Before there was Viber, LINE, WhatsApp or even Facebook Messenger, instant messaging on smartphones were dominated by the likes of BlackBerry’s BBM and Apple’s iMessage. While BBM has already opened its doors to other platforms, iMessage remains an exclusive party for owners of Apple’s devices. Until now. Somewhat. PieMessage is a new open source project that appeared on GitHub that tries to bring iMessage to Android. Except it really doesn’t. You will be able to receive and even send iMessages from your Android device, but if and only if you have an OS X computer.
It’s almost an ingenious though almost convoluted trick with smoke and mirrors. In truth, you aren’t receiving iMessage messages directly on your Android smartphone. Instead, it takes advantage of the fact that, if you have a Mac or MacBook in addition to an iPhone or iPad, you can see the same messages on OS X as on iOS. This allows another piece of software, called the Java Web Server or JWS, to then communicate with the Android device.
So yes, the OS X machine becomes a sort of go-between for Android and iPhone. That also means that you won’t be able to use PieMessage if you don’t have any OS X device. But there’s another somewhat hidden requirement to this setup. Your Mac or MacBook needs to have a public IP address setup so that the Android app will be able to connect to it from anywhere. That also implies you have an always-on Internet connection,. Those are not exactly the easiest to come by, and some require paid subscriptions. But if you mark all the checkboxes, then you’re good to go.
It’s definitely a very roundabout way to get iMessage working, if you can call it that, on Android, and some might even wonder if it’s worth it. Back during the height of BBM’s Android and iOS journey, there was some interest in also getting iMessage working elsewhere. So far, Apple has never shown any inclination towards that. Then again, it surprisingly made Apple Music available on Android, so there is still a sliver of hope.
Until then, this might be the only option for those juggling devices. If they have an OS X Machine, that is. And at least until Apple updates iMessage to make it technically impossible to use this workaround.