Mobile Messaging is Broken

We hear see it in the communities all the time. People in every single camp arguing over how great their respective platforms messaging app is or isn’t. However I feel what people fail to see is that messaging as a whole is simply broken and I do not see it getting any better. Instant messaging is like email and if it is not cross platform it kind of just sucks.The Messaging Closed Garden

iMessage is great for iPhone users and their iPhone using friends. However the minute 1 of your friends jumps ship, they are at risk of losing a message or never receiving one because either…they have an iPad which got the message and it never got delivered to their Android or Windows phone as a SMS…or an array of other weird delivery problems. The issue here is that iMessage is not cross platform, which in the end makes it only as good as what device the person your sending it to has. It is a seamless and elegant application but it doesn’t solve the mobile messaging problem.

The Messaging Cross-Platform Jungle

Now on the other side you have multiple cross platform apps for messaging. You have Hangouts, which will has SMS integration. This great because you can send and view SMS messages and Hangouts all in one app, and it is cross platform. Problem solved…right? Not really. Hangouts problem is actually the complete opposite of iMessage. Hangouts requires everyone to be using Hangouts, which for the most part probably is not going to happen that much with iOS. In addition Google decided to inelegantly separate SMS and IM messages in different threads which makes absolutely no sense. Even with Android…users are dispersed between FB Messenger, WhatsApp, ChatOn and others so the problem is even worse. Plus to add a little more, even if a user used Hangouts or another app on iOS…it cannot act as its default SMS provider, so it brings us back to the initial problem of juggling multiple messaging apps.

Which brings us back to the original claim, that mobile messaging is broken. Yes it works well for the pocket of users each messaging platform supports but in the end for many people messaging will continue to stay an array of 2 – 3 Apps users use to communicate. For me who carry’s a iPhone for work and Nexus 5 for personal…

– WhatsApp on my Nexus 5 to party chat with my sisters
– Hangouts on my iPhone and Nexus 5 to chat with my wife through IM and SMS for everyone else.
– iMessage on my iPhone for SMS and sometimes IM’s from my baby sister and my dad

Yep for me that is 3 apps. This is the new normal for mobile messaging, and I don’t see it going away