If it wasn't for iMessage, I would have ditched my iPhone for Android years ago, but because the rest of my family (and most of my friends) use iOS devices, I'm locked into Apple's world. Otherwise, I would be missing out on iMessage-only group chats (I know it's pathetic, but it's true).
I've seen unofficial apps pop up in the past claiming to offer iMessage for Android, but they mostly turn out to be fake (or even dangerous). Now, however, it looks like one company has actually figured out how to bring Apple's messaging service to Android. There's just one catch: You need a Mac computer to make it work.
How WeMessage Works
WeMessage doesn't rely on any exploits in Apple's code to get iMessage running on Android. Instead, it sets up a server on your Mac to send and receive messages, and then quickly forwards those to the app on your phone.
This app might not have all the latest bells and whistles from Apple, but it covers all the important stuff. It can handle one-on-one conversations and group chats, send attachments, create those special iMessage effects, and even supports Read Receipts (if you're into that). WeMessage is also encrypted, so your private conversations will stay private.
One important note: weMessage doesn't have access to your old iMessages, so those won't show up in the app. But moving forward, all your new conversations will be there.
Here's what it looks like in action:
How to Install WeMessage
Before you can install weMessage on your phone, you'll need to set up the company's weServer software on your Mac. That requires installing a Java SE Development Kit and then tweaking your System Preference to give the server Terminal rights. (If you need step-by-step directions, Gadget Hacks has a very detailed guide).
With that done, download weServer and open the ZIP file. Then find the "run.command" file and double click on it to launch weServer. Once it opens, the program will ask for your iMessage email. Make sure to use the same email connected to your official iMessage account, but pick a new password for security.
With that out of the way, you can install weMessage on your Android device. Once it launches, you'll need to enter your Mac's IP address, along with the email and password you just used on your computer. Your contacts should all show up in the app automatically so you can start texting right away.
How Long Will It Last?
I can't help but wonder how long weMessage can survive. Apple definitely doesn't want Android phones to have iMessage support, and it could probably kill the app with a quick software update.
On the other hand, weMessage has already been around for over a month, so Apple's already had plenty of time to deal with it. Roman Scott, who developed weMessage, also says he'll keep it up and running for as long as possible. So even if Apple does try to kill the app, he may find a way to keep it running.