The impossible has happened. Beeper had planned to integrate the chat platforms into one bundle, but it has brilliantly solved the iMessage-on-Android conundrum. In fact, it even fixed the green/blue bubble problem in one fell swoop.
Say hello to Beeper Mini, an app that puts iMessage on your Android phone and also eliminates the green bubbles forever. And it doesn’t sacrifice functionality either. All of this happened without any suspicious hacks, something that Sunbird or Nothing Chats couldn’t do.
Amazingly, according to The Verge, it was a high-school student who managed to reverse engineer iMessage, paving the way for the Beeper Mini. It’s a standalone app, now available on the Play Store for a $2 subscription.
Beeper Mini is simple, fast and secure
In short, the Beeper Mini is fantastic. But most of all, it is safe. Unlike Sunbird – and by that proxy, the Nothing Chats app – there’s no MAC Relay workaround involved here. No third parties are trying to trick Apple’s systems. Security is not an afterthought.
The Android-iPhone chat pipeline is directly connected to Apple servers, so there are no middlemen involved, and the risk of eavesdropping is also minimal.
The company says the Beeper Mini is “designed specifically for sending and receiving Blue Bubble messages with iPhones.” And the future is bright. In the future, Beeper Mini will bring other messaging platforms like Signal and WhatsApp under the same umbrella.
The entire setup process is extremely simple and straightforward. All you need to do is install the app from the Play Store, verify your payment, sign up with your Google account and you’re good to go.
The app only requires basic permissions and collects your name, phone number, device identifier, and IP address. It is not mandatory to enter your Apple ID credentials at any stage. This is a big relief, especially from the security point of view.
Now, once you grant basic permissions, the app automatically imports your Android-iMessage chat logs. Adding new chats – solo or group – is just as easy as with the native iMessage system.
I signed up for the Beeper Mini expecting few glitches or slow responses. But I was surprised. Sending messages is as instant as exchanges between two iPhone users. Plus, all the main niceties you get with the native iMessage experience are here.
I can send high-resolution photos and videos without any problems. I didn’t notice any unusually slow load times for media files. The ability to send and edit messages works fine. Typing indicators, read receipts, delivery status, and emoji responses all remained flawless.
My colleague, Prakhar Khanna, was the first tester of my Beeper Mini experiments. He commented that tapback emoji reactions and GIFs ran smoothly, and he didn’t notice any glitches. I tested the app with Beeper and the iPhone 15 Pro Max running on OnePlus Open and came away with positive impressions.
Some mistakes, but time will fix them
However, not all iMessage features are available on the Beeper Mini. Message effects, live location sharing and iMessage games are missing. Most importantly, the company has not yet managed to figure out how FaceTime audio and video calls will work…
The latter flaw could make or break it for some people. But then again, those who lived in the Apple-Android messaging divide always relied on third-party apps like WhatsApp, Instagram or Telegram to make video calls. Or good old cellular voice calls.
Thankfully, FaceTime video and audio calls are on the Beeper Mini road map. The company has promised that text search, block list, chat history backup, message export and message scheduling are also coming. The UI will also soon be adapted for foldable phones, opening the doors to a two-column view.
Of course, given the failure of Sunbird and Nothing Chats, it is natural to be concerned about the security aspect. With Beeper Mini, all messages are end-to-end encrypted, meaning no one from Apple or Beeper can read your conversations.
As mentioned above, you can avoid submitting your Apple ID details without sacrificing any features. However, if you want the convenience of using Beeper on other devices using your iCloud email address, you can register your Apple ID to send and receive messages.
“Apple ID login sends your username, password, and 2-factor code directly to Apple servers using encrypted HTTPS requests,” the company assures. This is a clear path and neither party is storing sensitive or identifiable information in plain text format, as was the case with the ill-fated Sunbird app.
What is the future of Beeper Mini?
Overall, the Beeper Mini appears to be an extremely well-executed product from the start. And with the exception of FaceTime calls, you won’t feel like there’s anything missing, whether you’ve moved from a third-party app like WhatsApp or from a raw experience on an RCS platform like a Google Messages app.
But at the end of the day, the question is, how badly do you want to get rid of that green bubble embarrassment? If you live in the US and the green bubble is problematic for you, the Beeper Mini is a technological boon that costs just $2.
But it is important to ask yourself the above questions. After all, you’re paying that monthly fee just to see your chat bubble color blue. Because the Beeper Mini will have to rely on this as its unique selling point sometime in 2024.
That’s because Apple is officially adopting RCS, the feature-heavy messaging protocol that powers the texting experience on Google’s eponymous Messages app on Android. Once the RCS-iMessage handshake is complete, all core features such as high-res media exchange, read status, emoji reactions and typing indicators will be available by default. The only difference will be the green bubbles on the beeper app.
But assuming it delivers on the clustering promised for apps like WhatsApp and Signal, and you care about features like open-source and self-hosting, the Beeper Mini could be the messaging nirvana you’ve always wanted. Wanted. For such peace of mind, the subscription hit will be worth every penny.