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James Pero

Beeper's New Messaging App Promises to Safely Bring Apple's iMessage to Android Phones

— NurPhoto/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The heat is rising on Apple’s iMessage. Between an EU probe, a recent (albeit quickly tabled) app from the phone company Nothing and Sunbird, and the long overdue adoption of RCS from Apple, things appear to be concretely in flux.

And to add to that tumultuous environment, messaging company, Beeper, just announced its own entry into the field of iMessage-disrupting apps called Beeper Mini, which “natively” mimics iPhone on Android and Windows devices.

Beeper Mini and how it works

The highlight of Beeper Mini is that, unlike circuitous (and possibly sketchy) methods of replicating an iMessage experience on Android that involve routing your messages through an Apple device, Beeper claims to have “reverse-engineered” iMessage.

That means a couple of things according to Beeper. One thing is that you won’t need an Apple ID to sign in. If you go this route, as noted by 9to5Google, you won’t have the ability to see messages across devices (your laptop and phones, for example), but the convenience of not having to set up an Apple ID may be worth it.

All of the defining iMessage features should work seamlessly as well — group chats, read receipts, delivered receipts, typing indicators, you name it.

It also means that (theoretically, at least) Beeper Mini should encrypt messages from Android to iMessage according to Beeper’s co-founder Eric Migicovsky who spoke to 9to5Google. I can’t say for certain whether that’s really the case, but Beeper seems intent on proving its security is up to snuff.

Migicovsky also told 9to5Google that Beeper will soon carry out an in-public security review, which is admittedly a pretty solid vote of confidence in its tech and security practices. Beeper Mini is also open source, so if you have the skills to understand that sort of thing you could theoretically go verify for yourself what’s going on underneath the hood.

Is this... real?

Beeper Mini seems like the real deal, but keep in mind that other iterations of these apps (i.e. Nothing Chats) have not exactly fared well. Shortly after the Nothing Chats launch, the app was sidelined due to some security concerns — namely that it’s not actually encrypted as Sunbird had originally stated.

If you download and use Beeper Mini, you could be taking a risk security-wise. If that’s not really a concern of yours, then you can go to the Google Play Store and download it on your device right now. After a free seven-day trial, Beeper Mini will cost $2 per month to enjoy the camouflage. That is, if Apple doesn’t put its foot down first.

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