Should iMessage remain exclusive to Apple products?
I’m using an iPhone 6S. A couple of days with my old buddy iOS once again reminded me of my desire to one day see Apple offer iMessage on other platforms.
Tinkering with iMessage for the first time in about a year, I found myself really enjoying the experience. Being able to use features like “invisible ink”, fun backgrounds, and real-time drawing for the first time made texting fun. Yet, I still faced a small problem: Many of my old iMessage contacts have since moved to Android. The amount of people in my iMessage circle has noticeably shrunk in the 6 years that I’ve used iOS.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing – quite the opposite, in my opinion. When I switched from Android to iOS for the first time back in 2011 (shortly after the iPhone 4S was released) my experience between the two platforms was night and day. Yes, Android offered wonderful freedoms when it came to customizing your phone, especially in comparison to the straightforward iPhone, but it was a buggy, laggy sort of freedom that I sometimes think I only enjoyed because it was the only option I had at the time. I purchased the iPhone in 2011 because that was the first year Sprint – or any carrier aside from AT&T, for that matter – was allowed to sell them, and that was the first time I remember truly being blown away by a phone’s speed and performance.
But that was six years ago, and a lot has changed since then. I no longer consider Android inferior to iOS, and in many ways I even consider it stronger. The iPhone is still able to hold its own, but I no longer consider it the only powerful smartphone worth considering anymore. It is just one in a sea of many.
The topic of iMessage is interesting, because I often hear people tout iMessage as the sole reason for sticking with the iPhone. Yet, many of the same people who have said this to me over the past couple of years have since switched to Android anyway. iMessage is a powerful tool, but as more people switch to the not-so-inferior Android platform, its power seems to dwindle. It is hard to feel as attached to iMessage when it can only be used with a select few.
Normally when I speak of iMessage coming to Android, I do so as an Android user. I’ve grown so frustrated with Google’s convoluted array of messaging apps that I hardly pay them any attention anymore. Even waiting for iMessage on Android, which is as unlikely to happen as anything, seems more feasible than Google making sense anytime soon. But today, as an iPhone user once again, my feelings are equally as strong to have iMessage branch out to other platforms. I would love to use these fun features with more than just the three friends that I talk to that currently use Apple products. I don’t mind asking people to download an app if I think it’s worth it; I do mind asking people to buy a completely different phone/computer/tablet so that they can use said app with me.
I understand that it is unlikely to happen, but a small part of me still hopes to see iMessage to go cross-platform sooner rather than later, preferably before we hit BlackBerry Messenger status. Then again, perhaps that’s being a little too pessimistic about the future of iMessage.
Readers, what do you think? Should iMessage remain exclusive to Apple products, or do you hope that someday it will branch out to other platforms? Do you still have a solid group of iMessage contacts? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!