iMessage has long been one of the hooks used by Apple to keep its users locked into its ecosystem of devices, with no true equivalent on Android that users can easily switch to. If you've been yearning for a way to use iMessage on an Android phone, a new messaging service called Beeper might be the solution for you.
Beeper was created by Eric Migicovsky, founder and CEO of former smartwatch brand Pebble, which ended up being bought by Fitbit. On the surface, Beeper is just a hub that brings together multiple accounts from 15 different messaging services, including WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, Discord, and more. There are plenty of apps that do similar things, but Beeper provides its own standardized interface that's used across every service, and it has features like a unified inbox and filters to help keep things organized.
What's most unique about it, though, is one particular service it supports - Apple's iMessage. Beeper says the service will work on all platforms where Beeper is available, including Windows and Android, and that's thanks to some tricks being employed by the service. If you happen to have a Mac that's always online, then it can be used as a bridge for your iMessage messages, but if you don't, Beeper will send you a jailbroken iPhone with the app installed, which will then serve as a bridge itself. In fact, Migicovsky shared a tweet showing off a box full of older iPhone models ready to go for those that need it.
Of course, you probably wouldn't expect this to be free, and it isn't. Beeper itself is a subscription service that will cost $10 per month, which may or may not cover the cost of the iPhone itself - though there's no indication that users need to pay for the device. If that sounds like too much money, though, and you don't need the iPhone for this purpose, Beeper is also available for developers to build upon and host on their own servers.
It's also worth noting that if you just want to get iMessage access on other devices, there's an app called AirMessage that uses a similar trick, relying on a Mac to act as a bridge. Of course, you don't get an iPhone that way.