Apple reveals why iMessage isn’t coming to Android

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Messages iOS 10
iMessage is the only major messaging service that's exclusive to iOS.
Photo: Apple

Android fans who have been waiting for Apple to bring its popular iMessage platform to Android won’t be getting blue chat bubbles anytime soon, according to Apple executives at WWDC.

Despite pre-WWDC rumors that Apple planned to push iMessage across the Android divide, the company revealed this week that it has some pretty good reasons to keep it as an exclusive iOS feature.

Veteran Apple reporter Walt Mossberg talked to Apple brass during WWDC this week and was told there are two key advantages to not giving Android users iMessage.

“When I asked a senior Apple executive why iMessage wasn’t being expanded to other platforms, he gave two answers,” reports Mossberg. “First, he said, Apple considers its own user base of 1 billion active devices to provide a large enough data set for any possible AI learning the company is working on. And, second, having a superior messaging platform that only worked on Apple devices would help sales of those devices — the company’s classic (and successful) rationale for years.”

Bringing iMessage to Android wouldn’t be totally out of the ordinary for Apple. The company launched an Apple Music app for Android last year and it was two other apps on the Google Play Store, though one is dedicated to moving Android users to iOS.

During its WWDC keynote earlier this week, Apple showed off a slew of new features for Messages like bigger emoji, animated hand-written notes, invisible ink, stickers, iMessage apps and much more as part of iOS 10.

Even though Apple isn’t bringing Messages to Android, the company opened other products like Siri to third-party developers to expand the platform. To get a full look at all the changes coming to iOS 10 this fall, check out our hands-on video below: