Beeper Mini, the iMessage on Android app that Apple shut down, is back — but for how long?

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

In another twist to the story, Beeper Mini, the end-to-end encrypted Android app that allows you to send iMessages from an Android smartphone without needing an iPhone, is back on the Google Play Store.

Last Tuesday, Beeper Mini launched on Google Play with what the company is calling “the fastest growing paid Android application launch in history. In the first 48 hours, it was downloaded by more than 100,000 people.”

On Friday, Apple responded by blocking the techniques used by Bleeper Mini to access iMessage in what seemed like the end of the blue bubble app on Android.

Now, just a few days later, Beeper Mini has returned with a new update that makes the service work on Apple’s official iMessage servers with no middleman in sight. Unfortunately, in its current state, users must have access to an Apple ID to use Beeper Mini on Android, which, while it’s not a deal breaker, does add a point of friction that didn’t exist before Apple’s security changes. Previously, you could sign up and use Beeper Mini without access to an Apple ID, just your phone number.

Beeper has also decided to make the previously paid service completely free to use. This is only temporary, but Beeper says, “Things have been a bit chaotic, and we’re not comfortable subjecting paying users to this. As soon as things stabilize (we hope they will), we’ll look at turning on subscriptions again.”

What next for Beeper Mini?

Beeper’s official blog post from cofounders Eric Migicovsky and Brad Murray details the update that now makes Beeper Mini work again on Android.

The blog post includes Apple’s statement to The Verge on Saturday, “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. 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.”

Beeper’s response? “The statement is complete FUD. Beeper Mini made communication between Android and iPhone users more secure. That is a fact.

Make no mistake, the changes Apple made on Friday were designed to protect the lock-in effect of iMessage. The end result is that iPhone customers have less security and privacy than before.”

The whole statement is worth reading on Beeper’s website, but this response from the company, opting to fight fire with fire rather than succumb to Apple’s pressure, is incredibly strong.

Beeper ends the statement with a call to action for Apple with two offers. The first is an offer to “share the entire Beeper Mini codebase with a mutually agreed upon 3rd party security research firm.” and the second is to add a dedicated emoji to the metadata on all messages sent through Beeper Mini so iMessage users can see where the original message is sent from.

Time will tell what the future holds for Beeper Mini, but it doesn’t look like the company is slowing down any time soon. iMore has reached out to Apple for comment on the resurrection of Beeper Mini. 

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.