Beeper Mini Resorts to Jailbreaking iPhones to Rescue Blue Bubbles
The developers of Beeper Mini, the iMessage for Android app, are back with another attempt to keep Apple's blue bubbles onside, and this time they will ask users to generate their iMessage registration data with the help of jailbroken iPhones, MacRumors has learned.
Beeper Mini operates by identifying text message conversations from iMessage users and converting them to the recognizable blue bubbles associated with Apple's exclusive messaging service. This enables Android users to interact with iMessage features such as reactions, threads, high-quality media sharing, and group chats, without the iPhone users noticing any difference.
When Beeper Mini first launched, Android users were able to register their phone numbers with Beeper Mini, but Apple quickly shut down this avenue, and Beeper Mini now only works with an Apple ID email address. Android users have since required access to a Mac with Beeper Cloud installed to generate their iMessage registration data and get Beeper on Android working, but the service has seen poor reliability of late, with multiple interruptions reported.
In its latest effort to keep the service afloat, Beeper will suggest that users get hold of an old iPhone to get iMessage working on their Android phone. Users will then be asked to install a free Beeper tool to generate an iMessage registration code that will reinstate the ability to register phone numbers on the service. The catch is that the iPhone must first be jailbroken, and it must be kept plugged into power, at home, and connected to Wi-Fi for periodic registration re-requests.
If users don't have access to an old iPhone for jailbreaking in order to complete the registration process, that's okay – Beeper will rent them one for a small monthly fee. The developers say this service will be available in the new year, if there is enough interest. The plan was leaked ahead of time when a Beeper blog post was published late Wednesday then swiftly removed, but not before a snapshot was generated by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, as spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris.
With the increasing amount of hoops Android users are being asked to jump through, Beeper is facing an ever-worsening existential crisis. When the requirement to have a Mac was added in the mix, it was not surprising that Android users began finding the app to be more of a hassle than a help. With this latest twist – literally requiring an iPhone (or Mac) to get the service working as it should – it's hard to see the approach gaining traction. And with Apple planning to adopt RCS next year to bring many iMessage features to conversations with Android users, community enthusiasm for the project has likely already peaked.
Beeper Mini launched using a reverse engineered version of iMessage, and the app was registering the phone numbers of Android users with fake iMessage credentials using Apple's own servers. Apple made it clear that it views Beeper Mini as a security risk, and that it has no intention of allowing the app to use iMessage in any capacity.