Apple Explains Why iMessage is Not Expanding to Platforms Like Android

Prior to WWDC, one rumour claimed Apple would announce expansion of iMessage to Android, but as we all know that didn’t happen. iMessage remains proprietary to iOS users, and from what one unnamed senior executive Apple executive told Walt Mossberg from The Verge, it appears it’s going to stay that way:

When I asked a senior Apple executive why iMessage wasn’t being expanded to other platforms, he gave two answers. 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.

Apple previously explained it is utilizing “differential privacy” in how it is building its AI efforts, which essentially means any data collected can’t be traced back to individual users. The company will be able to gain insights from large datasets of information but “mathematical noise” will make it impossible to pinpoint a single individual. So keeping iMessage solely for iOS users will ensure Apple is able to maintain privacy on AI data, which would be difficult should the messaging app expand to other platforms, like Android.

Of course, the second reason given makes sense, as iMessage is a key feature of iOS, watchOS and macOS, giving potential customers yet another reason to buy into the Apple ecosystem.

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Apple’s iOS 10 preview at WWDC dedicated a large portion of the keynote to iMessage, which will come with a variety of new features, such as live link previews, handwriting support, Digital Touch, Invisible Ink, Tapback, Stickers, Tap to replace emoji, iMessage apps and more.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Tim

    here’s the real answer: Apple wants you using their platform, not a competitors platform.

  • winnertakesteve

    its weird because i want to buy-out of the risk of getting sent large, dancing donald duck emojis. 😉

  • websnap

    The “real” answer?

    That’s exactly what they said. “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.”

  • dfsdfd

    I haven’t seen a single person who chooses an iPhone just to use iMessage. If Apple wants to expand their messaging platform, it should have been made available to other platforms as well….just like Apple Music. Bad decision bad decision…

  • 7-down

    Lol some kids are just delusional

  • Demon John

    >chooses an iPhone just to use iMessage

    Of course not. You don’t sell the iPhone on one or the other component, you sell it on the entire ecosystem.

    They don’t want to expand the messaging platform; that’s what they just said.

  • garfieldhatesmondays

    I didn’t choose the iPhone because of iMessages, but now that I use them, it’s the biggest thing keeping me from switching to Android.

  • TawaNicolas

    Same for me. I ended up gifting my girlfriend an iPhone because I hated having to use Whatsapp to talk to her. Especially that iMessage on Mac is superior too.