left side of your screen. Click on it to unlock settings, and then click the “+” (plus) icon and go to “Applications -> Utilities” in your hard drive. Click “Terminal -> Open”.
3. Double-click the weMessage “run.command” to open the program. A Terminal window will open where you’ll type in your iMessage email address and a password.
4. Next, set up weMessage app on your Android device by downloading and installing it from Google Play Store. Open the app and tap Continue. On your Mac computer, go to “System Preferences -> Network”.
5. Click Advanced and click TCP/IP to get your Mac’s IP address. This will allow your mac and weMessage to talk to the app on your Android device.
6. Enter your Mac’s IP address into the respective field in the weMessage Android app, type your iMessage email and password that you used in the previous steps, and then tap Sign In.
7. In the Conversations screen, you can now send a text message, but test it with your iPhone if you have one or with someone who has one. If your message shows in a blue iMessage bubble, it means you’re now using iMessage with your Android device.
Note: For the setup to work, your Mac and Android device need to be on the same Wi-Fi network. If you want to use iMessage from any location, you can setup Port Forwarding to configure your Wi-Fi network to allow external connections to access the network. This way, your Android device will reconnect to weMessage on your Mac from regardless of your location.
AirMessage can also help you get iMessage on your Android device. To use this program, you’ll need a Mac with Yosemite or higher and an Android device running Marshmallow or higher.
1. The first step is to install the server that’ll bridge iMessage and the AirMessage app. Download it to your Mac and store it in the Applications folder. You should leave it running so you can always receive and send messages regardless of your location.
2. Next, launch AirMessage and click “Open Preferences” from the welcome message. Click “Edit Passwords…” Enter a new password of your own, close the window to save changes.
3. Enable AirMessage automation access by going to “System Preferences -> Security & Privacy”. Click “Privacy -> Accessibility”. This will help when you want to send messages, so if you got the prompt previously but didn’t allow it, you can take this step to do so.
4. If you’re using macOS Mojave 10.14 or higher, allow AirMessage to read your messages data by adding AirMessage. To do this, go to “System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Full Disk Access”, add AirMessage.
5. Disable sleep settings on your Mac to allow AirMessage to function all the time so it can receive and send messages. To do this, go to “System Preferences -> Energy Saver” and change the setting. Make sure your computer’s address book is empty for the server to work at its optimal level.
6. The next step is to configure the connection to ensure reliable usage of AirMessage app. Like weMessage, you can use port forwarding with AirMessage too so that you can connect from any location so find your computer’s local IP address by going to “System Preferences -> Network” and select your network. Note down your IP address for use later.
7. Configure port forwarding depending on your router, by connecting to the default gateway address. You can find it by going to “System Preferences -> Network (Wi-Fi selected) -> Advanced… -> TCP/IP”, and then click “Router”.
8. Go to Port Forward Settings (if it’s not immediately available, check under Advanced Settings), and create a new port forwarding entry with your Mac’s local IP address, and server’s port (usually 1359 by default). Type TCP and then save and apply your changes.
Note: When the IP address changes, AirMessage won’t be able to connect to the server but you can fix this by using a dynamic DNS provider like No-IP. This tool tracks changes to IP addresses so that AirMessage will always be able to connect.
Set up AirMessage to connect to your server by opening the app and entering your server’s address (dynamic DNS hostname) and the password you picked in the initial steps.
Once connected, sync your messages for a seamless transition between your computer and Android device.
The steps above may seem pretty technical for a beginner, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be well on your way to enjoy the iMessage experience on your Android device.