Beeper Mini promises blue speech bubbles for Android users

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2023

Beeper has produced an Android app that is claimed to actually work with Apple's iMessage system, enabling Android users to communicate with Phone users and displaying blue bubbles, not green ones.

Beeper Mini
Beeper Mini



Apple's use of blue and green speech bubbles in its Messages app has influenced smartphone-buying decisions in some cases, due to users wanting to avoid having the socially-awkward green text background in text-based conversations with friends. Weeks after one failed attempt to solve the problem, another has seemingly come to light.

Announced on Tuesday, Beeper Mini from Beeper is an Android app that is designed to work with Apple's iMessage platform. The change means an Android device user can now have a conversation with an iPhone user, with the Android device's messages appearing in blue instead of the tell-tale green speech bubble.



Furthermore, the app will allow users to join iPhone-only group chats via their phone number. It will also work with all of the typical Messages features, including the typing status, read receipts, images and video, reactions, voice messaging, and editing and unsending messages.

While Nothing's attempt to do the same thing failed due to it involving a remote server acting as an intermediary, one that was astoundingly insecure, Beeper's method goes the more direct route.

Instead of using a relay, Beeper Mini connects to Apple's servers directly. The communications are also encrypted end-to-end, with keys kept on the user's device, and without Beeper needing to have access to a user's Apple account either.

While using Apple's services, Beeper Mini also incorporates Android's Material Design principles, so it doesn't look out of place on an Android smartphone.

Though Beeper Mini's main feature is all about clean communications between Android and Apple users, it won't be limited to just iMessage. Connectivity with up to 15 chat networks are planned, including WhatsApp and Signal, complete with end-to-end encryption where possible.

Beeper Mini costs $1.99 per month after the initial seven-day trial, and is available from the Google Play Store.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    really, well yes, many people think with feet :V
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 18
    The thing with iMessage is when you share a photo or video from iCloud you get to view the original in all its glory. Apple has done amazing work with permissions and access privileges for iCloud between accounts.
    Evan-elwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Sounds like another security disaster. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    LOL

    The whole thing is so stupid. 

    If you want iMessage, get an iPhone. 

    Boom. Done. 

    Don’t cry about something Google doesn’t make and then buy Google. If you want an apple feature, buy an apple product. 

    Common sense. It used to be a thing. 
    edited December 2023 jeffharristomkarlrob53JaiOh81watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,304member
    Why not just buy an iPhone.
    9secondkox2jeffharrisiOS_Guy80JaiOh81watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,769member
    This whole blue bubble, green bubble thing has gone on long enough. It used to be absurd, but now it’s just pathetic. How vacant and shallow must one’s life be in order to be so affected by text bubble colors. 
    SkepticaljeffharrisiOS_Guy80
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Japhey said:
    This whole blue bubble, green bubble thing has gone on long enough. It used to be absurd, but now it’s just pathetic. How vacant and shallow must one’s life be in order to be so affected by text bubble colors. 
    Best post ever. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 18
    Green bubble crowd, always looking for work arounds.

     Embrace your green bubble-hood! Don’t run from it!
    edited December 2023 JaiOh81watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    This app is ideal for Android users who appreciate being able to participate in an iMessage chat group but don't want an iPhone. It's really not that hard to understand. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,259member
    I want to know where a message is coming from. If it’s blue I know it’s coming from an iPhone and is using a secure connection. That means a lot. Faking a secure connection by using a blue bubble I see as fraud. It’s not a minor issue it’s major. It’s like faking a VPN connection or handshake protocol. We need to be able to trust our communications protocols, otherwise nothing is secure. 
    JaiOh81danoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    rob53 said:
    I want to know where a message is coming from. If it’s blue I know it’s coming from an iPhone and is using a secure connection. That means a lot. Faking a secure connection by using a blue bubble I see as fraud. It’s not a minor issue it’s major. It’s like faking a VPN connection or handshake protocol. We need to be able to trust our communications protocols, otherwise nothing is secure. 
    If you look at how they did it the connection is secure. They completely reverse engineered the iMessage protocol. When sending the app queries the iMessage servers for the recipients' public encryption keys. Encrypts the message and sends it. For receipt they do have a cloud server that will receive message arrival notifications from Apple and relay them via the Android's notification system. But it doesn't have the message encryption keys so it can only receive notifications of new content. The app on the Android phone then launches and contacts Apple's servers to retrieve and decrypt the incoming message. Currently Apple allows enrollment just with an SMS challenge for phone numbers. I wouldn't be surprised to see them start to add a requirement for a digital signature from an Apple device in order to complete enrollment.
    watto_cobraglennh
  • Reply 12 of 18
    rob53 said:
    I want to know where a message is coming from. If it’s blue I know it’s coming from an iPhone and is using a secure connection. That means a lot. Faking a secure connection by using a blue bubble I see as fraud. It’s not a minor issue it’s major. It’s like faking a VPN connection or handshake protocol. We need to be able to trust our communications protocols, otherwise nothing is secure. 
    This isn't faking a secure connection.  The app sends genuine iMessages.  Read the info on Beeper's website.  Regardless, if you have an issue with any of this, take it up with Apple.  It should have incorporated RCS long ago.  Apple is the reason group chats with Android users are terrible (unless everyone agrees to use WhatsApp, etc.)  
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Evan-el said:
    Sounds like another security disaster. 
    Sounds like you haven't read anything about it.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 18
    LOL

    The whole thing is so stupid. 

    If you want iMessage, get an iPhone. 

    Boom. Done. 

    Don’t cry about something Google doesn’t make and then buy Google. If you want an apple feature, buy an apple product. 

    Common sense. It used to be a thing. 
    Who's crying?  Everyone knows that mixed Android and iPhone group chats suck, and it's Apple's fault.  Telling Android users to "get an iPhone" is absurd.  Maybe Apple finally agreeing to incorporate RCS will be a fix.  In the meantime, this app is genius.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 18
    Green bubble crowd, always looking for work arounds.

     Embrace your green bubble-hood! Don’t run from it!
    "Work around" what?  Sorry, but nobody over the age of 14 living outside the U.S. gives a shit about iMessage.  It's that mixed Android and iPhone group chats are terrible.  This is a great solution.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 18
    Japhey said:
    This whole blue bubble, green bubble thing has gone on long enough. It used to be absurd, but now it’s just pathetic. How vacant and shallow must one’s life be in order to be so affected by text bubble colors. 
    100% agree that people worried about what others think about their choice of phone are pathetic.  But most people just want a way to seamlessly communicate across platforms in the U.S. (because U.S. iPhone users stubbornly refuse to use WhatsApp, etc.; in fact, most of them are clueless about anything beyond iMessage).  
    edited December 2023 williamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 18
    I would like to share that from my experience, most people outside the US don’t really use iMessage or SMS for group chats. 

    Almost everyone I know (including seniors in their late 70s), uses different chat apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, Signal, WeChat, etc.

    These chat platforms give unlimited messages, with text, voice, videos, media of all types. I’m hard pressed to understand all the stress around green bubble or blue bubble. Moreover SMS has a limited free messages depending on mobile plan. iMessage is close to other unlimited messages chat platforms. 

    Almost no one I know uses SMS / iMessage except banks and other official organisations for 2FA. Increasingly, I have seen organisations moving to sending messages via WhatsApp and other Chat platforms - moving away from SMS / iMessage type of issues and discussions. 

    This seems like a good solution for Android users to iPhone chat groups but beyond that use-case, it would be a non-starter outside of the US. Truly no one I know outside the US uses iMessage actively. 
    pderos
  • Reply 18 of 18
    I would like to share that from my experience, most people outside the US don’t really use iMessage or SMS for group chats. 

    Almost everyone I know (including seniors in their late 70s), uses different chat apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, Signal, WeChat, etc.

    These chat platforms give unlimited messages, with text, voice, videos, media of all types. I’m hard pressed to understand all the stress around green bubble or blue bubble. Moreover SMS has a limited free messages depending on mobile plan. iMessage is close to other unlimited messages chat platforms. 

    Almost no one I know uses SMS / iMessage except banks and other official organisations for 2FA. Increasingly, I have seen organisations moving to sending messages via WhatsApp and other Chat platforms - moving away from SMS / iMessage type of issues and discussions. 

    This seems like a good solution for Android users to iPhone chat groups but beyond that use-case, it would be a non-starter outside of the US. Truly no one I know outside the US uses iMessage actively. 
    Exactly.  Beeper is a solution in the U.S. to (1) Apple's insistence on making communications between iPhone and Android users terrible, especially group chats (because of the default to SMS/MMS), and (2) U.S. iPhone users' ignorance about messaging apps other than iMessage. 
    williamlondon
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