The MacRumors Show: Should Apple Allow iMessage for Android?
On this week's episode of The MacRumors Show, we discuss the recent controversy around Android apps that seek to enable iMessage functionality.
Several companies have been vying to offer solutions for Android users who wish to send and receive iMessages for some time. Most recently, "Beeper Mini" offered a way to do so with no need to sign in with an Apple ID.
The app's developers used reverse-engineered iMessage protocols to register Android phone numbers with Apple's servers, allowing Android users to send blue bubble messages to iPhone users with support for all iMessage functionality, including read receipts, typing indicators, and reactions.
In a blog post, the Beeper Mini team said that the app had the "fastest growing paid Android application in history," with more than 100,000 downloads. This was said to be evidence that Android and iPhone customers "desperately want to be able to chat together" with all of the features available on iMessage. Earlier this week, the app's functionality returned, but now with the requirement to sign in with an Apple ID and receive messages via an email address rather than a phone number.
Beeper Mini's developers say that despite reaching out to Apple, they have not heard back. It is unlikely that Apple will give in and allow Beeper Mini to function as it did, and Apple may shut down further functionality as well if it can.
Apple does have plans to bring a range of iMessage-like features to chats between iPhone users and Android users through RCS, a protocol that Apple will add to iPhones next year. RCS will bring support for high quality video and images, emoji reactions, typing indicators, read receipts, and more, all features that Beeper Mini says that Android and iPhone users are desperate to have in cross-platform chats.
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