If iMessage ever launches on Android, it won’t have SMS, co-lead for Allo claims


In response to yet another rumor that Apple may be planning to launch an Android version of iMessage, co-lead for Allo, Justin Uberti, said on Twitter that this scenario is very unlikely, since “iMessage is part of [the] iOS lock-in,” further claiming that if iMessage ever comes to Android, it will not have SMS support.

Uberti’s responses seem largely provoked by the backlash against Allo, Google’s latest chap app, which launched in beta-like state, lacking widely-requested features such as file sharing, Duo integration, and most importantly – SMS.

At the end of last month, rumors began circulating that Apple had been toying with the idea of launching iMessage for Android, claiming that mockups for such project have been made internally, ranging from standard iOS design ideas to complete Material overhauls of the messaging app. And while mockups mean nothing concrete, this news generated quite a stir in the mobile community and even more criticism geared toward Allo, which had just received a minor and underwhelming update adding split-screen support and quick replies to the app.


Even if iMessage launches on Android, and even if it doesn’t have SMS, it will become a popular messaging app due to its huge user base and many features, leaving Google’s latest chat app far behind. Allo, on the other hand, is severely harmed by its lack of SMS support, as it could have been the all-in-one Android messaging hub everyone wanted. It would still have been at a disadvantage, given that it isn’t a pre-installed stock app, but it would have had a greater chance at success.

Let’s open a bracket here to shortly go over what the big deal about SMS is, when seemingly all iPhone users are not actually texting each other, but rather sending messages over the internet. The biggest drawback of an instant messenger lacking SMS support is, perhaps, that it cannot rely on SMS fallback to convert messages to regular texts in situations where there is no reliable data connection, for example. This brings us to our previous point. If iMessage ever launches on Android, the lack of SMS support wouldn’t be a big deal for Apple, as it would mean the users of a rival platform won’t be getting their hands on the full functionality of one of the biggest iOS hooks, all the while releasing an app that will gain huge popularity on said rival platform as an instant messenger relying on mobile data/Wi-Fi.

Google’s current plans for Allo are unclear, given that the latest update for Google Messenger contained hints at possible support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) coming to the old platform at some point, which would make Allo even more redundant. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the boring ol’ Hangouts that has SMS support, but is apparently going to be phased out in favor of Allo. That’s what they call spreading yourself too thin.

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source: Justin Uberti (1), (2)

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73 Comments

1. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

iMessage for Android? Steve Jobs will roll over in his grave if that ever happens.

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

So, did Steve Jobs roll over in his grave when a Phablet and a Stylus and >401ppi happened?

23. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2314; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

It's possible he already rolled over before going into the grave because someone dropped the casket for "not holding it the right way". Joke reference:https://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/apple-responds-over-iphone-4-reception-issues-youre-holding-th/

7. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Come-on lad, have some respect for the deceased... Don't drag that fine gentleman in this mess... Let him rest in peace... You've no idea how much respect this man has in my heart... J'Day!

29. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I wouldn't call anyone who did everything the could to avoid supporting their child a fine gentleman.

10. Babadook

Posts: 230; Member since: May 24, 2016

He claimed people wanted small screen like 3.5-4 inches. Yeah, guy was WAYYYYYYY off on that.

14. AlikMalix unregistered

No he said: screens of 3.5" to 4" is best for one handed use, he is NOT wrong!!! And there are millions of people that STILL prefer iPhone SE size.

24. meanestgenius

Posts: 21600; Member since: May 28, 2014

Actually, he said "No one is going to buy a big phone", and he was absolutely wrong about that.

55. AlikMalix unregistered

Yes, but he also said that they're a pain to grip with one hand. And he's right - I do enjoy typing and using my 5s more than the 6s.

62. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

He probably had small hands like you, 'cause I have no issue using my OnePlus One with 1 hand. Then again, it doesn't have humongous bezels and an awful screen to body ratio, which contributes to it being comfortable in one hand.

67. AlikMalix unregistered

1. My hand size is relative 2. I agree bezels on iPhone are outdated. 3. I prefer 5s for its size completely irrelevant to my hand size. I just like the size of that device (and design too). Some people like things to be more compact - some like things otherwise. 4. You really didn't need to go at me like that, simply because of my preference - I'm not forcing it on you.

2. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Hopefully iMessage will remain available for iOS only. iMessage cannot survive on a non secure and lagging operating system like Android.

9. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

I hope so, too. I wouldn't want that garbage on my phone. Get off my lawn Apple!

40. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

It would impossible to just... not install it?

56. AlikMalix unregistered

Yeah, but how do you expect someone to sound so derogatory toward Apple services using logic?

63. DnB925Art

Posts: 1167; Member since: May 23, 2013

LOL I was just being sarcastic (couldn't you tell with my "Get off my lawn Apple" reamrk?). Mainly responding to cnour stating Android is non secure and lagging. Apparently Samsung with Knox is fairly secure and even the Pixel with 7.1 is almost lag free and fairly secure as well. Personally most of my friends and family use FB Messenger, both iOS and Android using friends.

69. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

But someone like cnour being derogatory towards Android makes a logical point?

71. AlikMalix unregistered

Nope, I cringe at most of his posts too!

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 21600; Member since: May 28, 2014

You do realize that iMessage has been hacked before, right? http://mashable.com/2016/10/19/apple-imessage-hack/#uaIRMP5vfiqs And has had vulnerabilities exposed in the past: http://www.zdnet.com/article/hackers-heres-how-apples-imessage-surveillance-flaw-works-video/ https://www.cnet.com/news/your-iphone-or-mac-could-be-hacked-with-one-imessage/ But don't let the truth get in the way of a good story. Carry on.

4. Unordinary unregistered

Hes not getting the point. If iMessage was on Android you wouldnt need SMS because iOS and Android users would both be imessaging. Allo DOESNT have SMS fallback, which sucks because not everyone has allo, or is willing to use it.

30. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So what about non smartphone users?

33. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Chances are they won't care if they don't own a smartphone already.

70. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It's not about if non smartphone users care, it's about that someone who does use iMessage wouldn't be able to send them a message without SMS.

64. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

What's the big deal about sms integration on allo? Just use any of the pre-install sms app. Most of my contacts already move away from sms to What's app, Skype and Hangout. Recently the hangout crowd are getting onboard with allo because its the brand new cool app to date. None of them spend time thinking about the have not.

5. wando77

Posts: 1167; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I genuinely can't believe that any website dedicated to mobile phones can actually like a phone maker that locks everything in. From apps to charging cables to the way you now have to use wireless headphones or lose your charging port..... it's Apple's way or the highway

34. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

It has it pros too. When you control hardware and software it shows. On the opposite side, look at googles messaging apps. They are good but can't get off the ground.

6. wando77

Posts: 1167; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Whatsapp is ree and better than imessage as it has calls and video baked in as well as a video trimmer

8. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Was going to say the very same thing, mate... What'sApp has not millions but BILLIONS of active users and is cross-platform... Even available for Windows Phone and Tizen too, I believe... Besides, did BBM saw any noticeable growth when Blackberry decided to make it a cross-platform app...? How many people you know who actively use BBM on their Androids, Windows & iPhones...? I personally haven't seen any... BBM died with Blackberry OS... (Hat on the chest) B'Day... (Blackberry Day and Bad Day...)

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 21600; Member since: May 28, 2014

Actually, BBM did see noticeable growth when it went cross platform, and has over 190 million users as of last year. It's also been seeing a great many feature-rich updates, meaning it's still alive and well. iMessage going cross platform would obviously be beneficial to Apple, as there is demand for it. Don't know why it hasn't been done yet, and I would hope that Apple wouldn't release a half-baked product to other platforms.

41. Leo_MC

Posts: 6935; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

This statement makes every iMessage user laugh.

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