iMessage may be about to cross the Android divide

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Your Android friends may soon get blue chat bubbles too.
Your Android friends may soon get blue chat bubbles too.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s iMessage platform may soon be available on products that aren’t designed in Cupertino.

iMessage is set to get its first-ever app for Android, according to a new report citing a “source familiar with the company’s thinking.” If so, it sounds like it could spell trouble for Facebook Messenger and Google’s new messaging app, Allo.

“Apple will announce that iMessage encrypted text messaging is coming to Android users at WWDC next Monday at WWDC 2016,” reports MacDailyNews. “Apple is increasingly focused on services which means opening up certain avenues beyond its own iOS and OS X platforms.”

If true, this won’t be the first time Apple has embraced Android users. Last fall, the company debuted an Apple Music app for Android.

The addition of end-to-end encryption could become a huge draw to Android users. Both Facebook Messenger and Google Allo have added the security protection to their platforms, but only as an opt-in feature because their AI bots aren’t very useful if they can’t read users’ messages.

Bringing iMessages to Android could also be a big win for Apple Pay. Apple is supposedly planning to use the iMessage platform to power peer-to-peer payments on Apple Pay.

More details coming during WWDC 2016 keynote

All the details for iMessage on Android should be revealed next Monday during Apple’s WWDC 2016 keynote, along with big news about iOS 10, macOS, a Siri SDK and much more. As usual, Cult of Mac will liveblog all the action, so come back and get ready for a ton of glorious new software. The keynote is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Pacific on June 13.