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WhatsApp Vs iMessage – What Sets Them Apart?

Once upon a time… mobile phone users communicated via short messaging services more frequently than today. Back then, service providers capitalized on this new service and came up with subscription plans. As a result, users had to bear huge monthly expenses just to send messages and make voice calls between family, friends and business associated.

WhatsApp Vs iMessage

In 2009, two former employees of Yahoo came up with a simple idea – a message app. At the time, smart phones were becoming popular and app stores had started to gain more visitors. This idea became WhatsApp in 2009 and in 2011, Apple followed suit with its own app, iMessage.

So, what are the differences between WhatsApp vs iMessage?


When WhatsApp went live in November 2009, it was launched exclusively on the App Store. This version was designed for the iPhone. From January 2010, WhatsApp started providing support for Blackberry smart phones, Symbian OS and Android OS. A beta for the Nokia Series 40, which was a non smart phone, was also added. Today, the app runs on Android OS, Blackberry, Symbian OS, Windows specifically Windows 8 and above plus MacOS namely OS X 10.9 and higher. This means that WhatsApp runs on more than 5 operating systems.

iMessage is an instant message service that was developed for Apple devices namely the iPhone and iPad. In 2012, the app was launched and the service was able to deliver 28,000 messages per second. Today, it has grown to support iOS, macOS and watchOS.

What is the iMessage WhatsApp difference? WhatsApp is cross platform while iMessage runs on Apple devices.


WhatsApp relies on network connectivity to allow sending and receiving of messages plus multimedia content between WhatsApp servers and the user’s smart phone. When it comes to connectivity, choices available include mobile data and Wi-Fi. Mobile data is provided by the service provider and users do incur charges depending on the plan they have selected. The problem with mobile data is that it can be quite expensive especially when you send, receive and play multimedia content (videos). There are areas where mobile connectivity can be problematic. With WhatsApp, users can switch to Wi-Fi. If Wi-Fi connectivity is lacking, WhatsApp users have to wait for better reception.

When it comes to iMessage vs WhatsApp international, not only does the application use both mobile data and Wi-Fi connectivity, it can revert into a normal short messaging service when both options are not available. This allows you to continue chatting with friends.

All in all, WhatsApp vs iMessage data usage has been minimized thanks to the internet and Wi-Fi connection.

Web access via PC

In January 2015, WhatsApp announced that PC users will have access to the WhatsApp web client. Koum, a co-founder described the web client as an extension of one’s smart phone. The web client was supposed to mirror conversations and messages from the smart phone. Users are able to use the web client via major browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Edge but not supported on Microsoft Internet Explorer. For the web client to work, your mobile phone must also be connected to the internet. Since mobile data can be quite expensive, it’s wise to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot. The web client’s user interface is similar to the WhatsApp interface available on Android.

When it comes to iMessage, no web client is available that will allow users to access their messages via PC. The only solution approved by Apple is by using a Mac.

Messaging protocol

According to Statista, as of January 2017, WhatsApp had 1.2 billion monthly active users up from 1 billion in February 2016. The service is growing in terms popularity resulting in more users joining the platform. To ensure improved WhatsApp vs iMessage security when it comes to sending messages and multimedia content between users, WhatsApp developers use a customized version of the open standard Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. This is a communications protocol for messaging based on the extensible markup language. The protocol was introduced in 1999 and is an open standard.

Tech analysts reveal that iMessage has experienced more than 63 quadrillion iMessages annually. This translates to over 200,000 iMessages per second. To ensure that users have the best experience, Apple utilizes the Apple Push Notification Service. It is a notification service that allows apps to send notification data between Apple devices. This is a proprietary binary protocol that sets up a Keep Alive connection with Apple servers.


There really are no big differences between the security features of WhatsApp and iMessage. They both agree to use end to end encryption to make exchanged messages secure either being sent or received. The drawback is that neither can protect you from the use of spyware apps that exist like mSpy. These spying programs get installed directly to iOS and Android devices, allowing messages that are sent to be directly intercepted by the person who controls the software.

Final Thoughts

Despite the differences, WhatsApp and iMessage are useful messaging apps with a large user base. The apps allow you to communicate with family and friends for free via your smart phone. This enables you to avoid SMS and voice call fees charged by your mobile service provider. Apart from sending messages to single users, you can create groups and mass text the users. WhatsApp allows users to mass text 256 people at once. You can keep the conversation going on larger devices too. For example iMessage connects with your iPad or Mac while WhatsApp connects with your tablets, PC and Mac too.

Don’t forget video and voice calls. You can keep in touch with family and friends at a much cheaper rate. How? WhatsApp routes your calls via the internet instead of BTS platforms saving you on call charges. When it comes to security, you are protected. Both apps offer end to end encryption by default. This ensures that all messages, multimedia content, video and voice calls are encrypted. No one can snoop on you.

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About Frankie Caruso

I'm Frankie Caruso. I'm a professional amateur in that ugly business of social media, instant messaging apps and computer security. I help all those frustrated people who call themselves digital illiterates to understand something about this confusing digital world.

2 thoughts on “WhatsApp Vs iMessage – What Sets Them Apart?”

  1. You forgot to mention that imessage is intentionally incompatible with the rest of the world and is only useful for apple product users. Whatsapp is open source and works the same on all platforms. It will never cease to amaze me how people fail to realize that apple’s goal is world domination. They call it thier “ecosystem”. It is actually a closed source product trap.


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