Sick of the Apple lock-in? Here are the Best iMessage Alternatives on Mac

Oren Todoros
By Oren Todoros, Updated on June 05, 2024, 9 min read
iMessage for Mac

Looking for a messaging platform beyond iMessage on your Mac in 2024? While iMessage is great when it works and all your friends are on it, it’s not the best option for connecting with friends on different platforms. If you want a more open platform that works seamlessly with your friends on Chromebooks, Windows, and Android, then you need an alternative that offers compatibility and versatility.


At Spike, we believe in open and flexible platforms that can be used on various devices. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best iMessage alternatives for Mac that not only offer cross-platform functionality but also include robust team chat features. Say goodbye to Apple’s lock-in and hello to a more inclusive and collaborative messaging experience.




What Are You Looking for in iMessage Alternatives for Mac?

When looking for iMessage alternatives for Mac, there are some key things to consider when researching solutions. We’ve put together a handy table of features to consider. Even if you are looking at an app that’s not listed here, use this features checklist to figure out what you need to be looking for when considering options.







Open Technology


Works with Everyone

Free to Use

On Apple devices



Top 5 iMessage Alternatives on Mac





1. iMessage for Mac

iMessage for Mac


You might be wondering why we’re listing iMessage for Mac on a list of iMessage alternatives, but it’s important to remember why iMessage is popular. iMessage works on all Apple devices with just your phone number.


When new people log in to their messages app on any Apple device, they are automatically signed up for iMessage. Most people don’t even know they are using iMessage as they just use it like they would their standard SMS app.


iMessage is also very secure as Apple controls all of the encryption. Still, it’s not available in all countries, so if you are in a country where iMessage isn’t available, you’ll need to find a Mac alternative for iMessage.


If you want to find out the best iMessage for PC app or the best iMessage for Android app, check out our relevant articles for information on how to make messaging work for all of your devices.


iMessage is free, but it requires an Apple hardware tax. You can only use it with an Apple device, so if you can’t afford Apple devices or work in an industry that doesn’t use Apple hardware, you’ll need to look elsewhere for a next-generation messenger app.


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2. Spike

Best Alternatives for iMessage on Mac


Spike hits the mark as the best iMessage alternative for Mac because it checks all the right boxes for a messaging app that will work on all your devices with all of your friends and coworkers. Without simplifying the technical process too much, it’s easy to build a chat platform that is secure and works on every device you use.


What makes Spike unique is that you don’t need to convince all of your friends to sign up for an account. Spike works with your current email address to turn email into a messenger-like experience. Email accounts are as universal as phone numbers, so Spike follows the same model as iMessage on making it easy to get started. Just as iMessage became SMS+, Spike combines email and chat into Email+.


You shouldn’t have to think about whether you want to send someone an email or a text message. The technology should be invisible, and with Spike, you’ll have a seamless way to communicate with all of your friends and colleagues.


Spike works on Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Chromebooks (web app), and Android, so regardless of your computing choices for budget reasons or work reasons, you’ll have a way to message all of your friends securely and efficiently. If you work on a PC during the day but use an iPhone at night, Spike will follow you to all your devices to continue chatting with all of your friends without the Apple tax or Apple lock-in.


Spike is the perfect iMessage alternative for Mac when it comes to team and group chat. Spike’s universal approach to messaging allows you to connect with anyone, anywhere, on any device. With Spike, you don’t need to convince everyone to download a new app or create an account. Spike works with your existing email address, turning email into a seamless messaging experience.


Unlike iMessage, Spike is available on every major platform, including Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Chromebooks (web app), and Android. This means you can easily communicate with your team and friends, no matter what devices they use. Spike follows you wherever you go, so you can continue chatting without being locked into the Apple ecosystem.


Spike’s team chat features allow you to create groups for all your projects, teams, and departments. With group chat, you can easily collaborate and share files, links, and ideas with your team, regardless of where they are. Spike’s powerful search and organization features make it easy to find old conversations and important files.


Overall, Spike is the ultimate iMessage alternative for Mac when it comes to team and group chat. With its universal approach to messaging, support for all major platforms, and advanced team chat features, Spike is the perfect solution for staying connected with your team and friends.

Make your life easier while chatting on your Mac

3. WhatsApp

Best Alternatives for iMessage on Mac


The popular messaging app WhatsApp has been in the news recently, and not in a good way for their customers. After launching in 2019, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $19 million in stock and cash. Since then, it’s primarily been running as a hands-on subsidiary, and it’s possible that many of its users weren’t even aware they were using a product from Facebook.


WhatsApp has been popular for several reasons: price (free), and available everywhere (iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and the web). The problem is that WhatsApp is owned by a company that makes its money by advertising.


Facebook recently released a new privacy policy, and it has sent users scrambling for an alternative to WhatsApp. The update affects WhatsApp users in all countries outside of Europe and the UK, where strict data protection laws are due to the GDPR.


Users outside of the EU and UK will be required to consent for Facebook to access their data, including their phone number and information about how they interact with others, to continue using WhatsApp. For an app that promotes security as a critical feature, required data sharing isn’t sitting well with many of its users, so it’s hard to recommend it as an iMessage alternative for Mac.


Outside of those problems, you’ll also have to convince all of your friends to sign up for WhatsApp. If you have security-aware friends, they will likely push back immediately because of WhatsApp being owned by Facebook.


WhatsApp checks all the boxes for a great Mac alternative for iMessage, but long-term security should be considered before investing.



4. Signal

Best Alternatives for iMessage on Mac


Signal provides a secure platform for instant messaging. The service is developed through the Signal Foundation. The Signal Foundation is a not-for-profit organization led by Moxie Marlinspike (who co-authored the Signal Protocol) and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton. Their mission is purportedly to decentralize information across the globe and keep big tech companies from controlling everything.


To sign up for Signal, you’ll need to register your phone number with them. This is done by entering your phone number in the online form and then entering the verification code you receive via SMS. You can then install the mobile applications and the desktop applications. Signal is available on Mac, PC, the web, iOS, and Android.


Signal is secure, free, and open, so it checks many boxes as an excellent iMessage for Mac alternative. The problem, like WhatsApp, is that you have to convince all of your friends to move to Signal in order to enjoy the benefits.





Telegram is a great iMessage alternative for Mac when it comes to team chat: with its user-friendly interface, Telegram provides end-to-end encryption and cloud-based messaging—making it an ideal platform for secure group chats. With Telegram, you can create groups with up to 200,000 members, making it a great option for larger teams.


Telegram offers advanced features like polls, quizzes and bots—programs that can automate tasks within a group chat. For example, they can be used to schedule events or send notifications.


One of Telegram’s greatest strengths is that it works on so many different platforms. You can use it on your Mac, PC, smartphone or any tablet. This makes it an excellent tool for keeping in touch with your team, regardless of their location.


Overall, Telegram is a powerful messaging app that provides your team with an easy-to-use and secure platform for communicating. With its support for group chats, bots, and integrations, Telegram is an excellent iMessage alternative for Mac that can help your team stay productive and organized.

iMessage on Mac Alternatives FAQ

Spike checks all the boxes as the best text app for the Mac because it’s secure, free to use, works on all your devices, and you are already signed up as you just log in with your existing email address. Best of all – all your friends already have it as well! You can chat with them even if they don’t use Spike.

No, because of the Apple lock-in, iMessage is only available on pricey Apple laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets. If you use Android or a PC, you are out of luck!

iMessage alternatives for iPhone and iPad will be the same apps we’ve listed above as they are all cross-platform. If you want an open platform to chat with your friends on iPhone and iPad, download Spike, sign in with your email address, and start chatting!


Oren Todoros
Oren Todoros Oren is a strategic thinker with over 20 years of experience in the marketing industry and is the current Head of Content Strategy at Spike. He's also the proud father of 3 beautiful daughters and a dog named Milo.

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