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Will Google / Android ever have an iMessage type app ?

Discussion in 'Smart Phones and Devices' started by Zorachus, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Zorachus

    Zorachus [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm a big Android nerd, specifically stock Android on the Nexus phones, and now Pixel's. But one thing that always irked me with Google, is their totally outdated, decade old text app technology, compared to Apple's iMessage.

    I had the iPhone 7 Plus for six months this year ( returned went back to my rooted and ROM'd Nexus 6P, but that's not my point here ) I will admit the iPhone 7 Plus, was a pretty great phone, and iMessage really surprised me, at how great it was at things Android texts apps just can't do ?

    - Full res picture texting
    - Website links showing in the text with a thumbnail preview pic
    - YouTube links that can actually be played in the text
    - Videos that can be sent and actually played, and paused, and rewind in the app
    - Seeing if other people are typing a response

    And don't get me started on Android's million different apps they've had for communicating; Google Voice, Google Messages, Allo, Duo, Hangouts, etc...

    I am not saying we need Apple to give Google, the iMessage app on the PlayStore ( Which would be super cool though ) But Google being such a big player and tech powerhouse, why can't they come up with one single app equivalent to iMessage already ?


    Article here is interesting, giving us some hope of a gMessage or something;

    https://www.wired.com/2017/02/google-support-for-rcs/
     
  2. Vermillion

    Vermillion 2[H]4U

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    I don't know why everybody is so high on iMessage. I find it to be a royal piece of shit that is insecure compared to others like Signal. Apple holds the keys to the kingdom for iMessage. If Uncle Sam subpoenaed them they could get your "private" messages easily as Apple can decrypt it all. It also ties you down to that ecosystem in very bad ways. Let's not even talk about the fact that iMessage isn't opt-in. It's forced on the user because 99% of the population doesn't even understand what's going on. Most don't even realize that iMessage isn't SMS.

    My wife is more or less stuck with Apple now because all her friends have Apple crap (and yes I'm 100% justified in calling it that after all the hassle the iPhone has been for my wife over the 6, 6S, and currently 7). Getting iMessage itself disabled properly is a fucking pain in the ass but freeing your phone number from the abomination that is iMessage is only half the battle. Your e-mail address is still attached to iMessage even after you unregister your phone number. So what happens is if you have a massive chat going with a large number of people they still see you as having iMessage. So their messages send iMessage messages to iMessage linked to that e-mail address. So you don't get any messages in your SMS app.

    I tried once last year to get all her friends to create a new chat after I removed her from iMessage. That was an utter failure. The only way I'll ever be able to get her off iMessage at this point is have all those ladies come over and I have to delete the chat from each and every phone and then create the new chat myself.

    Personally I don't give a shit about URLs and YouTube links. It's why there's a web browser and a YouTube app. Click link and the appropriate app opens up. For pictures or home videos? I just share them via Google Photos now.

    Seeing if somebody is typing a response? Who cares about that worthlessness (for the record Hangouts does do that and has for a very long time).
     
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  3. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    Err... Signal? The masses don't use signal. Far more people use WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, or Wechat. WhatsApp use the open whisper protocol that Signal developed.

    As for China, Wechat is pretty much the iMessage equivalent. I would guess that 99% of Chinese Android users use it.

    Unfortunately, Google really need the RCS to become the standard before they could make an iMessage like Message app.
     
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  4. Tiberian

    Tiberian Finger Me

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    If you want all that shit in an app get a computer, geez. :)

    I use Google Hangouts and Voice for everything, I don't even give out my carrier number, it does everything I require it to do and I haven't had any issues with it since I started using them together many years ago. The only thing I could complain about is how Google is splitting the SMS capabilities out of Hangouts and pushing most of us to use Android Messages which is there SMS specific app nowadays. Hangouts still does SMS for me but at some point they'll disable that aspect, when it happens it happens so whatever.

    I have no issues with full res pictures sent through Hangouts.
    I don't care much about thumbnails on a link but I suppose some folks like it.
    YouTube videos do play in the Hangouts window.
    I can watch user made videos in the Hangouts window the same way.
    Hangouts tells me when the person in the immediate chat/conversation is typing.

    I don't see what's so special about iMessage aside from the Cult of Mac professing it to be the GOAT messaging app and it's not because no such thing can ever exist. :D
     
  5. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    SMS does not support full resolution pictures. The number of hangout users for hangout to hangout messaging is very low, and hangouts doesn't automatically select hangout to hangout for you. Unlike all iPhone, iPad, and iPod users have iMessage that would also automatically use iMessage. That's a significant number. The biggest iMessage competitors are wechat and WhatsApp, but neither does sms. Honestly, Facebook Messenger might have a better shot than Google's whatever at being an iMessage competitor. Facebook Messenger already does SMS with rich content extension and will automatically send to Facebook. But people don't seem to trust Facebook on privacy. However, read this article, guys:

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/n...kype-among-apps-not-protecting-users-privacy/

    Amnesty International rated Facebook highest (with the combination of WhatsApp and Messenger) ahead of Apple on messaging services' protection of users' privacy.

    So I hope I get you Android folks on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger now. If Facebook adds SMS support to WhatsApp, I'll probably drop the Facebook Messenger recommendation. Please give Facebook a chance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
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  6. duronboy

    duronboy [H]Lite

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    EEEEFffff that.
     
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  7. Aurelius

    Aurelius 2[H]4U

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    Can you point to a source which shows that Apple holds the power to decrypt iMessage content? Everything I've seen so far suggests that it doesn't actually hold on to any keys or other tools that would let it crack open a conversation on request.

    Apple's lock-in with iMessage is a problem. However, please don't go down that "who cares about..." path. There are certainly gimmicky features in iMessage, but things such as link previews and in-app playback aren't gimmicks. You're basically assuming that everyone else shares your tastes, and you know that's not true. I'm reminded of those hardcore gamers who insist that no good PC can ship without dedicated graphics... they can't see an audience besides themselves.
     
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  8. Tiberian

    Tiberian Finger Me

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    "This post brought to you by Facebook, the one you can trust."

    NOT :D
     
  9. Vermillion

    Vermillion 2[H]4U

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    RIght on Apple's own webpage.

    https://www.apple.com/privacy/approach-to-privacy/

    Now Apple can't technically read your iMessage stuff directly. However, everything is sent to iCloud during backups. That data is encrypted by Apple and the keys are stored on their servers. Anything on iCloud can be read by Apple. That kind of defeats the purpose of having an encrypted message platform though doesn't it? Bottom line is you want your iPhone data to be secure and untouchable then you don't send a god damn thing to iCloud.
     
  10. Aurelius

    Aurelius 2[H]4U

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    The language is a bit fuzzy here. Remember, Apple can't intercept iMessage data in flight... and that's usually a sign that it doesn't have access to the encryption keys. Like it says, it can't comply with a wiretap order even if it wants to. It says it stores the encryption keys to iCloud in its data centers if you backup there, but does that mean that it can comply, and that iMessage content is exposed just by decrypting the iCloud backup? I'm not so sure.

    I'll definitely agree that if you're particularly worried about your data being revealed, don't use iCloud Backup... but I also wouldn't stay awake at night if I was, either (my iPhone's backup is stored locally).
     
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  11. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you back up ANY sensitive data to ANY cloud, you get exactly what you deserve.
     
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  12. -Strelok-

    -Strelok- [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I wouldn't expect it, since Google has failed multiple times at just attempting it. It's a bit surprising when I see people say iMessage is garbage or it's not an important feature.
     
  13. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's just frigging hilarious y'all are hating on Facebook when Amnesty international ranked them as the best in protecting users. And Apple is ranked #2!!! What else do you want? You do realize simple sms is way less secure than everything other than WeChat.
     
  14. Tup3x

    Tup3x [H]ard|Gawd

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    There's also Telegram. Personally I just use WhatsApp since everyone does. It does the job just fine too.
     
  15. CanonicalAbstract

    CanonicalAbstract Special Attention Whore

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    Agreed. If I can, I will deliberately disable any of those options where others can see if I read their message, am replying, or whatever. If you have to feel the need to have to stalk me, waiting with baited breath for me to respond to your message, you can piss off. My number, my money going towards said phone/service, I'll dictate when and how I respond to one's message, kthxbye.
     
  16. duronboy

    duronboy [H]Lite

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    We'll all be involuntarily telepathic in a few years anyway, don't know why I'm struggling, now.
     
  17. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ardForum Junkie

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    And this is the big elephant on the table. The app you love to use already lost official support in March.

    I liked Hangouts a lot too. It was my go-to when I used an android phone. It still doesn't hold a candle to imessage just from the fact alone that imessage is the standard messaging/sms app on IOS devices. Sure you get most of that functionality in Hangouts, but it all goes to shit if the receiving end doesn't use Hangouts. I was lucky enough where the people I talked to most used Hangouts, but whey they all went to IOS, all those nice high res photos we sent to each other, and all those videos, and all those group messages went to shit. On top of it, I'm tired of Google creating and discontinuing services right when I start to like them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 11:32 PM
  18. brettjrob

    brettjrob Limp Gawd

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    Isn't the real answer to the OP's question, predictably, that Apple patented the shit out of every rudimentary element of iMessage? There would be a cross-platform alternative by now from someone if it were any other reason.
     
  19. Sapumal

    Sapumal n00bie

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    Not sure about the app you are talking about. But if you would like to get Chat app for your Android device then of course ChatWing is the best solution. Reliable and cost effective. Even ChatWing is available for iPhone/iPad or iOS device.
     
  20. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It feels like Google already missed that boat. I kinda liked Hangouts, but I despise having to use a different app for every different type of conversation now.
    I joined the evil empire and just started using Facebook Messenger. Like 95% of the people I know are on it and it does a good job with animated gifs and pictures that my wife and I regularly send. The stickers and whatnot are also a fun distraction.
    I have some European friends that use WhatsApp, but I don't really know anyone stateside that uses it.
     
  21. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I was amazed at how many people use Whatsapp in the EU. It didn't really matter what brand of phone you had either, everyone I talked to there used it. Its smart too because SMS just sucks. Its old tech that for some reason we never really let go of here in the US.
     
  22. Vermillion

    Vermillion 2[H]4U

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    It is incredibly interesting that WhatsApp was unable to really do much here in the States. I never understood why it failed so miserably here. I would have happily used WhatsApp before Facebook bought them.

    Right now my friends and I still primarily use Hangouts but we all know that's a dead man walking. Hopefully Allo can be a Hangouts replacement for us but until the web version is released it's pretty worthless.
     
  23. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    WhatsApp and Facebook are more secure than any Google or carrier messaging services. I seriously don't understand the hate.
     
  24. Vermillion

    Vermillion 2[H]4U

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    The hate comes from the severe lack of Privacy no matter how secure the app may be. WhatsApp lost all credibility with me as soon as Facebook bought them. I was proven right when it was released that they were indeed sharing user data with Facebook after they specifically said they wouldn't be doing that.

    Allo using Incognito Mode is just as secure as WhatsApp since they both use the Signal Protocol.
     
  25. Tiberian

    Tiberian Finger Me

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    Then you're seriously not paying attention.
     
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  26. Zorachus

    Zorachus [H]ardness Supreme

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    My point in creating the thread was not expecting Google to ask Apple to put iMessage on the Play Store, obviously that's not going to happen.

    But I would like something somewhat similar to iMessage on Google;

    - Full high res picture sharing
    - YouTube links playable in the message
    - Website links showing the content in the message
    - Video sharing in the message, with the ability to play it right there in the text
    - Computer based as well, to reply from a desktop PC or tablet not on a carrier network, but through the internet connection.

    Those are some of the main things I would like to see Google adopt into their Messaging app. Thus far Google offers none of that really, where Apple has being doing it for years, and it's frustrating. As big as Google is, they should be able to get something like this released, all in one single app only, not multiple different apps.

    Is that asking too much ?
     
  27. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    What part of Facebook being #1 at protecting user privacy by amnesty international don't you guys get? Your hate is just simply not based on the facts.
     
  28. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    You can do all this on WhatsApp, Kik, and Telegram. Why do you need Google to do it too?
     
  29. Savoy

    Savoy 2[H]4U

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    Because having it baked into the os ensures the greatest install base and overall adoption rate.
     
  30. Tiberian

    Tiberian Finger Me

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    Amnesty International isn't what I'd consider a bastion of truth and honesty, sorry, and I say that from having first-hand experience dealing with them on several instances during my career which I'm long since retired from. Trust them, with any of my personal data? Not a chance in Hell, but you go right on trusting 'em, and Facebook too. All I have to do is go find those instant messages Zuckerberg made many many years ago when TheFacebook was still in its infancy and well before Sean Parker suggested he drop the "The" from the name (which is a true event, actually) where he referred to the users of TheFacebook as "dumb fucks" and I know nothing has changed except Facebook is rather large now and so is his personal wealth all because of "dumb fucks" that think Facebook is the greatest fucking thing ever.

    Protip: It's not.

    Sorry, but once an egotistical prick, always an egotistical prick. In the movie "The Social Network" he was referred to by many as an asshole, and I've known quite a few assholes in my time, that's just an insult to actual assholes to group Zuckerberg in with 'em that way. :D
     
  31. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Yet they are all available on both iOS and Android eliminating being tied to a certain platform and the potentially largest install base, far beyond what either can do with their own proprietary software.
     
  32. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    you do realize that movie took a lot of artistic license right? And yes while he did call his early users dumb fucks, in 2004, he was also 19 yo. And you don't even have to sign up for Facebook to use WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

    Amensty International is an organization largely based on protecting activists and political dissonance at countries where there might not have free speech. So you don't like them, okay... But they do have to make assessments on which instant messaging services offer the most security and privacy for their people against government requests and hacks. I trust their research way over your blind hate that's not based on the facts.

    And then here we have people loving Google Hangout and yet hate on Facebook? Seriously? That makes zero sense at all. Google is tracking you and reading your messages! Google is ranked #4 on the list after Facebook, Apple, and Telegram. The scores breakdown to Facebook at 73, Apple and Telegram at 67, and Google at 53!!! I repeat, 53!!! Let that sink in! And y'all love Google Hangout but hate Facebook WhatsApp or Messenger?!?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/artic...e-for-instant-messaging-services-says-amnesty
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017 at 12:05 PM
  33. Savoy

    Savoy 2[H]4U

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    You have to understand before getting my ip7plus last Oct, after changing out of my second note 7, this was the first Apple device I've ever owned personally. My kids have had iPhones since the 4s but myself always a die hard PC/android guy. Always swore I would never buy an apple product but Samsung's fuck up nitty once but twice and offering me a lousy 100 off any other phone for the trouble drove me right into apples arms and I'm glad they did. This device is dam nice and fucking fluid and smooth and hits all the right check boxes for me in a way I never thought it would.

    That said I never understood the hoopla for iMessage until I started to use it. It works dam well and again hits all the right check boxes for me.

    All this said I still what iPhone people call a google-fied iPhone. I have every Google app they make installed and use em all. The same way I did for years on Android. What's funny is alot of these apps run better on iOS than they did on Android lol. Oh and I still use Google hangouts too.

    Funny story my wife was out with my kids a week ago. She has my old note 5. So she video chats me on hangouts using LTE while I'm home on my fast wifi. It's choppy and laggy as hell I'm like wtf. My daughter says dad I'll just FaceTime you. Lol standing right next to her on the same LTE on her iPhone 6s. Guess what a perfect video call no lag no hitching and just about a perfect video call as if she was in the next room. Ya I said it. The things Apple does right they do right sorry guys. iMessage and FaceTime are two examples of their forte. They just work how you want them too.


    I just re read my post above and I know it makes me sound like an apple fanboy but I'm really not. I just like giving credit where and when it's due. When something I buy actually works like it's supposed too and I feel as if I got my money's worth I tend to sing it's praises since for years I've been used to tinkering and fucking with things to try to get them right. This device is "right" out of the box.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017 at 11:37 AM
  34. Savoy

    Savoy 2[H]4U

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    Let's be honest none of these companies value our privacy. They laugh at the notion in closed door meetings I'm sure of it. I think we all know (or should at this point) there is no privacy once you get online and use their stuff. That's ms, apple, google all of em. That said Apple has said in the past they try to protect their customers privacy. Now whether it not that means anything heh I doubt it but they have said it.
     
  35. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is the problem. They've fragmented their own userbase. iMessage works because it's baked into every iOS device, so you likely have a good chance of someone else having it.

    Android is a crapshoot. Some users might use Hangouts, others might use some other form. Without the interconnected, you have a smaller group and people just fall back to SMS.

    They need to create their own protocol/standard, provide an API, and entice Android manufacturers / app developers to use it by default. Want to have your own Samsung Messaging app on your phone? Design to this API. This way every individual SMS app can still communicate with each other while they have different apps - a user with Trello (traditional SMS) could talk with a user on Hangouts (Google Messaging) with a common language that isn't SMS.

    And for the love of God, they need to make the fallback to SMS/MMS functional. That was a common complaint for a long time with Hangouts, SMS fallback was a crap shoot.
     
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