Hate being looked down on by your superior friends with Apple smartphones? Do they laugh at your puny green bubbles whenever they pop up? While it’s more of a concern in the States than anywhere in Europe, blue bubble envy is a thing. But the Beeper Mini app reckons it’s brought iMessage to Android.
Or at least, that was the plan. Last week, Apple took down Beeper Mini by blocking its access to register numbers. Beeper worked on a fix and it has now launched a new version available on the Google Play Store. It says: “We’ve created an updated version of Beeper Mini that fixes an issue that caused messages not to be sent or received.”
But with Apple in charge of iMessage registrations, it seems like the companies could go round and round.
What is Beeper Mini?
Beeper Mini is a standalone Android app that lets Android users send and receive those coveted blue bubble messages. This isn’t just about bubble aesthetics, though. Beeper Mini packs all the chat features you’d expect, like end-to-end encryption, typing status, read receipts, full resolution attachments, and even emoji reactions. For Android users, it’s like getting invited to the cool kids’ table.
Unlike Nothing’s disastrous attempt at this a few weeks back, Beeper Mini seems to have cracked the code, by reverse engineering what makes iMessage tick.
Beeper Mini is currently up for grabs on the Google Play Store, and it comes with a 7-day free trial. After that, it’s $1.99 per month. No ads, no data selling shenanigans – just a straightforward subscription for a nifty app that makes your green bubbles blue. There’s talk about a desktop app in the future, and integrations with other messaging platforms.
How does Beeper Mini actually work?
But here’s where it gets interesting. Unlike previous attempts at bringing iMessage to Android, Beeper Mini doesn’t require a Mac relay server in the cloud. Instead, it connects directly to Apple‘s servers to send and receive messages.
This connection enables Android users to use their existing phone numbers, instead of email addresses, for messaging, making the process more seamless and integrated with their existing phone use. If you do want to connect your Apple ID to use an email address, you can do so.
Throughout the connection with Apple’s servers, everything remains encrypted with end-to-end encryption. It’s the same level of security that iPhone users already enjoy from iMessage. Your encryption keys are kept locally on your device, and you don’t even need an Apple ID to use the app.
How safe is this Android version of iMessage?
As we’ve already spoken about, Beeper Mini uses end-to-end encryption, so all your messages are going to be safe from prying eyes. You can delete messages, just like you could from an iPhone, so there’s that extra layer of security. But how does Apple feel about all this?
As we guessed, the folks over at Cupertino aren’t all that happy about this. Beeper Mini has already been taken down by Apple. The tech giant has kept iMessage away from Android for a reason. Yes, you can now make FaceTime calls via the web (sort of) on Android devices, but Apple clearly wants to keep its communication apps for iPhone only. Could Beeper Mini fix Apple’s patch? Potentially. But it seems like the brands would just go back and forth. And Apple will likely come out on top.
But, we’ll leave you to take caution. If Apple decides to push back further, they could begin banning phone numbers or email addresses using Beeper Mini. We don’t know exactly what Apple thinks, so sign up for the app at the risk of facing the wrath of Tim Apple.