Apple’s iOS mobile devices are the most popular in the world. That means that millions of people are using iMessages to send free text messages. The idea is brilliant and saves people to pay for text messages with their cell phone service providers.
But iMessage, like many other messaging services, won’t allow you to send messages to other apps. If you’re a Mac user then you also know how great the Messages app is that comes with Mac OS since 2013. You can send iMessages and text messages and sync up with you iPhone.
It’s really simple to use but unfortunately isn’t available as a Windows PC app. And we would suggest holding your breath to wait for that to happen.
For many apps, there are solutions like emulators that allow you to get running on a PC or Mac. But when it comes to messaging you’re going to run into some problems. We’ll take a close look at those problems on this page so that you fully understand what you’re up against.
We also have one solution for you, and it might be OK. It’s not ideal, and we’ll also look at some alternatives. These are especially relevant if you have friends and family that that have an iPhone, but you don’t. Or even the other way around.
Can You Get iMessage For Windows?
The simple answer is yes, but not in a really suitable way. Unlike with many other apps you won’t be able to launch Bluestacks or Nox App Player and install the Messages apk. We’ll go into some of the detail of why this is in the next section. But essentially it all comes down to security and encryption.
Emulators are fantastic for running mobile only apps. A really annoying trend for some people has been that many mobile apps are never ported to desktop platforms. What usually happens is that developers release and app for iOS, and if it’s successful there they’ll launch it on Android. Often, that’s where it ends.
Many apps aren’t even available for Windows mobile, so if you have one of those phones you’re completely out of luck.
With Messages, there is a Mac desktop version built into the OS. And it is brilliant. So easy to use because it’s so like the mobile app version.
Now you can launch the app on Bluestacks, but you won’t be able to authenticate you Apple ID. It’s unlikely that a hack for this will be easy to do, as Apple have built some extremely secure software systems. There is one option though, and that involves using remote desktop software. It’s not ideal, but if you really have to get it going it is an option.
But first, let’s take a look at the actual problem of using iMessage on windows.
What Is The Problem?
All messaging services with apple run on an Apple ID account. That goes for Facetime audio and video as well as text messaging. Now when it comes to sending messages you do want to make sure that they cannot be easily intercepted.
That’s where security encryption comes into play. But even before you send a message, you want to make sure that others cannot get your login password and then start sending messages as you. So, there has to be security in place to ensure only you can log in.
The way this is done is to authenticate your Apple ID against specific devices. The apps only run on Mac devices, and Apple have created an authentication system that ties to the hardware address of the device. And because they make all the devices they know which hardware addresses are real and which are faked.
In an emulator, you will not be able to fake a hardware address. Apple ID authentication will simply not work. So even if you can install and launch the Messages app, you won’t be able to authenticate. You won’t even get as far as trying to send a message.
While this is a bit annoying you can understand that it does provide a lot of security for your account and messages.
One Possible Solution
The only possible solution for iMessage on PC is to use remote desktop software. And the good news is that three is a free version available. First, you will have to have a Mac with Messages set up and logged into your Apple ID account. Try and send some messages first to make sure it is working correctly.
Then you’ll need to install Google Chrome Remote Desktop on the Mac. This will allow you to connect a Windows OC to your Mac and then control it from there.
On the PC, you will also need to install the remote desktop software. You connect to the Mac using a unique access code that you can get from the Chrome extension on the Mac. Once the connection is established you can control your Mac directly from your PC.
It is simple, and free and works reasonably well. But the downside is that you have to have a Mac and a PC. If you don’t then this will not be a viable solution to work with. Unfortunately, there is no way around it because of the reasons outlined in the previous section.
What Is iMessage?
Essentially it is a free text messaging service that was introduced by Apple many years ago. It originated in an application called iChat. If you’ve used Mac OS for a long time then you can probably remember iChat. It was basic but really effective and it made it easy to stay connected with friends and family.
iChat was eventually replaced with Messages in 2013. This fully integrated iMessage into the Mac OS. iMessage had already been available on mobile devices. But in true Apple fashion they wanted to provide a more integrated service.
iMessage is linked to your Apple ID account. And if you don’t have one yet then you can register for free. When you send a message from your device to someone else, it will go through servers at Apple to bring it through to the recipient. However, the person you send the message to has to also be registered.
It cannot be used to send messages to other types of apps, as the systems cannot directly communicate. If this could ever be achieved it would be a real breakthrough. But with the different security and encryption protocols in place this is not likely to happen soon.
Unlike text messages, iMessages are not really limited in character length to 160. That gives you a lot more flexibility. You can also tell when a message has been delivered and optionally if it has been read.
The service is free and all it requires is an Internet connection. Even on slower Edge connections you’ll be able to use the iMessage app. And no matter where in the world the recipient is you’ll be able to send them messages for free. All day long if you want.
What Alternatives Are There?
So, if the solution of using remote desktop is not that appealing to you, there are some alternatives. It really wouldn’t make sense to get a Mac just to be able to use Messages on a PC. It’s just an option if you have a Mac and PC.
But if you have friends and family all with different mobile and desktop devices then chances are you won’t be able to use the iMessage app with all of them Fortunately, there are apps that are available on iOS and Android, as well as desktop computers.
It doesn’t matter what the system is you and your friends have. You can just connect with some really cool and simple apps.
The great thing is that all the recommended apps below will also allow you to do video and voice calls. And it won’t cost you a penny.
One of the first free audio and video chat services was Skype. It’s so popular, that no matter what service people use, they often talk of skyping each other. This generally is a term to say that you’ll do a video chat.
Setting up an account is free and there are apps for Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. That means that you can send messages to pretty much anyone anywhere in the world. You don’t have to worry if they have the right device. As the different system apps all integrate together.
Skype has also got some great free voice call and video chat services. It’s amazing that this is completely free considering how much you get. You can also make calls to regular phones at incredibly cheap rates. And if you need a number to be contactable at, then that service is also available. Essentially, Skype has become a full text, audio and video service that in many ways behaves like a regular phone service.
One of the latest highly popular chat services is WhatsApp. It’s a nice word play on What’s Up and it really is a great way for people to stay connected. You can easily set up multiple groups of people so that you can keep conversations separate. When it comes to organizing parties or get-togethers this is an ideal solution.
Most people who use it will set up multiple groups for work colleagues, friends, sports teams and family members. But there is no limit to how many groups you can set up.
Of course, there is also completely private messaging between individuals. Every message you send is safely transmitted and you can tell when it has been sent, received and even read. It’s a free service to sign up to and you will not have to pay for any messages.
But it gets even better.
You can now even do audio and video chats directly from the app without spending a penny.
Facebook Messenger used to be built in directly to the mobile app. But a few years ago, it was decided to split it out. On the web browser version, it’s still integrated directly.
Because most of your friends and family are probably regularly on Facebook, you’ll find it one of the easiest ways to stay in touch. Messages are sent and received instantly and you can share photo, videos, web links and any kind of other files.
Just like with WhatsApp you can set up groups of people to easily share stories.
You can also now do video chats which works in HD quality as well. It’s really easy to use and takes advantage of your built-in camera.
Another highly popular service is Viber. It’s been around for many years and is a messaging services used by millions of people. It’s very easy to set up groups of different people. And because it’s available on all types of platforms you won’t struggle to stay in contact.
Viber have also built in the ability to send recorded audio and video messages. This is a really cool way to leave a message for birthdays.
One thing you can actually do is set up an account with all the above services. That way you will most likely not run into problems with trying to contact someone that doesn’t use your preferred messaging system.
Between Viber, iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook you will likely be able to reach everyone on the planet.
iMessage on PC desktops is not an easy solution. You won’t get it running with emulators like with many other apps. It’s a shame, but it is the result of very good security features.
With a remote desktop service running through a Google Chrome extension you can control Messages on a Mac. But you will need both types of computer. Not an ideal solution, but it might work for some.
Alternatively, you have quite a few free services available to you. Within just a few seconds you can be set up on a PC to connect to anyone anywhere in the world.