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iMessage Can Now Run on Android - Well, Almost

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Remember when Blackberry smart phones were common and everyone was buying one just to be on the BBM platform? That sort of viral; poluarity has never been seen again in the smart phone messaging department. However iMessage has come very close to it, with brilliant encryption and the ability to send audio, video, images notes and messages as well to any Apple user using their email and/or number. Using some manipulation, it was possible to use iMessage on Android devices previously, by connecting them to a physical Macbook where a virtual iMessage can be configured. However, developers seem to have reached a prototype open source project titled PieMessage which allows cross-platform iMessage support.

With the source code made public, there is a large possibility of it being improved more professionally into a standalone app is not far away.

The GitHub project is an OS X client and an Android client as well as “messages.applescript” and Java Web Server. The developed script is what sends an iMessage message. The project uses a custom API, it’s possible other developers could build clients for the web, Windows or other platforms in addition to Android, raising possibilities of shifting iMessage cross platform.

Unlike previous software solutions that still require a server to route iMessages, PieMessage uses one’s very own Mac’s OS X to function, this reducing possibilities of data theft and improving device security. Basically what the Android client will do is send text to a macbook using Mac’s “Messages” app to send off the notification. When the Mac detects an incoming message, it will pass it back to the Android. it will unfortunately take some more time till a publicly functional app is created.

The developer of PieMessage, Eric Chee, explains how he handles encryption between the Android device and the Apple device. In an answer to a question on his Facebook page, Eric said, "The Android app does not store any iCloud credentials. It simply passes the text to the OSX device. The OSX device just tells the OSX ‘Messages’ app to send it assuming you are signed into that iCloud account on the OSX. As far as the socket communication from the Android app to the OSX client – Since it’s an open source project, I left the encryption part up to the developers who are much more fluent in terms of security. Right now it just sends a plain text JSON to back n forth throught the socket. Completely unacceptable I know. But yeah as you can tell, this project got really big which is why I’m hoping to get help from the open source community."

Will you be using iMessage once it’s released or would it also die away like BBM did because of the need for just one universal messaging app like Whatsapp? Let us know in the comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India 

Edition: December 2016

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