Why would Amazon want to get into messaging?

“There’s a tendency to give Amazon.com the benefit of the doubt whenever it looks to enter any new market, because the company’s track record of disruption across industries speaks for itself,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “But what about messaging?”

“AFTVnews is reporting that Amazon is developing a messaging app called Anytime,” Niu writes. “Amazon ambitiously wants to offer just about everything that existing messaging services offer, all in one place. Anytime might even be comparable to full-blown social networks.”

“On one hand, you could argue that messaging is a core area that all the other major tech giants have jumped into, so Amazon is just keeping pace with its peers. On the other hand, messaging is already an overcrowded market, with an abundance of apps and services offered by established companies as well as smaller start-ups,” Niu writes. “On the consumer side, it’s hard to imagine Amazon making a dent in such a crowded space, particularly since it’s so late to the game. Besides, no one is asking for yet another mobile messaging app.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple should have the “courage” to take Messages cross-platform by offering Messages for Android. Apple should have confidence that iOS has much more going for it than just blue messages with full effects.

By releasing Messages for Android, Apple would take control of messaging virtually overnight as iPhone users would immediately badger those who’ve settled for Android crapola into upgrading to Messages at least. (Yes, fragmandroid settlers, we hate your bland, nasty, green bubbles in our beautiful Messages app. Dealing with you is like trying share email attachments with Windows sufferers in the 90s!)

And, of course, with greater scale, services like Apple Pay P2P via Messages would certainly benefit immensely.

And, after the fragmandroid settlers get used to Messages, it’d be that much easier for them to contemplate upgrading to an iPhone for their next smartphone.

Amazon looks to go after messaging with ‘Anytime’ stand-alone app and service – July 17, 2017
Messages and five other apps Apple really needs to make for Android – March 15, 2017
Why Apple’s holding back Messages for Android: Hardware sales – June 15, 2016
Apple’s new iMessage is great, but why the hell isn’t it on Android, yet? – June 14, 2016
Apple’s iMessage and Siri will allow iOS 10 users to send money via Square Cash – June 13, 2016
Apple to deliver iMessage to Android at WWDC – June 9, 2016


    1. Because iMessages are encrypted using Apple certificate and are tied to Secure Enclave, bringing iMessages to fragmaroid would render iMessages less secure.

      1. Being tied to secure enclave is news to me, since I can iMessage users on iPhone 5 and even iPhone 4, which doesn’t have that.

        To limit exposure in case an Android version is compromised, it’d be perfectly possible for Apple to use certificates issued from different authorities: one for Apple’s own devices, and one for Android or other platforms. If the latter is compromised, revoke just that cert authority, and users on non-Apple platforms will have to update their apps’ certs before they can use it again, while Apple users are unaffected.

        1. Sure iMessages work with iP5(c) and older. The thing is that in newer devices crypto keys are better protected. iOS Security Guide whitepaper explains this but in short there is a good article about this topic https://www.macworld.com/article/2103121/five-things-you-should-know-about-ios-security.amp.html
          I doubt Apple would would want to have some half-assed iMessages around and possible negative publicity “iMessage hacked!” because of Android phones which does not have Apple secure chips equipped.

    2. I agree. iMessage is one of Apple’s quiet but huge success stories. However, Apple neglects the huge base of Android users to their detriment.
      I’m sure that Amazon is trying to tap in to this hole in the Apple offering.
      I love iMessage but find it frustrating when I communicate with Android users (which is often). If there were a cross-platform (iOS and Android) app that performed like iMessage, I would start using it today.

  1. I agree with MDN’s take.

    To answer the article’s question…

    What Amazon is developing is a cross-chat-platform app/service that will be compatible with its Alexa products as well as others.

    If you look at chat, you’ll see that it started out on the Internet (IRC and others) and commercial online services like Compuserve AOL, Prodigy, etc…

    When the web took off, others like Yahoo, ICQ, MSN, etc… started to take off. Most of these were all incompatible with each other, meaning that one had to launch a specific client or go to a website to chat with a user for each specific service.

    With everyone having their own preference, this resulting in apps like Fire or Adium that allowed multi-service support. It was always super annoying when you were part of a group where the leader decided everyone should use a service that wasn’t part of one of those multi-service apps.

    While SMS text messaging was a thing, it wasn’t really until smart phones took off that you could easily send and receive messages to pretty much anyone without using a separate chat app and making sure you were on the same service. Even easier, you just needed the person’s phone number.

    As a result, 1st and 2nd generation chat apps all started to die, or become minimized to cult/niche status… until…

    Smartphones started to invade countries where texting wasn’t bundled, cheap, or unlimited. Likewise, many only supported the most limited of texting functionality…no images, or overly compressed/reduced images at best, 140 character limits, no audio/video (no MMS).

    Since carrier based instant messaging sucks in these places, 3rd generation messaging services and apps started to appear. Many offered unique features that differentiated the service from carrier based messaging even in places where it was free, unlimited and took full advantage of the protocols.

    So now, while the technology has evolved greatly, we’re right back to where we first started with a bunch of different services/apps and little to no compatibility.

    Amazon is developing a service that will allow you to send a message to it, and it will act as a man-in-the-middle relaying that message through whatever service the recipient is on… minus those that remain incompatible.

    Apple really should develop Android and Windows iMessage clients at this point and look at them as revenue opportunities via ApplePay and to extend their cards-on-file reach.

  2. Interesting that Amazon is using the same green color that Apple uses for non-Apple-platform messages. Amazon will be trying to make that color cool again.

  3. Amazon releasing a Messaging App would immediately bring them closer to being WeChat outside of China than any of their competitors. I can see Amazon integrating P2P payments based on Amazon Gift card balances in user accounts. Chat about a product you bought and it could immediately be a link to purchasing from Amazon. Remember practically everything Amazon does is not the end product, it is a means to making purchases from Amazon more frictionless.

    1. This is more than likely the goal. They don’t even care about being number 1, as long as they can pull folks from WeChat. More and more companies are thinking of specific products for the Chinese market, and Amazon’s in the best position to get people to drop WeChat.

  4. Agreed, I see this as wechat for the rest of the world with all its services. The OS wechat runs on is insignificant. This is Amazons go at creating a platform without the overhead of the hardware and base OS.

  5. Amazon ALREADY pushed out a messaging app. It’s received minimal attention, which is why no one here has heard of it. It’s called Chime. You can read about it and get inundated with its hyperactive marketing spiel here:


    You get 30 days free before pestering to buy subscription plan for Plus ($2.50/mth) or Pro ($15/mth) versions. The Pro version appears to be aimed at businesses that would like to conference from 3 to 100 people at a time with messaging, voice, video, white board and perks.

    So what’s this ‘Anytime’ thingy? It’s stripped down to only do messaging. If Amazon buy Slack (which I hope they don’t as I see zero fit or competence!), ‘Anytime’ would probably be redundant and dumped or altered to fit into the Slack functionality. We shall see.

    My general opinion is a *yawn*. But it can’t hurt Amazon to try. Competition is the father of innovation…

    1. Looking at the Amazon Chime product, it would make sense for Amazon to repackage most functions in the ‘Free’ tier and rename it “Anytime”. That way they could have a ‘messaging’ app that not only does chat but has some video chat functions to become a platform agnostic ‘Facetime/Google Duo”. Amazon is cloud king after all.

      1. It just occurred to me after the above comment that Anytime/Chime(free tier) might be ways in which the Amazon Show device sales would increase, especially if Anytime included video chat capabilities. Anytime might also be considered a ‘gateway’ app to the Chime product in that scenario.

  6. This is Tim Cooks Apple….they don’t look into great ideas anymore until the community starts demanding it.

    I’m so done with Cook. I really liked him in the beginning but it really shows now in 2017 that he was working a lot under the Jobs era. That has gone now and Cooks way of doing things just isn’t good.

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