There are a lot of cool things you can do in iMessage other than just sending text messages to your friends and family, but for your compatriots that use Android, you’ll want to skip these specific iMessage features, since they don’t work on Google’s mobile OS.
Keep in mind; some iMessage features still work with Android, albeit maybe not as well as they would with other iPhones. I’ll cover both sides of the spectrum so that you know what exactly does and doesn’t work with Android.
iMessage Features That Don’t Work with Android
Unsurprisingly, a majority of iMessage features either show up kind of funky-looking on the other end or just don’t plain work at all with Android.
Apple Pay Cash is one feature that you won’t be able to use with your Android friends and family, which makes perfect sense because Apple Pay Cash is iPhone-only anyway. You’re better off using PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, or another mobile payment platform.
Some iMessage apps may not work perfectly with Android. Your mileage may vary depending on the iMessage apps you frequently use, but I used the ETA iMessage app to send an Android friend my ETA, and while it showed up with a clean preview on my iPhone, it just showed up as a URL on his end. Granted, it still technically works, but it’s not as clean.
As far as Tapbacks—emoji reactions to messages—are concerned, they sort of work on Android, but they show up as text. So when you go to “thumbs up” their text message that said “Thanks!” it’ll just appear as a whole new text message that you “Liked” it, instead of showing up as a small thumbs up icon next to the original message.
It’s the same with iMessage Effects, like sending text or photos with Invisible Ink. On Android, the effect won’t appear. Instead, it’ll plainly show your text message or photo with “(Sent with Invisible Ink)” next to it. So if you plan on sending a nude pic with Invisible Ink to an Android friend, know that it won’t be censored at all on their end.
Handwritten Messages won’t send in the first place. You’d think iMessages would send them as a plain image, but it always just gives me the red “Not Delivered” error message every time. It could be a bug, but it appears that others have come across this issue as well, and it’s been happening for a while now.
And as for Audio Messages, that feature isn’t even available in the first place when texting with an Android friend. So for those lazy folks out there, you’ll have to type everything out (although you can still use voice dictation).
So What Features Do Work with Android?
It can be a little discouraging knowing that there are so many iMessage features that don’t work with Android, especially if most of your friends and family use Android. However, there are still some iMessage features that work across both platforms, so you’re not entirely out of luck.
For starters, Animoji kind of work when you send them to Android friends. A still image of an Animoji is sent as a regular image and shows up just fine; an animated Animoji also is sent as a video, albeit a pretty crappy quality one, unfortunately.
URL previews also still work pretty well when you send a link from iPhone to Android. Both devices will generate a nice-looking preview of whatever web page you send.
And of course, photos and videos will send to other Android devices just fine. Although videos look pretty terrible on Android.
Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it. There’s nothing too surprising here, but it certainly goes to show just how much benefit there is to using iMessage from iPhone to iPhone.