Teen Reverse Engineers iMessage for Android: Beeper Mini App Debuts
Beeper has unveiled Beeper Mini, a new Android app designed to allow messaging between Android and iPhone users. The app, now available for download on Google Play, stands out with its ability to assign a ‘blue bubble’ to Android phone numbers, traditionally associated with iPhone messages.
Who’s behind Beeper Mini? It’s none other than Canadian Eric Migicovsky, the founder of the Pebble smartwatch from a decade ago. According to The Verge, earlier this year the basis for the app was unlocked by a 16-year-old from Pennsylvania who slid into his DMs to say he had reverse engineered Apple’s iMessage.
This ingenius app allows Android users to seamlessly integrate into iPhone-only group chats and enjoy the full spectrum of messaging features like read receipts, high-resolution media sharing, and voice messages, all with the familiar blue bubble interface.
Beeper Mini emphasizes enhanced security and privacy, featuring end-to-end encryption without the need for a Mac relay server or Apple ID. The direct connection to Apple servers ensures that encryption keys remain on the user’s device, preventing external access to Apple accounts.
The app has a modern, clean design, optimized for speed and efficiency, bringing together the best of Android’s Material Design and the iPhone’s messaging aesthetics. Beeper Mini’s goal is to offer a cohesive, cross-platform messaging experience.
Available for a 7-day free trial, Beeper Mini is not free—it costs $1.99 USD per month. This business model, free of advertisements, focuses on providing a high-quality app for users who value privacy and data security.
For existing Beeper users, Beeper Mini complements the Beeper Cloud service. It allows users to register their Android phone number and continue using Beeper as their primary chat application, with the option to manage notifications to avoid duplicates. The app’s code is open source and the developers say anyone can take a look at it (more here on how the app works).
Looking ahead, Beeper Mini plans to incorporate support for 15 different chat networks, including encrypted services like WhatsApp and Signal. This integration will ensure end-to-end encryption, similar to iMessage, enhancing the app’s security and versatility.
Last month, Apple announced it would support RCS for iMessage. But until then, Beeper plans to become a single app that will work across all messaging platforms.