Apple Shuts Down App That Let Android Users Send Blue-Bubble Texts to iPhones Sorry, Android users.
- Apple has blocked Beeper Mini, which lets Android users send blue-bubble texts to iPhones.
- The tech giant said the app "exploited fake credentials" and posed a security and privacy risk.
- The move has attracted backlash, with Elizabeth Warren accusing Apple of "squashing competitors."
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Sorry Android users, it looks like the dreaded iPhone green text bubbles are here to stay for now.
Apple has blocked an app that lets Android users send blue-bubble texts to iPhones, calling it a security and privacy threat.
Beeper Mini, which launched last week, charged users $1.99 a month to circumvent the green text bubbles that appear when an Android phone texts an iPhone. Users could also access a host of other iMessage features like emojis and voice messages.
Previous attempts have led to mixed results, but Beeper Mini cracked it by reverse engineering the iMessage protocol. The prototype for the app was created by a 16-year-old student, cofounder Eric Migicovsky told Business Insider. The company later hired him part-time.
Migicovsky said that Beeper Mini would improve the Android-iPhone texting experience and make it more secure as Android users could access iMessage encryption.
Apple disagreed and blocked the app from accessing iMessage on Friday, with a spokesperson telling The Verge that Beeper Mini posed a security risk.
"We took steps to protect our users by blocking techniques that exploit fake credentials in order to gain access to iMessage," they said.
"These techniques posed significant risks to user security and privacy, including the potential for metadata exposure and enabling unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks," they added.
Apple is under pressure to open up its iMessage network and make texting between Android and iPhones a less terrible experience.
The tech giant plans to adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS) next year, allowing Android users to access iPhone-only features like read receipts and typing indicators, and prevent photos and videos from showing up fuzzy and compressed.
However, the decision to block Beeper shows that Apple is still fiercely protective of its messaging service, despite backlash from some prominent tech critics, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
"Green bubble texts are less secure. So why would Apple block a new app allowing Android users to chat with iPhone users on iMessage?" said the Massachusetts senator in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
"Big Tech executives are protecting profits by squashing competitors."
Apple and Beeper did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BI, made outside normal working hours.