"Online"-free cross-platform mobile *and* desktop messaging?
February 21, 2014 9:39 AM   Subscribe

is there a mobile *and* desktop cross-platform messaging system that doesn't require "going online"?

Is there a system to "text" my girlfriend more flexibly:

• I use iOS, she uses Android for mobile.
• I'd like either of us or both to use an internet-connected Mac with a real keyboard. Like iMessage, but cross-platform on mobile. Windows is a plus.
• Jabber is cross platform and both mobile and desktop, but as far as I can tell, you have to "go online" (log in) to a server and that connection can't be maintained 24/7 without some battery drain. (or have I got that wrong?)
• Off The Record encryption is a plus, but has that "online" problem in the implementations I've seen so far. (IM+, ChatSecure and Adium).
• An open protocol like Jabber (XMPP) is a plus.

WhatsApp, Viber & Kik seem to do login-free messaging, but only on mobile. Skype, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts might fill the bill. They leave privacy in someone else's hands, but I'm still interested in hearing whether they can substitute for SMS (instant-ish notification).

Plain ol' email with a fancy notification scheme almost works but notifications take a minute or 2 instead of seconds and it "feels wrong" to use it for quick hellos.
posted by morganw to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Line does what you want... I think.
posted by BabeTheBlueOX at 9:42 AM on February 21, 2014

Viber has a desktop client.
posted by deezil at 9:42 AM on February 21, 2014

It's ugly as hell on iOS, but I think Viber is pretty much what you're looking for. That or Hangouts.

For awhile (before I ended up on Android), my GF and I were doing Hangouts on her end and I had IM+ logged into gchat on mine. It was...okay. I remember there being some annoying things. (Couldn't use Hangouts app because I refuse to have G+ account).
posted by General Malaise at 9:53 AM on February 21, 2014

Stick with text messages.

Get a second number from Google voice for free and text each other back and forth using your computer. There will be an app so that your phone also gets Google voice texts.

Gmail also allows you to send SMS messages for free that the other can reply to from their phone.
posted by jsturgill at 10:17 AM on February 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you checked WeChat, Kakao, and MessageMe?
posted by Dansaman at 2:26 PM on February 21, 2014

My husband's in Android and I'm on iOS. We use Google Hangouts.
posted by web-goddess at 2:29 PM on February 21, 2014

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