One of the most requested Apple services on Android has always been iMessage. Naturally, Apple is not too keen on yielding even an inch to its rival. Sure, it has conceded Apple Music, but that was more to bolster its iTunes business. iMessage is a totally different beast and is unlikely to have an official Android app. Enter weMessage, the latest attempt at a third-party solution, one that is innocent and pure yet still unlikely to last that long.
When you learn how weMessage works, you might have a “duh!” moment since it doesn’t exactly do anything out of the ordinary. What does make it somewhat impressive is that it was all done by a lone 16 year old programmer by the name of Roman Scott. Kids these days!
weMessage doesn’t do any magic, which is part of its appeal and why the developer believes it might not be taken down by either Apple or Google. At its most basic, it simply relays iMessage messages sent to Apple’s service and received on a Mac to an Android device. Therein lies the first catch: you need a macOS computer for this to work. The weServer simply uses the very same tools and API that Apple provides to ferry messages from Mac to Android.
weMessage supports most of iMessage’s basic features, including group chats, attachments, renaming chats, etc. Reactions and effects might come at a later date. Messages travel through Apple’s servers, so their security and privacy is ensured. On weMessage’s end, data is AES encrypted from weServer to the weMessage app and vice versa.
Scott insists that weMessage makes no use of reverse engineering or doesn’t engage in malicious activity. All the tools he used were the very same tools Apple provides every app developer. But here is perhaps the biggest catch: even he doesn’t know if he’s in violation of Apple’s or Google’s terms. And both companies are prone to change policies or withdraw developer tools and API in response to a new, unforeseen, and unintended use. In this complex and convoluted world of license, terms of services, and policies, simply doing things innocently is often no longer enough.