Due to Apple’s delay in launching an iMessage client on Android, this well-designed and privacy-conscious instant messaging service has become an ecological barrier. The effect that the tool introduced today can achieve is frankly not as stable and complete as the native iMessage. In principle, a macOS device is required to connect to the Internet to transfer iMessage messages at all times. iMessage” effect, you can even open a web page to use iMessage.
The tool we use here is AirMessage, a free IM tool developed and maintained by an 18-year-old Canadian developer. It was officially open-sourced last month and launched its own cloud service AirMessage Cloud. Embracing the open-source community, promises never to collect messages sent and received by users, promises not to sell user information, transmission encryption, these characteristics of AirMessage make me feel that this is also a service that focuses on privacy and security.
The following describes the configuration method, download AirMessage Server Beta for macOS and AirMessage Beta for Android and install them separately, and give all the necessary permissions requested. Choose to log in with Google on the Server side (of course you can also manually set it in the traditional way).
Choose to sign in with Google
Shows running in the menu bar, indicating that the server has been deployed
After logging in, it means that all settings have been completed, so just keep it running afterwards.
Then log in with the same account to connect to AirMessage on the mobile or web. After logging in, all iMessage information on macOS will be synchronized. If you check Enable Message in iCloud, this means that all SMS messages stored on iPhone will also be synchronized to Android.
In the actual experience, I greatly appreciate the rapid adaptation of its Android client to the new system features: Android 10’s Direct Share, Android 11’s just-launched Bubble, and smooth keyboard transition animations have all been adapted, even better than Google Message is still a step earlier; at the same time, AirMessage can also be set as the default SMS application for Android, just like the “message” application on iOS, which is completely integrated with the system.
Adaptation to the new system features shown on the official website
I can send and receive iMessage like an advanced Android IM application. The delay is within an acceptable range, and the read receipts of iMessage are also displayed normally. The occasional disconnection and the inability to send pictures that occurred during my repeated testing of dragging the manuscript were also fixed after several editions were updated.
No need for cumbersome settings is another advantage of AirMessage: this kind of method of building a local server on macOS to transfer information has another threshold, which is the complicated network configuration process, such as “port forwarding” and “dynamic DNS”, which are not needed now. With the launch of AirMessage Cloud, we can quickly configure and pair the server on macOS with the client on the mobile phone through a feature called AirMessage Connect, just like ordinary IM software.
Summarize the advantages and disadvantages of using AirMessage to send and receive iMessage above:
- Need to have a macOS device that is always online for transfer;
- Open source and free, privacy commitment;
- Easy to configure and available at any time;
- Excellent Android client experience and web-side support.
It is a pity that the special effects and plug-ins of iMessage cannot be used, and voices cannot be sent, which reduces the fun of chatting. If you have similar needs and want to send messages to your iMessage friends on Android, you might as well try AirMessage.