How to finally get iMessages on Android

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AirMessage
AirMessage bridges the gap between iMessage and Android.
Photo: AirMessage

Android lovers can finally bust out of the green bubble life without owning an iPhone.

Thanks to a new app that brings iMessage to Android, you can now enjoy one of Apple’s best features even if you don’t have an iOS device. It’s not a perfect solution and you’ll need a Mac but it’s better than any of the other workarounds we’ve seen.

Best of all, it’s totally free!

Apple will probably never come out with an official iMessage app on Android so AirMessage is here to do the work for you. The app essentially turns your Mac into a server that securely relays your iMessages to your Android. You have to leave your Mac on 24/7 for it to work.

What you’ll need:

Getting AirMessage up and running

Installing AirMessage server on Mac is a pretty straight-forward process. Download the app from the link above. You’ll have to allow AirMessage to read your messages. Navigate to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Full Disk Access and add AirMessage.

Next, you’ll need to configure port forwarding. For a full walkthrough on all of that, check out AirMessage’s installation guide. Once your Mac is setup and you’ve found a good place to keep it on at your house, you’re ready to install the Android app.

Download AirMessage for Android. Open the app and enter your server’s address and password. You will then be asked to sync your messages. AirMessage copies all of your messages from your computer to your phone. If you’re worried about privacy, AirMessage’s developer says the app “leverages zero third-party services for sending your messages. Never do your messages leave the secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and your phone, except to be sent to iMessage.”