How To Use iMessage On Android
One of the biggest selling points of the iPhone is iMessage. It’s essentially the ability to send text messages to other people with an iPhone, but over a wireless connection. It’s one of the few things that the tech crowd says is keeping iPhone users from making the jump to Android. Android just doesn’t have a messaging equivalent. Or do they?
Google has recently tried to start bringing its own version of iMessage to Android, but called Android Messages. It’s not quite the same as iMessage, but does get you pretty close. Follow along below, and we’ll show you how to set it up and use it.
How to setup Android Messages
Android Messages is quite easy to setup. First, not all phones have it by default. So, if your phone supports it, you’ll need to grab it from the Google Play Store for free. If you already have it by default, it might already be setup, or you’ll need to open your App List, and open the app to get started.
Once downloaded to your phone, open the app, and when the prompt appears, Confirm that you want to set it as your default messaging app.
If you miss the prompt, you can open the Settings app, tap Apps & notifications, and then tap the app that you no longer want to be a default. That would be your stock messaging app, in this case. Then tap Advanced > Open by default > Clear defaults. Then, open up Android Messages again, the prompt should appear, and then you can Confirm it as the default messaging app.
That’s all there is to it — you’re ready to start using Android Messages!
With Android Messages now setup, you can text over SMS and MMS as normal, and you can use new RCS features. These are carrier supported network features that allow you to send and receive messages over Wi-Fi (your phone must have Wi-Fi calling supported) or your data network, see when friends and family are typing or when they have read your message (similar to iMessage), and so much more. You can even share audio messages to your contacts!
Setting up Android Messages on Desktop
You might also want to set up Android Messages so that you can get and respond to text messages on your desktop or laptop. That’s just as easy to setup!
First, head over to your computer or laptop, and type in messages.android.com in the address bar of your browser of choice. Log into your Google account. Or, if you already are, you’ll immediately see instructions on how to set it up.
Now, grab your phone, and open the Messages app. You’ll want to press the “More” or “Menu” button at the top-right corner. Then, press Messages for the web. Then, click on the QR Code Scanner button.
Next, on your computer, press the “Remember this Device” button. Finally, take your phone, and with the scanner that appears, line it up with the QR code that you see on the messages.android.com page. The setup should happen automatically, and when it’s ready, your phone will vibrate. One that happens, you should be ready to roll with Android messages on your computer from here on out!
Android Messages on your computer should look like something above!
As you can see, Android Messages isn’t an exact one to one copy of iMessage, but it does get you pretty close. For one, you can’t truly send text messages over WiFi. This feature only works if you have a phone that is Wi-Fi calling capable, and have that service enabled on your device. And at that point, that’s more of a phone feature, and not a feature of Android Messages.
Still, Android Messages is a step in the right direction. It’s a replacement for your stock SMS app, and it allows you to get your texts on the computer. That said, it might not be long before we truly see messaging abilities over WiFi.