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Apple explains why iMessage is unlikely to ever land on Android

As Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi proudly showed off a ton of new features for iMessage during Apple’s keynote at WWDC on Monday, the word Android never crossed his lips once.

Federighi’s failure to make any mention of Google’s mobile operating system put to bed recent rumors that the messaging software was about to extend its reach beyond iOS.

A couple of days on and a senior Apple executive has offered up a couple of reasons why the company has no immediate plan to launch iMessage for Android, and may never do so.

Speaking to tech journalist Walt Mossberg, the unnamed executive said that with a billion iOS devices in use, it already has access to a large enough data set for any AI initiatives the company may be working on.

And secondly, the executive took the familiar Apple line that building something desirable exclusively for Apple’s ecosystem will help strengthen loyalty among its current user base and at the same time drive sales of its devices.

Of course, Apple isn’t entirely averse to taking its own apps beyond iOS. Apple Music launched for Android last year, though obviously, in contrast to iMessage, the service presents a huge revenue opportunity for Apple.

Related: Top 10 iOS 10 features Apple didn’t talk about at WWDC

So there you have it. iMessage looks set to remain exclusive to Apple users for the foreseeable future, with the Cupertino company considering it an important part of its ecosystem. This was certainly reflected in its decision to overhaul the app, with lots of new features announced for the software at the start of the week.

iDevice owners can try out the revamped app when iOS 10 launches in the fall, but if you missed Monday’s keynote and are keen to to learn more about what’s coming with the next version of iMessage, check out our report here.