Could an Android OEM make way for Apple’s iMessage? It’s a hard-to-believe plan from start-up phone maker Nothing that promises something new.Nothing chatIt allows users to use “iMessage on Android” and simultaneously send a blue bubble to all their friends on iPhone.
Nothing Chat is powered by Sunbird, an app developer that claims to be able to send iMessage conversations without a public launch for nearly a year. accordingly The Washington Post Articles with quotes from Nothing and Sunbird executives Friday will begin rolling out an “early version” of Nothing Chat compatible with iMessage. Perhaps the only problem is that you need the Nothing Phone 2.
Is it real or a publicity stunt? Apple says iMessage on Android will only weaken Apple and the company doesn’t want that. Any Android OEM offering for “iMessage” will be immediately shut down by Apple.
Quotations from Nothing and Sunbird appear in the post article the courage More something else. “There is nothing illegal about this setup,” CEO Carl Pei told the newspaper. “I think everything we do goes into Cupertino, but we’re so small that it would look very bad if Apple did something.” Sunbird executive Danny Mizrahi, president, added: “We don’t see any scenario where Apple or Apple would try to block these messages.” Apple’s focus is clearly on providing the best experience for its end users, and Nothing Chat and Sunbird help with that. doing
It’s hard to believe that something like this could be a long-term service, and it looks like it will be discontinued immediately.
So many red flags for Sunbirds
Sunbird The company has long claimed to be able to send iMessages on Android, but the release deadline has passed and it doesn’t seem like a generally reputable company. The company announced itself to the world by promising iMessage on Android during a press conference in December 2022. I attended this meeting and did not write about it because Sunbird’s presentation in question did not meet my standards for a story. For me, the purpose of such a press conference is to dispel doubts about the claim that iMessage can be permanently hacked. Candor with the press would have helped, but Sunbird refused to answer any questions in his first major appearance. Sunbird’s PR representative agreed and asked all the questions, the Zoom chat was closed and the company did not respond to basic technical questions.
How does Sunbird work? Why would people trust Sunbird with their all-important Apple account information, which some people have their entire online lives and in some cases a physical bank account? How is this certificate secured? Is it stored somewhere on the Sunbird server? Wouldn’t hacking iMessage with a third-party client violate Apple’s terms of service, leading to account suspension? Won’t Apple stop it as soon as you start it? These are all important and obvious questions he was At the meeting, some questions were asked by me, not all answered. Instead, the folks at Sunbird focused on how awesome it would be if the whole world could hold hands and share access to blue chat bubbles. Not only was it ridiculous, but the company failed to convince a skeptical audience of the reality or acknowledge that there was any doubt that needed to be overcome.
Today almost a year has passed but the company is not answering these questions Seine FAQ. There are sunbirdsPrivacy and security“A page that doesn’t answer anything about the privacy or security of your Apple credentials. This company simply wants to address any concerns. Without the company’s general, comprehensive statement about Apple ID security, it seems hard to take them seriously.”
The Nothing Chat FAQ at least manages to ask the all-important question about where your Apple ID is, but then quickly changes the subject to “messages”: “Are my messages or Apple ID credentials saved?” “No, nothing is supported by Sunbird. The Sunbird architecture provides a system for sending a message from one user to another without saving it at any point in its journey. Messages are not stored on Sunbird’s servers, but only directly to your device – one message at a time. When distributed, it can only be accessed locally on your personal device.
When Sunbird announced itself in December 2022, it gave select members of the press access to the app, and the app reportedly worked. The Washington Post article claims the service also works, but doesn’t go into technical details How. like Robot body The article comes closest to a remotely routine explanation of what happened:
Sunbird has no plans to open source its technology to bring iMessage to Android. Therefore, we haven’t heard a detailed report on how this app works (or at least should work).
However, according to the company’s statement, it appears to have taken the beeper approach — connecting an Android phone to an Apple-based system — and taken a few extra steps. First, not every single user needs their own connected device. Sunbird found a way to allow thousands of users to connect to a single device. Second, the company also found a way to maintain end-to-end encryption using this method, something companies like Beeper can’t offer (at least not yet). Again, Sunbird hasn’t disclosed how it accomplishes these things.
Beeper is an open source app that connects to iMessage by routing iMessage through your Mac (some similar services already exist). With Beeper you can host it on your own Mac or do it from a Mac in the Beeper data center. It’s fair to raise security concerns about Beeper’s use of an Apple ID, but Beeper is a great example of how you can do things in a way that doesn’t look like a phishing scam. there A clear explanation Here’s how it works, specifically the next line: “We operate a fleet of Mac servers used to transfer messages between iMessage and Beeper. Each Beeper user gets a Mac OS user account on a single Mac server.” This sounds like a bad deal and not at all scalable, but at least there’s a monetization plan where Beeper Plus will eventually charge a $5 to $10 monthly fee. dollars. So Beeper is a 1:1 data center Mac-to-iMessage redirection service, while Sunbird somehow has to set up “thousands” of iMessage accounts on a single Mac, according to Android Authority.
Sunbird has already passed its launch date. In December 2022, Sunbird began accepting waitlist reservations to access the app And he promised“Sunbird will gradually send invitations to join the closed beta user group starting in late 2022,” in other words, later this month. I guess there’s no way to know if any beta testers actually got access (I’ve certainly never heard of any of them before), but Until AprilThe company boasts that it has 100,000 signups on its waiting list. The company also said that the additional daily sign-up rate is up to “2,500+ per day” and that “we provide Sunbird with up to 200 Android app alpha testers at a time.” A lot of this doesn’t add up, for example, the growing waitlist is growing to 2,500 users per day, only 200 accounts are added at a time, and the “Beta” test has now become an “Alpha” test. There’s also a surprising sentence: “Sunbird has a 93% success rate for iMessage” – does that mean 7 percent of your messages end up in a black hole?
How the company invites people to test its beta (or alpha?) is its own business, but the April press release also promised a “summer 2023 launch,” which never happened. The waiting list still exists today and is growing. Now, it’s still unclear whether these people will have access to the data, as Sunbird’s CEO told the Washington Post: “For the next few months, the only way to get to Sunbird is to get a phone that’s worthless (2).”
We’ll see on Friday, assuming something happens that day. Considering how poorly Sunbird describes itself, Apple has a strong case for shutting down the entire project in the name of security. So don’t give your Apple username and password to any company, especially one that doesn’t seem to understand and/or respect the version of Pandora’s Box security you’re opening.