The dream of accessing iMessage on Android is over, and this time it’s probably for good. Beeper Mini made headlines for finding various loopholes that allowed Android users to earn a blue bubble without an iPhone, only for Apple to cut off access. Now the developers have confirmed they’re throwing in the towel.
In a new blog post the developers stated that “Each time Beeper Mini goes ‘down’ or is made unreliable due to interference by Apple, Beeper’s credibility takes a hit. It’s unsustainable. As much as we want to fight for what we believe is a fantastic product that really should exist, the truth is that we can’t win a cat-and-mouse game with the largest company on earth.”
Which is all completely true, but it makes me wonder why they bothered to fight for as long as they have. Apple has been very protective of iMessage, especially if loopholes present a security concern, and there was no way it was ever going to let third party systems continue to try and game the system.
And you just know Apple’s legal department would have gotten involved if this continued much longer — assuming they haven’t already.
The current system is pretty complex, and probably out of reach for the majority of people. It relies on you having an old jailbroken iPhone (6, 6s, SE1, 7, 8 or X) alongside either a Mac or Linux computer. Beeper has a tool to generate an iMessage registration code in the latest version of the Beeper Mini app and you need to leave that jailbroken iPhone plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi at all times.
Which sounds exhausting and not worth the effort. Especially since Apple is adopting RCS next year, and plenty of third party services exist to offer better and more secure communication between Android and iOS devices.
Apple has stayed relatively quiet about the whole situation, only releasing a single statement right after Beeper Mini lost access to iMessage the first time round. Apple claimed that unauthorized access to iMessage was a risk to user security and privacy, and could expose them to “unwanted messages, spam and phishing attacks”.
Beeper has continued to deny these allegations, and criticized Apple’s actions at every turn. But now all that seems to be for naught. If you want to access iMessage you’ll just have to buy an iPhone — which is exactly what CEO Tim Cook wanted in the first place.
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Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.