Apple's Craig Federighi says iMessage for Android would have "held us back in innovation"

Apple’s Craig Federighi says iMessage for Android would have “held us back in innovation”

iMessage is a powerful messaging platform for iPhone users that has changed the messaging game, but over the years it has also served as a lockdown tactic and even developed a bias among Android users and iPhones. In an interview this week, Apple’s Craig Federighi said iMessage for Android would have been a “throwaway” effort that would have “held [Apple] back to innovation.

Speaking to Joanna Stern during The Wall Street JournalThe “Tech Live” event ofApple’s Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak touched on a number of topics, including Apple’s future move to USB-C and, for a brief moment, iMessage for Android.

Related: Greg Joswiak confirms iPhone will be forced to comply with new European USB-C regulations

During the event, Joanna Stern referred to a 2013 email that surfaced during the Epic Games lawsuit where Federighi said producing an iMessage app for Android users “would simply serve to to delete [an] obstacle for iPhone families giving their kids Android phones” to Apple’s Eddie Cue. In another email on the subject, Apple’s Phil Schiller said “iMessage equals a serious lockdown.”

The messages were seen as pretty clear confirmation that the only reason iMessage for Android doesn’t exist is because Apple wants the service to keep iPhone users on its platform.

Asked about the email, Federighi jokingly said he was “unaware of [iMessage for Android] shipping” with a smirk, and went on to explain that “the whole email was clear” that the thinking behind the email was a bit different than many thought.

If we’re going to enter a market and go down the path of building an app, we need to be there in a way that makes a difference. That we would have lots of customers that we would be able to deliver great experiences. This has a real cost. And my fear was that we might not be able to do that.

And so if we had just delivered an application that really hadn’t reached critical mass on other platforms, what it would have accomplished is it would have stopped us from innovating in any way. ways we wanted to innovate messaging for our customers, and I didn’t really accomplish much in any other way.

And so, we just felt, choose where you can make a difference. Choose where you’re going to invest and do it where you make a difference and it seemed like a throwaway that wasn’t going to serve the world honestly.

That sentiment is reflected in another email in which Federighi wondered how compelling iMessage for Android would be for users without many friends on iOS.

At the time in 2013, this current of thought seems quite valid. In 2022, iMessage is a dominant messaging platform that remains locked to a single ecosystem and has produced stigma when chatting with others while holding back messaging as a whole.

At this point, it seems quite clear that iMessage will never come to Android. Google tried to improve the messaging experience between iPhone and Android by pushing Apple to adopt RCS, a cross-platform messaging solution that’s already in place on Android phones across the world and offers many of the basic improvements provided by iMessage. such as better resolution on photos and videos, keystroke indicators, reactions, etc. Apple has generally rejected RCS so far, with Tim Cook saying there hasn’t been much demand from iPhone users.

Related: iOS should support RCS, but Apple has no incentive to make iMessage work with Android

You can watch the full interview with Federighi and Joswiak below.

More on Android:

FTC: We use revenue-generating automatic affiliate links. After.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more info:


#Apples #Craig #Federighi #iMessage #Android #held #innovation

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *