The biggest news article last week was arguably about iMessage being available on Android. And no, we aren’t talking about the usual logging into a Mac at a server farm you don’t have access to. This was a legitimate way to use iMessage on Android; in fact, it did not even require an Apple ID.
It took a little more than 24 hours before Beeper Mini stopped working. Apple later came out and essentially stated that it had shut it down. While Apple didn’t explicitly say this, the company did state that they “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.”
Apple isn’t explicitly saying they patched this because they don’t want iMessage on Android, but that’s basically what was said here. It was just framed in a security approach.
Beeper isn’t giving up, however
Despite Apple essentially killing its brand new app, Beeper Mini, the company is not giving up on bringing iMessage to Android. Beeper co-founder Eric Migicovsky stated, “We have built it. We will keep it working. We will share it widely”. Beeper Cloud is still available. However, it’s not as seamless and secure as Beeper Mini was.
It’s unclear what Beeper’s next steps will be here. But don’t be surprised if we don’t see another service like Beeper Mini that bypasses needing a Mac or another Apple device as an intermediary to get iMessage running on Android.
For Apple, it makes sense to keep iMessage on its devices only. It’s apparently a pretty popular feature in the US and a big selling point for the iPhone. So, Apple would be crazy to just give this away to other users on other platforms. However, Google does this with its services, like Google Maps, Chrome, Google Drive, Google Photos, and much more. All of which are available on the iPhone. However, the big difference here is that Google makes the majority of its money on services and not hardware. Apple makes the majority of its money on hardware, not services.