Logged-out Icon

Home / Consumer Tech

Beeper Mini service disrupted less than a week after launch

Beeper Mini, a service that allowed Android users to send messages using iMessage, has been disrupted by Apple less than a week after it became available

Beeper Mini service disrupted by Apple

Less than a week after it became available, users worldwide reported experiencing a service disruption while using Beeper Mini. The app, during the short time that it has been functional so far, allowed Android users to send and receive messages from iMessage while being protected by encryption without the need for an Apple ID. The issue became apparent as users encountered error messages while using Beeper Mini to send texts on Friday. The error displayed as “failed to lookup on server: lookup request timed out” in red.

On Reddit, a Beeper team member advised users to report problems through the app. Beeper’s CEO, Eric Migicovsky, confirmed the outage to TechCrunch and suggested Apple might be responsible, citing data supporting this claim. Apple then, over the weekend, went on to confirm its role in the disruption to Beeper Mini. In its statement, the company claimed, “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.”

The future of Beeper Mini is now uncertain, depending on whether Beeper’s engineers can find a solution.

Migicovsky, also the founder of Pebble smartwatches, previously highlighted Beeper Mini’s benefits. He claimed it not only allowed Android users to participate in iMessage group chats but also enhanced iPhone users’ security. He criticized Apple’s reluctance to make iMessage more Android-compatible, suggesting it was a strategy to keep users within its ecosystem. Despite potential EU regulations, iMessage seems exempt due to its limited business user base, allowing Apple to potentially thwart Beeper Mini.

Migicovsky expressed disappointment, questioning Apple’s commitment to user privacy and security, especially in light of Apple’s recent RCS support announcement (still without encryption). He emphasized Beeper Mini’s current functionality and its ability to provide encrypted chats between iPhone and Android users. Notably, Beeper Mini’s USP of being able to send and receive iMessage with Apple’s encryption was a result of a 16-yr old reverse engineering Apple’s iMessage service.

Beeper, established in 2020, initially focused on a multi-platform messaging aggregator, now known as Beeper Cloud. Beeper Mini, launched recently, uses a novel approach to enable Android users to send iMessages, appearing as blue bubbles in chats, for a monthly $2 fee following a one-week free trial. Unlike other similar apps, Beeper Mini does not rely on intermediary servers, making it seem like the messages originate from an iMessage-enabled device. How Apple managed to restrict Beeper Mini’s access remains unclear.

Migicovsky stated that Beeper is exploring alternatives for the future.

Posts you may like

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website