Beeper launches Android app to text iPhones with blue bubbles

Android users can now send and receive iMessage texts that will show up in blue on Apple devices and use other functionality with the new Beeper Mini app, which costs $1.99 per month.

The developer promises no ads, security with end-to-end encryption, no need for an Apple device or Apple ID, and a future vision to include all messaging into one app.

“Our beautiful new Android app built specifically to send and receive blue bubble messages to friends with iPhones,” Beeper’s post reads.

Green bubbles in iPhone messages are used to indicate standard SMS/MMS communication, which is limited in features and quality. The blue bubbles mark messages sent via the iMessage service, offering advanced features.

Beeper look

The new app is now available on Google’s Play Store. It allows Android users to join iPhone-only group chats since people can add their phone numbers instead of email addresses.

“All chat features like typing status, read receipts, full resolution images/video, emoji reactions, voice messages, editing, un-sending, and more are supported,” the developer claims.

There were other attempts to spoof iMessages from Android devices, relaying them through a separate server, a Mac device somewhere in the cloud. This practice raised concerns about privacy and security.

Beeper Mini claims to send and receive end-to-end encrypted messages directly to Apple servers, and encryption keys never leave the user’s device.

“Beeper (and Apple) cannot see your messages,” the company assures. “No Apple ID is required. Beeper does not have access to your Apple account.”

This became possible when the iMessage protocol and encryption were reverse-engineered by jjtech, a security researcher. Beeper Mini implemented the iMessage protocol locally within the app.

The app requires users to log in using their Google account and add a payment option. Users can try the app for free for seven days.

“Over time, we will be adding support for 15 chat networks into Beeper Mini. Encrypted chat networks, like WhatsApp and Signal, will connect directly rather than going through a cloud server and be fully end-to-end encrypted in Beeper Mini, similar to iMessage,” the company shared its vision.

The news attracted a lot of attention on Hacker News with hundreds of comments, some doubting that it’s legal to connect to Apple servers without permission. Some are reluctant to use the app, fearing bans.

“I really hope you survive Apple's inevitable attempts to kill this. A universal chat application would be amazing,” one user posted.

Some iPhone users on X already shared their experiences when receiving texts from Android via Beeper.

According to TechCrunch, Beeper Mini supportss high-resolution photos and videos, threads, replies, read receipts, direct messages and group chats, tapback emoji reactions, editing and unsending messages, as well as support for stickers, GIFs, voice notes and more. Live location sharing, message effects and support for FaceTime audio and video calls are not yet supported.

Apple itself has previously announced plans to support the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard starting early next year, albeit in green bubbles. With RCS, an industry standard for messaging, users will be able to send and receive high-quality photos and videos, chat over WiFi or cellular data, and know when messages were read, among other features.

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