iMessage isn’t making any effort to bridge the great blue/green bubble divide for Android users. This isn’t a personal mission to break down walls and open windows, as much as Nothing CEO Carl Pei would like you to believe. Instead, nothing relies on technology created by New York-based startup Sunbird.
Technically, the Sunbird app can be installed on any Android phone and features a blue bubble for all iMessage text exchanges involving the Android phone. No longer is there a green bubble of shame that can kick you out of groups to disrupt harmony or even reduce your dating chances. This is so bad!
Nothing is adopting the Sunbird technology and bundling it as its own app called Nothing Chats. But here’s the fun part. The app only works on Nothing Phone 2 and not Nothing Phone 1. And this life-changing boon will be offered only to users in the US, Canada, UK or EU block.
The app is still in beta, which means some iMessage features will be broken or absent. Once the app is downloaded to your Nothing Phone 2, you can create a new account or sign up with your Apple ID to proceed with the blue bubble text.
If you’re concerned, all messages will be end-to-end encrypted, and the app doesn’t collect any personal information, such as users’ geographic locations or the texts exchanged. At the moment, Sunbird and Nothing have gone into detail about the iMessage features and which ones are broken.
The Washington Post tried an early version of the Nothing Chats app and noted that the blue bubble system worked just fine. Texts between Android devices and iPhones are neatly organized in a thread, and multimedia exchange is also allowed in full quality.
However, message editing apparently isn’t available, and the double-tap gesture to respond with a quick emoji doesn’t work either. We don’t know when these features will be added. Nothing’s Sunbird-based app will soon expand to other regions.
However, Sunbird offers a few other tricks besides serving iMessage blue bubbles on Android. It also brings all your other messaging apps, like WhatsApp and Instagram, into one place. This is not an original formula, as Beeper also offers the same feature.
It will be interesting to see how Apple responds to the broken blue bubble situation, especially since this is a technology it has kept so tightly locked into the Apple ecosystem. But blocking Sunbird will not be easy based on technical background. fastcompany Sunbird reportedly runs its own cluster of Macs in the cloud for authentication and message exchange. It also assigns each account to a Mac that is registered with Apple’s own database.
But the ultimate solution here is not a cross-device hack like Sunbird, Nothing Chat or Blue Bubbles. As Google keeps saying, Apple needs to #GetTheMessage. In simple terms, Google is asking Apple to adopt RCS to bridge the feature gap, but that is unlikely to happen, even though both companies are locked in billion-dollar deals on other playgrounds like Internet search .