One reason that people (including myself) love the iPhone is the fact that you can also iMessage on your MacBook, your iPad or your iMac. Until recently, there has been no Android rival. Yes, plenty of messaging apps offer almost the same experience, but iMessage is built right into the iOS and macOS experience. But it doesn’t just stop there, it also supports SMS texting as well as instant messaging over wifi or a cellular network. This is one reason why some people don’t switch to an Android device, but people are also wanting this feature to be available for Android.
Google has tried to find a legitimate alternative to iMessage, but they’ve failed. Not for lack of trying or having a decent concept. But they’ve tried too many different products, and haven’t been able to develop a compelling alternative. But, they might be working on turning Android Messages into an iMessage rival. This is great news for all the Android users out there.
Android Messages, not to be confused with Hangouts or Allo, is Google’s texting app, and a new version of the app will soon be available on your Android device. In fact, Android Police inspected the code and discovered that Android Messages might soon have a computer component as well. Like WhatsApp and other instant messaging apps that have PC and Mac clients, Android Messages will work on computers going forward. People will have to install a browser extension, or at least it appears that browsers are involved, and then they’ll have to scan a QR code to pair a smartphone and PC. Support for all browsers is listed, which means you’ll be able to use Android Messages on any computer. If that sounds familiar, it’s because other instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Allo, and Telegram also work on computers.
So is this really an alternative then? The Mac version works a bit differently, as it offers that continuous experience between devices. In addition, you can send text messages right from your MacBook. Which is something that I just did, in fact. The catch with that is your iPhone needs to be nearby. Honestly, though, that’s not really that big of a deal, is it? You can iMessage at any time, but in order to send an SMS, your iPhone needs to be in close proximity. While that feature is not currently available in Android Messages, it looks like they will soon support texting over wifi as well. Which would definitely push this app in the direction that it needs to go.
Android Messages is an RCS text app, short for Rich Communication Services, meaning that it supports document transfer such as photos, messaging typing status (you can see if the other persons are typing), as well as read receipts. Overall, it looks like Android Messages is moving in the right direction, however, it’s not necessarily in the exact place it needs to be in order to compete with iMessage. It’s not far off, so hopefully, I’ll be able to bring you an update on this in a few months.