Can I Text Android Users On My iPad With iMessage?
Q: I have iMessage but cannot text non-Apple users on my iPad. I have iOS 7.
A: You have an iPad, so iMessage should work, whether or not you have a Wi-Fi or cellular data tablet. However, if you have a data tablet, you should be able to message users in iMessage due to the cellular iPad’s SMS/MMS texting capabilities.
I tried to send text messages to my Android devices via my Wi-Fi iPad’s iMessage app, but was unable to do so. However, I am able to message my friends who have iPhones, so this is proof that Apple has locked down iMessage to iOS users only.
If you have an iPhone or cellular data iPad with a data connection (2G/3G/4G), you should be able to send messages in iMessage because your phone plan provides for SMS/MMS texting by way of your phone carrier (Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.).
If you find that your cellular iPad does not allow you to text Android or Windows phone users, then there are a number of other text messaging apps that will do the job. One of the obvious text messaging alternatives to iMessage is Skype, known for both its texting and video-chatting capabilities. You can also make voice calls with Skype as well, so you may find its cross-platform compatibility and texting and chatting capabilities to be more of what you want than what Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime have to offer. Skype is also a popular app that you probably have already on your iPad, so I would recommend sticking with that for video chats, audio calls, and texts – without downloading another app onto your iPad.
I would also suggest Google Hangouts, seeing that Google Hangouts is also available on iOS. Google Hangouts provides Android/iOS compatibility, and, if that’s what you want, you won’t find a better setup than with Google Hangouts. WhatsApp was just bought by Facebook, but it seems to be a popular text messenging app with millions of users.
These apps are not perfect on iOS (Google Hangouts has no SMS option for iOS users), but you should be able to use Google Hangouts to contact your Android friends. Although iMessage can be a bummer, it’s good to know that there are iMessage alternatives in the App Store.