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

Spike Team
By Spike Team, March 08, 2021, 7 min read
iMessage for Mac

iMessage is built into macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Apple Watch. Since Apple owns and controls the technology, it’s great when it works and when all your friends are on it. What happens when you want a more open platform that works with your friends on Chromebooks, Windows, and Android? iMessage is a closed platform, so it’s great for texting with your Apple friends, but not so much with your friends on other platforms. Here at Spike, we love open platforms that can be used on various devices, so we’ve compiled the best iMessage alternatives for Mac.


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



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.


Discover More:



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.


Make your life easier while chatting on your Mac


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.



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.

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!


Spike Team
Spike Team The Spike team posts about productivity, time management, and the future of email, messaging and collaboration.

The future of email is here,
are you ready for it?

You may also like