You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works

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You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works
You don't need an iPhone to send iMessages.Mr. Mikla/Shutterstock
  • To use iMessage on an Android, you'll need to download the AirMessage app and link it to your Mac.
  • When you send a message from your Android, AirMessage will run it through the Mac first.
  • iMessages are just like regular texts, but they get sent over the internet and have a distinctive blue color.
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It sounds silly to some, but "blue bubble" envy is real. There are a massive amount of users who get rid of their Android phones specifically because they can't use iMessage. It's not that there's anything wrong with SMS — people just like the blue iMessage bubbles.

But what these users might not know is that you can send and receive iMessage texts from your Android. It takes some setup, and you'll need access to a Mac computer, but it works well.

Here's how to get iMessage on your Android, so people can text you without running into green bubbles.

How to use iMessage on Android

To do this, you'll need an Android phone and a Mac computer.

Setting up the Mac

First, you'll need an Apple ID account. All iMessages have to go through an Apple ID that's connected to your phone number.

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1. Create an Apple ID on the official website and link it to your phone number. If you've already got an Apple ID that's not linked to your number, head to the Apple ID website and log in, then click Account Security and add your number.

2. Log into your Apple ID in your Mac's System Preferences app by clicking Sign In in the top-right corner.

You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works
Sign into your Apple ID account.William Antonelli/Insider

3. Once you're logged in, head to the Apple ID menu and click Name, Phone, Email in the left sidebar.

4. Under the Reachable at heading, click the plus sign.

You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works
You'll need to set your phone number as a "Reachable" address.William Antonelli/Insider

5. Select the Phone number option and type your number, then enter the code that's sent to you.

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6. Next, open the Messages app and log into your Apple ID there, too.

You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works
Log into the Messages app.William Antonelli/Insider

You've now got your Apple ID set up on the Mac. Now, you'll set up AirMessage.

Setting up AirMessage

Next, you'll set up AirMessage, the app that lets you send the iMessages.

Important: In order to work, AirMessage will ask for full access to your computer's hard disk and files. We haven't found anything shady about AirMessage, but granting that sort of access to any app is a risk. Use AirMessage with caution.

1. On your Mac, head to the AirMessage website and download AirMessage Server for macOS, then unzip the file and move the app to your Applications folder.

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You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works
Install AirMessage Server on your Mac.AirMessage; William Antonelli/Insider

2. Open AirMessage on your Mac and make or connect an account. You'll also need to give the app disk access.

You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works
You just need a Google account to log in.AirMessage; William Antonelli/Insider

3. You'll also need to stop your Mac from falling asleep — if it's asleep or the lid is closed, you won't be able to route your messages. Open System Preferences and then click Energy Saver or Battery to change these settings.

You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works
You don't have to keep your brightness up — you just need to keep the computer awake.William Antonelli/Insider

4. Next, install AirMessage on your Android and open it.

5. Log into your account in the Android app and it'll link your devices automatically.

6. Tap the blue chatting icon in the bottom-right corner of the app and type in a number that you want to send an iMessage to. A pop-up will appear on your Mac saying that AirMessage wants to use the Messages app — allow it.

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Now you can send and receive iMessages straight from your Android, as long as both it and your Mac are on and connected to the internet.

You can get iMessage on an Android, but you'll need a Mac computer — here's how it works
A text message sent to an AirMessage address will show up blue — it'll be an iMessage.William Antonelli/Insider

Note: There's a chance that messages you send from AirMessage will be listed as coming from your email address instead of your phone number. The message itself will be the same.

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