The messaging company Beeper has launched its latest app, Beeper Mini, on Android phones. The app successfully implements full iMessage capabilities, with Android phone numbers being able to both send and receive iMessages from iOS devices without using a server or Mac based backend, which caused issues with the recently launched (and pulled) Nothing Chats.
Once the app is installed, group chats will detect that the phone number is now capable of receiving iMessages and will convert accordingly without losing messages. It will also enable all functionality of iMessage, including the improvements brought in with iOS 17 in September.
Beeper’s original app, as well as the previously mentioned Nothing Chats (which was provided by Sunbird), have previously made use of a Mac relay server in a data center to enable this communication. However, this exposes a lot of security concerns which eventually led to Sunbird (and Nothing Chats) being pulled from Google Play. Beeper Mini however, utilises a different approach. It connects directly to the Apple servers, which maintains the end-to-end encryption, as well as not requiring visibility or access to Apple ID’s.
The app is currently available on Google Play, and it has a subscription model to maintain access. There is a 7 day free trial and then there is a charge of $1.99 a month, which for some Android users may be a small price to pay to gain access to iMessage functionality.
Apple has yet to comment, and whether it will take action against Beeper in any way (even though Beeper has confirmed to The Verge that it is well within the law) remains to be seen. Apple may patch out this access route for Beeper in future updates to the iMessage protocol to encourage the use of RCS messaging instead, which it is bringing to iOS sometime next year.
Source: The Verge