An Android mascot is seen in front of a displayed logo of Apple in this photo illustration taken in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 5, 2015. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

A new app has been released for Android devices, and it allows users to chat with their friends using Apple’s iMessage. Called weMessage, the Android app is able to fully support iMessage by using a Mac device as a server.

How To Use weMessage

There are two major requirements before downloading the weMessage app: Users must have a macOS computer and an active iMessage account. Users who have a Mac device will have to install the macOS app called weServer. The app isn’t available from Apple’s official Mac App Store, so they will have to modify their Security & Privacy settings in order to install weServer on their Mac, as pointed out by Apple Insider.

Once the weServer app is installed on the user’s Mac, the user can now download and install the weMessage app on their Android smartphone and start using it. The weServer app will turn the user’s Mac into a server that relays iMessages to the weMessage Android app.

The reason why this app is a bit complicated to use is because of the closed off nature of Apple’s iMessage. iMessages sent must first be authenticated through an Apple iOS/macOS device before it can reach its recipient.

“weMessage supports all of iMessage’s major features, including direct messages, group chats, attachments, the ability to add and remove people from chats, the ability to rename and leave chats, and more,” said Roman Scott, the 16-year-old developer behind the app. “Features like reactions or message effects will be implemented at later dates. weMessage also supports more features like Do Not Disturb, contact blocking, and adding pictures to group chats or individual contacts.”

In terms of privacy and safety, Scott says iMessages sent and received through weMessage are encrypted and decrypted using AES encryption. If users have notifications enabled, messages are temporarily stored in Google’s Firebase mobile platform.

So far, the weMessage app seems to be a pretty solid workaround that lets Android smartphone users chat and text using iMessage, according to MacRumors. However, Apple could shut this down like many previous attempts to bringing iMessage to Google’s mobile operating system.

Scott says they can’t guarantee that weMessage isn’t violating Apple or Google’s terms of service, but he believes that the app is safe. He says that they didn’t use reverse engineering, nor did they knowingly engage in any malicious activity.

Scott’s method of using a Mac as an iMessage server is pretty clever but it’s already been done before, as pointed out by BGR. Apple was able to block those previous apps from working by releasing software updates to its devices.

For now, Android smartphone users can try weMessage for themselves. The app originally costs $2.99, but it’s now free from the Google Play Store.

Will iMessage Ever Officially Arrive on Android?

Last year, it was rumored that Apple was working on bringing iMessage to Android devices and that it would be announced during WWDC 2016. The event came and went, but no such announcement was made.

A few months later, another rumor popped up claiming that Apple created mockups of iMessage for Android. Perhaps at one point Apple did consider bringing iMessage to Android, but simply decided not to since it’s one feature that’s exclusive to its iPhones, iPads and Macs. It’s very likely that Apple won’t bring its messaging service to Android anytime soon.