Apple confirms it's blocking "masquerading apps" running iMessage on Android

Beeper Mini iMessage on Android
(Image credit: Future / Beeper)

There has been a ton of buzz about iMessage of late, mostly about the closed and exclusive nature of the app, and the many attempts to bring it to Android unofficially. The latest attempt came from Beeper, which seemed to have cracked how to get iMessage to run on Android relatively hassle-free.

That is until it stopped working a mere four days after launch. Apple has now confirmed that it patched unauthorized access to iMessage in a new statement to the media. While Beeper has said it's working on restoring the service so far, Apple seems determined to kill off any attempts to run iMessage on Android.

"Significant risks to user security and privacy," says Apple

Apple's "ecosystem" is touted as a key selling point for its devices, and iMessage is a key part of it, especially in the US. While Apple has agreed to bring RCS support to iPhones in 2024, the conversation about iMessage being opened up still doesn't seem to have slowed down.

Apple, however, thinks of the attempts to port over iMessage to Android as a violation of user privacy and security. 

The company said in a statement (via CNET), "At Apple, we build our products and services with industry-leading privacy and security technologies designed to give users control of their data and keep personal information safe. We took steps to protect our users by blocking techniques that exploit fake credentials in order to gain access to iMessage."

It also called the likes of Beeper Mini "masquerading apps", "To maintain end-to-end encryption, Apple can't verify these messages sent through masquerading apps as having valid credentials. These techniques posed significant risks to user security and privacy, including the potential for metadata exposure and enabling unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks. We will continue to make updates in the future to protect our users."

While Apple's statement doesn't name names, it's pretty clear that the company will keep squashing unofficial ports. It's certainly under some pressure, with US politicians already responding to the move.

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However, you won't likely see iMessage working for too long on phones other than the best iPhones anytime soon.

Palash Volvoikar
Contributor

Palash has been a technology and entertainment journalist since 2013. Starting with Android news and features, he has also worked as the news head for Wiki of Thrones, and a freelance writer for Windows Central, Observer, MakeUseOf, MySmartPrice, ThinkComputers, and others. He also worked as a writer and journalist for Android Authority, covering computing, before returning to freelancing all over town.

  • naddy69
    "Green bubble texts are less secure. So why would Apple block a new app allowing Android users to chat with iPhone users on iMessage? Big Tech executives are protecting profits by squashing competitors. Chatting between different platforms should be easy and secure."

    Great. Another know-nothing politician pretending to understand technology. Chatting between platforms IS easy and secure. Hacking into Apple's servers is NOT secure.

    If this company/person continues to do this, expect some legal action by Apple.
    Reply
  • Bla1ze
    naddy69 said:
    Hacking into Apple's servers is NOT secure.
    No one hacked into Apple's servers though.
    Reply