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iMessage uses an internal messaging system (similar to WhatsApp) that is independent from SMS so you can chat from iOS to iOS without SMS and without having a SIM card inserted.

Is it possible to chat from your Android device with someone on an iPhone that only uses the iOS iMessage Chat client?

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iMessage automatically uses SMS messages for contacts who don't have an iPhone, so the answer is yes: you chat with them by sending an SMS message.

Apart from using SMS, there's no way for non-Apple users to get messages into iMessage. The protocol is closed and Apple does not have clients for other platforms, nor an interface for other apps to communicate with it. They designed iMessage not as a chat system in itself, but as a way to quietly redirect iPhone-to-iPhone SMS messages to use their servers instead of the SMS network.

  • I don't understand what you mean. iMessage is already an SMS app. If you send an SMS to an iPhone user, it shows up in iMessage. – Dan Hulme Jun 15 '14 at 11:47
  • SMS have a lot of disadvantages: often you have to pay a few cent for each SMS and you cannot send them from devices without SIM card – rubo77 Jun 15 '14 at 11:56
  • If your friends want you to chat to them from a device that can't send SMS, they need to not use iMessage. Apple doesn't offer a way for chat systems to post messages into iMessage. – Dan Hulme Jun 15 '14 at 12:03
  • "Apple doesn't offer a way for chat systems to post messages into iMessage." - that's a pitty. So Is there an iOS app then, that my friends could install so they get those messages integrated into their iMessage Messages then? Or at least as push notifications? Jabber XMPP chat client for iOS with push notifications – rubo77 Jun 15 '14 at 12:04
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    No, Apple doesn't offer a way for chat systems to post messages into iMessage. I'm not sure how I can make that any clearer. They could install the app for a real chat system, such as Skype or Google+ Hangouts, but it'll be completely separate from iMessage. – Dan Hulme Jun 15 '14 at 12:05

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