Beeper Mini is back, but can the iMessage app Apple hates stay alive?

Beeper Mini, the iMessage-mimicking chat app which Apple seemingly had taken down within hours citing security concerns for iPhone users, is back on the Google Play Store.

Days after Apple’s intervention, the makers of the app announced it was once again available, but didn’t go into much detail on what had changed. However, users currently need to log in with their Apple ID email, rather than their phone number, so messages are delivered via email instead.

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That appears to undermine the point of the app in the first place which promised to work without Apple ID involvement. The company said it is working on a fix for this. The company says the update “fixes a critical issue” which may be its way of saying it has appeased Apple.

Channeling the late Steve Jobs now-famous proclamation, the @onbeeper account tweeted an image stating “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” before confirming the app’s return to Google Play.

Last week when we reported on Beeper Mini we speculated whether Apple would have something to say about it. After all, the app does essentially reverse engineer Apple’s technology.

Sure enough, Apple has plenty to say about it. Enough to get the app shut down and end the brief blue bubble bliss for Android users, who also enjoyed the full suite of iMessage features for just about 24 hours. Those included read reports, live typing indicators, full res images, and more.

Apple told The Verge it had intervened to protect its users’ security, citing concerns the tech could be used to exploit iMessage.

In a statement, the company said: “At Apple, we build our products and services with industry-leading privacy and security technologies designed to give users control of their data and keep personal information safe.

“We took steps to protect our users by blocking techniques that exploit fake credentials in order to gain access to iMessage. These techniques posed significant risks to user security and privacy, including the potential for metadata exposure and enabling unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks. We will continue to make updates in the future to protect our users.”

Whether the app can stay up this time remains to be seen.


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