iMessage app for Android has seemingly already been killed by Apple

What you need to know

  • Just days after Beeper Mini was launched, it seems that Apple has pulled the plug. 
  • Beeper Mini users have reported being unable to send messages, with the company stating it’s “investigating reports.”
  • In a statement to TechCrunch, CEO Eric Migicovsky surmises that Apple was able to “cut off Beeper Mini’s ability to function.”

For the time being, it appears as though the dream of being able to use iMessage on Android with Beeper Mini is dead. Late Friday afternoon, reports of errors when trying to send messages via Beeper Mini began cropping up. This was followed up by a post on X corroborating that there were issues, as the official Beeper account stated it was “investigating reports.”

When asked by TechCrunch about whether “Apple found a way to cut off Beeper Mini’s ability to function,” Beeper CEO Eric Migicovsky stated, “Yes, all data indicates that.” 

Thankfully, the problem doesn’t seem to be related to security, as was the case with Sunbird and Nothing Chats. All we can do is speculate, but this time around, Apple “fixed” whatever was “broken” with how iMessage communicates with Apple servers. 

As has been covered extensively over the past few days, a 16-year-old developer managed to reverse-engineer the way that iMessage works. Without getting too in the weeds, when you signed up for Beeper Mini, Apple’s servers would “think” that your Android phone was an iPhone. This includes providing end-to-end encryption for your messages, in addition to sending and receiving high-res images and videos, along with many of the other benefits offered by iMessage.

The end-to-end encryption part is rather important, not because Beeper Mini was doing anything nefarious but because Apple repeatedly beats the drum of the iPhone being more privacy-focused than anything else, as pointed out by Migicovsky.

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Beeper Mini iMessage on Android app likely already cutoff by Apple

Update 09/11/2023 11:52pm: Apple has released a statement to The Verge regarding its blocking of Beeper Mini. The tech giant says it’s blocking Beeper “to protect” users because it claims the app poses “significant risks to security and privacy.”

Below is Apple’s full statement regarding Beeper Mini:

“At Apple, we build our products and services with industry-leading privacy and security technologies designed to give users control of their data and keep personal information safe. We took steps to protect our users by blocking techniques that exploit fake credentials in order to gain access to iMessage. These techniques posed significant risks to user security and privacy, including the potential for metadata exposure and enabling unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks. We will continue to make updates in the future to protect our users.”


Beeper Mini, an iMessage on Android app that has received significant hype since its launch earlier this week, seems to have been killed off by Apple just days after release.

The platform is currently experiencing an outage that is likely permanent, with Canadian co-founder and Pebble creator Eric Migicovsky stating that “Yes, all data indicates that” Apple is blocking the platform, in an interview with The Verge. Migicovsky went on to say that he believes it’s in Apple’s best interest to allow iPhone and Android users to send encrypted messages to one another.

“If it’s Apple, then I think the biggest question is — if Apple truly cares about the privacy and security of their own iPhone users, why would they try to kill a service that enables iPhones to send encrypted chats to Android users?” said Migicovsky.

Starting on Friday December 8th, sending a message through the Beeper Mini app resulted in an error message saying, “failed to lookup on server: lookup request timed out.”

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Apple and Disney Halt Ads on X After Musk Endorses Antisemitic Post

Advertisers have been skittish about X since Mr. Musk bought the social media service last fall and said he wanted more free speech and would loosen content moderation rules. That meant the platform could theoretically place brands’ ads next to posts with offensive or hateful speech.

Many companies, including General Motors and Volkswagen, have balked at various points over the past year at having their promotions appear alongside a heavily documented surge in hate speech, misinformation and foreign propaganda on X. In April, Mr. Musk said nearly all advertisers had returned, without indicating whether they were spending at the same levels; he later noted that ad revenue had fallen 50 percent.

Mr. Musk also swung from threatening any advertisers that dared to pause their spending with a “thermonuclear name & shame” to wooing them by choosing Ms. Yaccarino, a former top ad executive at NBCUniversal, to replace him as chief executive. He picked public fights with major spenders like Apple and churned through sales executives given the task of maintaining relationships in the advertising industry. Top advertising companies, such as IPG, urged their clients to step back from X.

Advertising had long been about 90 percent of Twitter’s revenue before Mr. Musk bought the company. Last month, X told employees that the company was valued at $19 billion. That was down from the $44 billion that Mr. Musk paid.

The heightened sensitivity around antisemitism, Mr. Musk’s penchant for public squabbling and general fatigue after months of fuss over X left many advertising professionals hesitant to weigh in on Friday.

“Clients have always had to make decisions about content they will or will not be associated with,” Renee Miller, the founder of the Miller Group advertising agency in Los Angeles, said in an email. “We generally counsel our clients

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Google suggested that Apple pre-install its Search app on iPhones

Summary

  • Google asked Apple to include pre-installed software as part of the antitrust trial, hoping to have a search app or experience associated with Google on iPhones.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook was not very interested in the idea, noting that they had different strengths when it comes to software.
  • The specifics of how the deal would look were not discussed, but it could have included pre-installing the Google app or having a search bar widget on the home screen.


Google Pixel phones and iPhones, as different as they may be, have one thing in common: Both don’t include any pre-installed software from third-party vendors. That’s not the case for all the best Android phones out there and definitely isn’t true for Windows laptops, but it’s something you could always rely on with Apple hardware. We’ve learned that Google asked Apple to change just that as part of the big antitrust trial concerned with Google’s search dominance.

The revelations come as part of evidence from the courtroom, springing from an email chain summarizing talks between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook (via The Verge): “When discussing how to encourage search, [Pichai] spoke about the fact that this is what we do — people trust us to get this right and trust us with the content of what they are searching for — and weaved in them considering us building an app or other experience that people associate with us and connect to us (vs. flowing through Siri/suggest.)” Tim Cook didn’t seem to be too interested at the time, though: “Tim listened but did not react to this specifically other than noting we had different strengths.”

In court, Pichai was asked to share insight on the motives behind this suggestion. He explained that the talks were part

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Samsung joins Google in RCS shaming Apple

Samsung has released a new video in support of Google’s #GetTheMessage campaign which calls for Apple to adopt RCS or “Rich Communication Services,” the cross-platform protocol pitched as a successor to SMS that adopts many of the features found in modern messaging apps… like Apple’s own iMessage.

The video, titled “Green bubbles and blue bubbles want to be together,” shows a Romeo and Juliet-style conversation between two users who want to be together, but who are kept apart by one of their “parents.”

“What did green ever do to them? We’re bubbles too,” one of them asks.

The “bubbles,” of course, are a reference to Apple’s iMessage interface which shows feature-rich blue bubbles for messages sent between Apple users, and discordant green SMS bubbles with reduced functionality when Android users participate in the chat. This two-class system is especially frustrating in countries like the US where about half the population is using an iPhone and the other half is running Android on a Samsung device.

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Now You Can Update Airpod Firmware At Apple Stores – channelnews

Because it has previously been hard to update firmware on AirPods, Apple updated the the AirPods firmware support page, saying, “If you don’t have an Apple device nearby you can set up an appointment at a Apple store or with an Authorised Service Provider to update your firmware.”

That means if you like AirPods but still want to switch to an Android phone you won’t miss out on important firmware updates.

Beats products, owned by Apple, let you update firmware through the Beats app for Android, but AirPods don’t have a similar app for the Android platform.

You can’t even update AirPods through a computer, even if you go through iTunes, so until now the only way to update firmware on AirPods has been via an Apple device.

Now you can get firmware updated at not just an Apple store but an authorised Apple service provider.

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