Apple cuts off Beeper Mini's entry after launch of service that introduced iMessage to Android


Was it too good to be true? Beeper, the startup that reverse-engineered iMessage to deliver blue bubble texts to Android customers, is experiencing an outage, the corporate reported through a submit on X on Friday. And Apple is in charge, it appears. Customers, together with these of us at TechCrunch with entry to the app, started seeing error messages when making an attempt to ship texts through the newly launched Beeper Mini and messages usually are not going by.

The error message reads: “did not lookup on server: lookup request timed out” spelled out in pink letters.

Picture Credit: screenshot of Beeper Mini error

In a response to a query on Reddit as as to whether or not the app was damaged, a Beeper crew member had earlier replied, “Report an issue from the app, give us an opportunity to look into it.”

Nonetheless, Beeper CEO Eric Migicovsky responded to TechCrunch’s inquiry about Beeper Mini’s standing by pointing us to the X submit acknowledging the outage, and offering extra element. Requested if presumably Apple discovered a method to reduce off Beeper Mini’s capability to perform, he replied, “Sure, all information signifies that.”

We don’t know what this implies for the way forward for Beeper Mini’s efforts, until Beeper’s engineers are capable of work round the issue by some means.

Migicovsky, who beforehand based the smartwatch Pebble, has argued that Beeper Mini wasn’t simply helpful for Android customers who needed to lastly be a part of their iMessage pals’ group chats, however that it elevated safety for iPhone customers, too.

In an interview forward of Beeper Mini’s launch, the founder defined that inexperienced bubble texts had been unencrypted.

“That implies that anytime you textual content your Android pals, anybody can learn the message. Apple can learn the message. Your cellphone provider can learn the message. Google… actually, it’s identical to a postcard. Anybody can learn it. So Beeper Mini truly will increase the safety of iPhones,” he had instructed TechCrunch.

Apple, however, sees iMessage as one of many key instruments for locking in customers to its ecosystem, which is why it received’t launch an iMessage app for Android. Whereas there was some hope that EU laws would power it to make iMessage extra interoperable, information this week signifies that iMessage will get a reprieve from these guidelines as a result of the service just isn’t standard sufficient with enterprise customers. Which means Apple has no purpose to not attempt to shut down Beeper Mini, if it may.

Migicovsky is none too happy with that flip of occasions.

“I’d be very to listen to why they assume that making safety worse for iPhone customers is smart,” he mentioned.

“If it’s Apple, then I feel the largest query is — if Apple really cares concerning the privateness and safety of their very own iPhone customers, why would they attempt to kill a service that allows iPhones to ship encrypted chats to Android customers? With their announcement of RCS help, it’s clear that Apple is aware of they’ve a gaping gap right here. Beeper Mini is right here at the moment and works nice. Why power iPhone customers again to sending unencrypted SMS after they chat with pals on Android?,” he requested.

Based in 2020, Beeper’s crew had initially been engaged on a multi-platform messaging aggregator, which was renamed Beeper Cloud this week as Beeper Mini went to launch. The latter makes use of new expertise that permits Android customers to textual content iMessage customers as in the event that they had been additionally texting from an iPhone for simply $1.99 monthly. Which means blue bubbles within the group chat, not inexperienced ones. As a result of the startup was now not utilizing a intermediary — like a Mac server relaying messages, as different iMessage-to-Android apps make use of — it could primarily seem to Apple’s servers that Beeper Mini’s messages had been coming from a tool that runs iMessage natively. It’s unclear, then, how Apple was capable of reduce off Beeper Mini’s entry.

What this implies for Beeper Mini’s future is unsure.

“We’ll consider choices,” Migicovsky mentioned.



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