iMessage Comes to Android with Beeper Mini, including E2EE Follow Dec 05, 2023 · 2 mins read
iMessage Comes to Android with Beeper Mini, including E2EE
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A new app called Beeper Mini brings native iMessage support to Android, closely mimicking the experience iPhone users have. The app connects directly to Apple’s servers, without needing to sign in through a remote Mac or Beeper’s own servers. Beeper reverse-engineered iMessage to make this happen.

Beeper first arrived in 2021, combining chat apps in one spot. The big draw was iMessage support by connecting to a remote Mac signed into a user’s Apple ID. Some felt this method was worrisome.

Beeper Mini connects your Android phone straight to Apple. You sign right into your Apple ID through Apple. According to Beeper, no third party servers relay messages or media - it’s a direct line from your device to Apple. Shockingly, you can even use Beeper Mini without an Apple ID. The downside is you lose cross-device support and the ability to message others from your email address.

The new method also enables using your phone number with iMessage, just like on an iPhone. So Android users can switch seamlessly between SMS/RCS and iMessage conversations. If an iPhone user messages your number or adds you to a group chat, you’ll see blue message bubbles on Android.

The app interface combines aspects of Google Messages and iMessage for a familiar feel.

Addressing privacy concerns, Beeper has published proof-of-concept code showing exactly how everything works. Founder Eric Migicovsky explained transparency is critical so users can trust the app, especially after the Nothing Chats debacle involving unencrypted messages. He stated Beeper operates openly, with largely open source backend code. A full public security review is imminent.

Migicovsky believes Apple should allow the app to foster iPhone user security. Beeper Mini encrypts messages between platforms. He said iPhone owners should encourage Android friends to use it. However, some worry Apple could see it as a security breach.

Legally, the app is protected under DMCA rules allowing reverse engineering for interoperability. Still, Apple could break Beeper Mini functionality through iMessage changes. But that might also affect older iPhones and Macs no longer getting updates. For now Beeper Mini seems reasonably safe from Apple interference.

The app is available now from the Play Store. You get 7 days free then it costs $2 monthly. Beeper Cloud will continue as the service for Windows and other platforms, supporting WhatsApp and more.

So Android users now have an option bringing seamless native iMessage support from iPhones. Beeper Mini connects you directly into Apple’s network. It closely replicates the iPhone messaging experience many want access to.

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