This month cross-platform messaging app Beeper launched a new app called Beeper Mini that allowed Android users to tap into Apple’s iMessage service without a Mac or iOS device. It took Apple only a few days to roll out an update that stopped the app from working, prompting Beeper to roll out several new updates of its own in an attempt to keep Beeper Mini alive.

But now the company admits that it “can’t win a cat-and-mouse game with the largest company on earth,” and has no plans to keep trying to find workarounds if Apple blocks the latest version of Beeper Mini from working.

Beeper Mini

That said, the latest version stands a better chance of sticking around… but that’s because it’s a lot like other iMessage-for-Android devices, in that you’ll need an iPhone or Mac to use it.

The original promise of Beeper Mini was that you didn’t need an Apple device to participate in iMessage chats while taking advantage of iMessage features (and showing up as a blue bubble rather than green). That set it apart from Beeper’s original service (now known as Beeper Cloud), which relayed your messages through a remote Mac server.

But Apple kept finding ways to shut down Beeper Mini, so now users have the following options:

  • Install the Beeper Desktop app on a Mac and use your iMessage registration code to set up Beeper Mini.
  • Jailbreak an old iPhone and install a Beeper tool to generate an iMessage registration code that can be entered on your Android phone… and then leave that jailbroken iPhone online, plugged into a charger, and connected to WiFi at all times.
  • Rent or buy an old, jailbroken iPhone if you don’t already have one.

Beeper Cloud users, meanwhile, are told to install the latest version of the Beeper Desktop app on a Mac… or ask a friend with a Mac to send you an iMessage registration code, because Beeper has found that “10-20 Beeper user can safely use the same registration data” without getting cut off by Apple.

That all sounds… risky for a company that now has Apple’s attention though.

Up until now Beeper had been banking on Apple not wanting the negative attention that comes with shutting down a service that the company argues is good for iPhone users as well as Android users. After all, when you send SMS messages from Android to iPhone, not only are they represented as green bubbles, but they’re also unencrypted, as are messages sent from iPhone to Android. Beeper Mini allowed encrypted messaging between platforms.

But if that’s something Apple was interested in providing, the company probably would have released an iMessage for Android app by now. Instead, the company insists that if people want secure messaging, they should just buy iPhones. And that makes sense from Apple’s standpoint, because as long as iMessage is an exclusive feature, it continues to be a selling point for iPhones.

It’s not like Apple is entirely opposed to making Android apps. The company does offer an Apple Music app for Android, but that’s because Apple Music is an app that earns more money for Apple the more people are using it, no matter what platform they’re using it on. The same is most certainly not true of iMessage.

As for Beeper, if the company is done fighting with Apple, then what’s next? For one thing, the software Beeper had been using to connect to iMessage is now open source, allowing anyone else to inspect, use, or continue developing it.

Meanwhile, Beeper will continue to focus on its cross-platform messaging app that lets users not only communicate with other Beeper users, but also with other platforms. Beeper Cloud, for example, supports WhatsApp, Signal, Facebook Messenger, Slack, SMS, RCS, and other platforms, and will likely continue to do so.

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  1. iPhone users should shun non-iPhone users, this is the only solution.

  2. I’m not a lawyer or anything, but isn’t it anti-competitive to require and make extra effort to ensure you have to use an Apple product to access a service? I feel like other companies get raked over the coals for this type of behaviour.

    1. I had the same feeling here. It almost feels like Beeper intentionally allowed Apple to perform this Whac-a-Mole act and then quickly give up. It just makes it the evidence pretty clear for a lawsuit. But I’m no lawyer.

    2. It’s an Apple product for an Apple service. It’s their prerogative to open it up or keep it proprietary. It would be nice if all companies opened up their services for third party access, but that simply isn’t the typical case.

      1. By that reasoning, Apple could continue usimg their proprietary connectors but they are going to be forced to change them to type-c, no matter if they own the patent. Law can bend any company to its knees.

    3. It`s called hacking a message service server. Reverse engineering doesn´t give you a magic key as a right to use sb´s tech, service, nor hardware.