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Guide: Android Messages vs iMessage: Everything you need to know
Google has rolled out a highly anticipated update to Android Messages to bring it on a par with Apple iMessage. In fact, now also picks Messages up with other popular alternatives to Android phones
Today we compare Android messages with iOS iMessage. It may seem like iMessage is struggling with features such as support for location and file sharing. Messages are infectious, however up fast.
Interestingly, Apple limits iMessage to its ecosystem, while Google strives to cover most platforms with web support.
Let’s take a look at how both compete against each other. It may be like comparing apples to oranges, but I’ll do my best.
Apple is known to take security just as seriously as Google. That is why iMessage is no different and comes with end-to-end encryption that is enabled by default on all iOS devices. It means no one can read your messages unless they have physical access to your device.
Surprisingly, Android Messages is not end-to-end encrypted, making it vulnerable. Add to the fact that there are hordes of apps in the Play Store that access messages, your phone bad app permission is removed from compromised.
Note: Encryption on iMessage only works if you exchange messages between the platform.
When you send a message from iMessage to Android Messages, the encryption will not work because your messages are then stored on Google servers.back to menu ↑
2. Individual contact settings
We all have that one friend / family member / sibling who likes to whine about messages consistently. The sad thing is that blocking isn’t always an alternative, and you want to phone often to see their lyrics.
While both iMessage and Messages provide ways to go about this, Android has more options.
On the iPhone, open the person’s chat window and tap the ‘i’ icon.
You will see an option to hide warnings. Enabling this will add a crescent moon icon in front of the message.
Android offers a similar feature, but with more controls. Open the person’s message window, tap menu, and select People & options.
Within Importance you can choose to have both sound and visual pop-upup, sound only, no sound or no sound and visual pop-up
Under the Advanced section, you can also control the notification light and whether the message appears on the lock screen or not. Handy if you phone is not silent, but you want to silence someone’s message notification.back to menu ↑
3. Video calls
Both Apple and Google have video calling apps, FaceTime and Duo respectively. Google also offers Hangouts, but it is being marketed to business users lately. While Duo will become a FaceTime rival, it isn’t integrated into Messages for some reason.
IMessage allows you to make video calls with FaceTime from the message window itself. This is useful and reduces the number of steps you have to take to make a video call only.
Note: Android Messages allows you to make audio calls from within the app, just like iMessage.back to menu ↑
4. Integration of third-party apps
This is where iMessage really takes charge and leaves Messages. Sorry Android enthusiasts, but it is true. When you open a chat window, you will see a number of icons at the bottom of the screen.
The icons may vary depending on the apps you have installed on your iPhone. As you start scrolling horizontally through the icons, you will see a More option that allows you to configure app shortcuts.
You can attach files from Dropbox, share favorite music from Apple Music, share photos directly from Google Photos, and so on.
This is amazing because it changes the way you can use iMessage. It will be a productivity tool and little more than a way to exchange messages and emojis.back to menu ↑
5. Common ground
Let’s take a look at the similar features present in iMessage and Messages. Both allow users to send emojis, share images from the Gallery / Photos app and share a selfie.
In the case of messages, all options are in one convenient popupup screen. Just tap the ‘+’ icon to reveal it, and that’s how you can send emojis, open the Gallery app, take a selfie, share your location and record audio notes.
IMessage lets you do all of that, albeit with a slightly different layout. The options are a bit spread out and will make you tap a few times. Sending photos or taking selfies is easy with the camera icon.
To send emojis, you need to tap the globe icon on your standard iOS keyboard. I don’t think this is really important as you can also use third party keyboards and they all support emojis.
To record an audio note, tap the icon next to the typing area. To share your current location, tap the ‘i’ icon at the top of the screen and select Share My current location.
Aside from this, Messages for the web allows you to read and send messages with any browser. To set it up up, scan a QR code and you’re in.
Note: Messages must be connected to your Apple ID to send and receive the iMessages.
iMessage works with Messages for Mac, a special app that also supports other text messaging services.back to menu ↑
Android Messages vs iMessage
Google has done a good job with Messages, aligning it with iMessage. But there are still some glaring problems. First, there is the lack of end-to-end encryption.
Second, there is no integration of other Google apps by default. Given the number of apps Google has developed over the years, Messages could be a productivity hub.
iMessage supports a handful of third-party apps and the number keeps growing gradually. I would definitely go for iMessage with all the security and features integrated. But since most of my friends have Android phones, I also use Android Messages.
The next up: Want to impress your friends with messaging skills using new ones tricksCheck out the link below for more information on 9 tips for the iPhone keyboard.back to menu ↑
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