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Is Apple about to announce iMessage for Android?

The Apple rumor mill has been steadily turning in the run up to the tech giant’s upcoming WWDC, which kicks off on June 13.

Admittedly, the latest whisper may have to be taken with a bucket load of salt, but let’s put it out there and see if it doesn’t turn out to be true. The claim is that iMessage, Apple’s hitherto iOS-only messaging app, is finally coming to Android.

Citing a source “familiar with the company’s thinking,” Apple site MacDailyNews said an announcement will be made at the WWDC keynote on Monday.

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While Apple has always stepped away from launching its apps for Android – especially during Steve Jobs’ time in charge when he wanted nothing to do with the platform, accusing it of stealing from iOS – Tim Cook has relaxed the company’s stance, launching, for example, Apple Music for Android last year. Cook even said in February that taking its music app beyond iOS was a way of testing the water for similar moves in the future.

Of course, with the significant revenue opportunity Apple Music presented for the Cupertino company, its launch on Google’s mobile platform made perfect sense, whereas it’s less clear what the company would gain from taking its bare-bones messaging app to Android.

But before you reach for another handful of salt, keep in mind that reports earlier this year suggested Apple is considering incorporating new services into its messaging app, such as the ability for users to make payments to one another. Considering this, launching iMessage on Android could mark the start of some big changes for the company’s chat app as it seeks to increase its functionality in a way that could ultimately allow it to rake in even more cash from users.

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With so many massively popular cross-platform messaging apps already available, perhaps this is a now-or-never moment for Apple. It already seems a bit late to try to persuade people to load up yet another chat service, though if it can persuade users of iMessage’s supposed security benefits and introduce genuinely useful features, it may have a chance.

MacDailyNews, a site that’s yet to build a reputation as a reliable performer in the tip-off arena, says that as the claim only comes from a single source it’s decided to file it under “rumor.” However, its contact insists the app is “definitely” launching on Android this year, so let’s see if we learn anything new on Monday….