Would you like to have (secure) access to iMessage on Android for €2 per month?

Corentin Béchade

December 6, 2023 at 8:43 a.m.


Beeper_Mini_Illustration_0612 © Beeper

Beeper Mini opens the doors to iMessage on Android © Beeper

A new application promises to offer access to iMessage to Android mobile users. And this time, it seems secure.

Just a few weeks after the Nothing Chats debacle, another application offers Android mobile owners compatibility with iMessage, Apple’s instant messaging solution. Beeper Mini, as it is called, operates, however, in a much more secure manner than all other solutions on the market. And all this, thanks to the hard work of a teenager who managed to dissect Apple’s messaging protocol.

A hub for all your instant messaging

The promise of Beeper Mini is simple. Giving you all the features of iMessage, on an Android phone. Using the app, your messages appear in the form of blue bubbles, you can add reactions to messages, create conversation threads and even send high quality photos and videos. End-to-end encryption is also included.

The only downside is that after a free 7-day trial period, using Beeper Mini costs €2 per month. To just access iMessage, that’s probably a lot, but Beeper (the company) has promised that eventually the app will bring together your Signal, WhatsApp, SMS chats and more. Beeper’s stated goal is to become a hub for all your digital communications that will perhaps convince you to stop juggling between 12 different messaging applications.

Initially, however, the service will focus on iMessage. And, unlike Nothing’s solution (and the old Beeper app), Beeper Mini doesn’t pass your messages through a Mac into the cloud. Everything happens locally on your phone, no communication of your Apple ID is required, your messages are end-to-end encrypted and your contact list is never shared with anyone, assures the company.

Like a taste of DSA

This is all made possible thanks to a reverse engineering exploit that allows an Android phone to pass itself off as an iPhone to Apple’s servers. Once the encryption keys are generated, Beeper scans the arrival of messages containing your public key on Apple’s servers and transmits them to you to be decrypted using the private key installed on your phone. The full technical explanation is available on the JJTech blog, maintained by the teenager responsible for dissecting the iMessage protocol.

According to Beeper, the solution proposed by the company is sustainable since Apple cannot cut off access to Beeper Mini without also cutting off access for iPhone owners. Not sure Apple wants that anyway. With the adoption of DSA, the company will be forced (if all goes well) to open its messaging service to competition. And if the recent adoption of the RCS standard is already a step in the right direction, we can hope that Apple does not kill the only software that offers correct interoperability with its service. This would risk angering the European Union.

Source : Beeper Blog

Corentin Béchade

A journalist for almost 10 years, I have been in the tech and digital sector since my very first jobs. Tinkerer (a lot), librarian (a little), I developed a specialization in...

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A journalist for almost 10 years, I have been in the tech and digital sector since my very first jobs. Tinkerer (a lot), librarian (a little), I have developed a specialization in the themes of ecology and digital technology as well as the protection of private life. On weekends I torture Raspberry Pis with lots of 'sudo' commands to relax.

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