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Expect Beeper Mini’s iMessage support to be unreliable, as service goes down again

Published Dec 14th, 2023 6:50AM EST
Beeper Mini brings iMessage's blue bubbles to Android devices
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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Beeper might be developing “the best chat app on Earth,” but don’t expect iMessage support to be reliable, considering what we’ve witnessed in the past few days. Beeper Mini took advantage of a loophole to offer iMessage support to Android users without requiring the setup of a Mac computer in the cloud. Apple then closed the workaround, which it highlighted as a security issue that it had to fix.

Still, iMessage worked via Beeper Cloud, and Beeper found a way to make it work on Beeper Mini while simultaneously dropping the price for access. I did say a few days ago that iMessage isn’t anyone’s right. It’s proprietary Apple software that you have to pay for by buying the hardware. Beeper asking for money for stealing iMessage access from Apple was all the more surprising.

Fast-forward to Wednesday evening, and the Beeper-Apple drama continued with a new episode. Some Beeper Mini users found the iMessage support was gone again. Beeper blamed it on Apple, but said only a small fraction of users are affected, and the fix is easy to deploy. I expect this to be the new standard Beeper Mini experience when it comes to iMessage.

“Apple appears to be deliberately blocking iMessages from being delivered to ~5% of Beeper Mini users. Uninstalling and reinstalling Beeper Mini fixes the issue,” Beeper said on Twitter/X last night. “We won’t have a fix tonight, but we’re working on it.”

In a follow-up, Beeper advised Beeper Cloud users to contact Beeper Help. “We can fix it very easily for you if you let us know,” Beeper said.

That’s about all we have on the matter as of Thursday morning. iMessage might be working for some Android users who have Beeper Mini or Beeper Cloud installed. And it might not work for others.

The fixes above seem easy enough, and they might restore access to iMessage on your Android device.

However, the bigger problem remains. No matter how hard Beeper might be working on getting iMessage to work on Android, Apple might be working even harder to prevent access. I think it’s a matter of principle at this point. Forget the blue vs. green bubbles. Any other tech company would do the same to protect their software.

The simpler fix would be using a different chat app for cross-platform communications. Great iMessage alternatives exist. WhatsApp and Signal are two examples of great, end-to-end encrypted instant messenger apps for iPhone and Android.

I’m a longtime iPhone user who relies on WhatsApp more than iMessage these days, even though most of the people I talk to are iPhone users. But I’m in Europe, where we don’t have a problem with the colors of chat bubbles.

If you can be bothered with installing Beeper on your Android phone to try to get iMessage going, then so can the iPhone users in your life get on a different chat platform.

There’s an even simpler fix than waiting for Beeper to deliver a stable iMessage solution. You can buy yourself an iPhone or get one for someone else. It’s a more expensive fix, but it’s the guaranteed way to obtain dependable iMessage support.

As for Beeper Cloud and Beeper Mini, you can expect iMessage issues to reappear as long as Apple isn’t forced to bring interoperability to its chat app.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.