February 22, 2024

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Apple cut off the Beeper Mini’s access after launching the service that brought iMessage to Android

Apple cut off the Beeper Mini’s access after launching the service that brought iMessage to Android

Was it too good to be true? WhistleStartup that reverse-engineered iMessage app to deliver blue bubble texts to Android users suffers outage, company says It was reported via a post on X on Friday. It appears that Apple is responsible. Users, including those of us at TechCrunch with access to the app, started seeing error messages when trying to send text messages via the newly released Beeper Mini and the messages weren’t being sent.

The error message says: “Search failed on server: Search request timed out” written in red letters.

Image credits: Screenshot of Beeper Mini error

In response to a question about Reddit Regarding whether the app is down or not, a Beeper team member previously responded: “Report a problem with the app and give us a chance to look into it.”

However, CEO Bieber Eric Migicowski TechCrunch’s inquiry about the status of the Beeper Mini was answered by directing us to Post X that acknowledges the interruption, and provide more details. When asked if Apple had found a way to cut off the Beeper Mini’s ability to function, he replied: “Yes, all the data points to that.”

We don’t know what this means for the future of the Beeper Mini effort, unless Beeper engineers can somehow solve the problem.

Migicowski, who previously founded the Pebble smartwatch, argued that the Beeper Mini was not only useful for Android users who wanted to finally join their friends’ group chats in iMessage, but it increased security for iPhone users as well.

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In an interview before the Beeper Mini launch, the founder explained that the green bubble texts were unencrypted.

“This means that any time you send a text message to your friends on Android, anyone can read the message. Apple can read the message. Your carrier can read the message. Google… literally, it’s like a postcard. Anyone can read it “So the Beeper Mini really increases the security of iPhones,” he told TechCrunch.

Apple, on the other hand, sees iMessage as one of the key tools to connect users to its ecosystem, which is why it will not launch an iMessage app for Android. While there was some hope that EU regulations would force iMessage to be made more interoperable, news this week suggests that iMessage will get an exemption from those rules because the service isn’t popular enough with business users. This means that Apple has no reason not to try to stop the Beeper Mini, if it were possible.

Migicowski is not happy about this turn of events.

“I would be very interested to know why they think making security worse for iPhone users makes sense,” he said.

“If it’s Apple, I think the bigger question is – if Apple really cares about the privacy and security of its iPhone users, why would they try to kill a service that enables the iPhone to send encrypted conversations to Android users? With their announcement of support for RCS, it’s clear that Apple You know it has a big gap here. The Beeper Mini is here today and it works great. Why are they forcing iPhone users to go back to sending unencrypted SMS when chatting with friends on Android?

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Founded in 2020, the Beeper team was originally working on a cross-platform messaging aggregator, which was renamed to Beeper Cloud this week with the launch of Beeper Mini. The latter uses the new technology It allows Android users to text iMessage users as if they were also texting from iPhone for just $1.99 per month. This means there are blue bubbles in the group chat, not green bubbles. Since the startup no longer uses an intermediary — such as a Mac server that transmits messages, as other iMessage apps to Android do — it would essentially appear to Apple’s servers that Beeper Mini messages were coming from a device running iMessage natively. It’s unclear, then, how Apple was able to cut off the Beeper Mini’s access.

What this means for the Beeper Mini’s future is uncertain.

“We will evaluate options,” Migicowski said.

Update, perhaps?