Failure to communicate: Apple cuts off Beeper Mini messaging app for Android

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

A new messaging app, Beeper Mini, which had allowed users to run the iMessage app on Android phones, appears to be no longer functioning. The cause? Apple disabled it, according to various reports and sources, including comments on Reddit.

But shouldn’t messaging apps function like strong, open-minded family units, letting you take part in discussions, finding out when the next family party is, or even giving you important info on what to buy a strange great uncle you haven’t seen for years for his 89th birthday? And no matter what type of person you are (an Apple iPhone family member or friend or Android family member or friend), shouldn’t you be able to communicate with each other, via these messaging apps? That was the hope, at least, when the Beeper Mini app launched earlier this week, which provided a secure way to run the iMessage app on Android phones, provided that you were willing to pay a subscription fee. (There was a 7-day free trial and then a $1.99/month subscription fee). 

However, as actor Strother Martin declared in the classic film, Cool Hand Luke, it now appears “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” And so the dream of Android phones getting blue bubbles of text is over.

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.

The basis of this app came from a high school student who formed the start of the app at just 16 years old, according to The Verge, and was then turned into an available Android app by Beeper CEO, Eric Migicovsky. Essentially, the team at Beeper was able to use reverse engineering to produce the app, which allowed you to use it without even having an Apple ID.

One of the aspects that’s disappointing is that there was something quite inventive about Beeper Mini’s approach: As we reported earlier this week, “Unlike the Nothing app and Beeper’s previous attempts, the workaround this app uses is all within the app. Your account is still registered to you and sent from the Android phone to Apple’s servers without Beeper touching it.”

What’s also a shame is that there was something very elegant about many aspects of the app. For starters, as we reported earlier,  “setup is incredibly easy…. You’ll be able to use the Beeper Mini app to do everything native to iMessage on iPhone, including reacting to messages, sending high-quality images, taking part in group chats, and even editing blue bubbles.”

We’ll be sure to update this and other stories if there are additional developments to this story.

Terry Sullivan


Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.

  • Wotchered
    Surprise.
    Reply
  • Lee_Bo
    Nobody saw this coming.
    Reply
  • Just_Me_D
    If what’s in the article is true then it’s a shame the app was pulled. Having said that, I’m not surprised by Apple’s reaction.

    In addition, I don’t think the app would prevent Android users who want to switch to the iPhone from switching.

    Then again, I’m not a kid and therefore, iMessage would not be the primary reason for me switching to an iPhone. Heck, if things hadn’t gone south with RIM, I’d more than likely still be using a BlackBerry…. ;)
    Reply
  • Lee_Bo
    Just_Me_D said:
    Then again, I’m not a kid and therefore, iMessage would not be the primary reason for me switching to an iPhone. Heck, if things hadn’t gone south with RIM, I’d more than likely still be using a BlackBerry…. ;)

    Ditto. I loved all my Blackberry devices.
    Reply
  • aiwama
    Have people ever heard of WhatsApp? It is a free app! That's what the rest of the world, where the vast majority of Androids and iPhones can be found, use. People only use iMessage in the US.
    Reply
  • Lee_Bo
    aiwama said:
    People only use iMessage in the US.

    Interesting. I have relatives in England, France, Germany and Ecuador. All blue bubbles.
    Reply
  • Wotchered
    aiwama said:
    Have people ever heard of WhatsApp? It is a free app! That's what the rest of the world, where the vast majority of Androids and iPhones can be found, use. People only use iMessage in the US.

    Funny that, I live in the UK and most of my communication is on iMessage.
    What leads you to believe What’s App is free ? do you put no value on your Data?
    Reply