Apple Blocks iMessage on Mac for Some Beeper Users
It turns out those that chose to use an unauthorized workaround to get iMessage to working with Android users has been a disaster.
Apple has restricted access to its messaging service for users of Beeper, a third-party application designed to bridge the company’s iMessage with Android devices. The decision, which has affected both Android phones and Mac computers, has sparked a debate over the tech giant’s policies and their impact on user choice.
Beeper Mini debuted back in December and allowed Android users to send encrypted messages to iPhones, gaining features like high-resolution videos and animations previously exclusive to iPhone users.
The app quickly gained 100,000 customers in just three days. However, Apple soon blocked the app, citing security and privacy risks. In response, Beeper advised users to connect via their Mac computers, a workaround as part of a cat-and-mouse back and forth with Apple.
Several Beeper users have now reported losing access to iMessage on both their Android phones and Mac computers, reports the New York Times.
“Legally, they’re probably in the clear because of their terms of service, but it’s still kind of crappy,” said Matvei Vevitsis, who had been using a MacBook from around 2015 to link Beeper to Apple’s messaging service on his Samsung Galaxy phone.
Vevitsis found himself unable to send messages to his iPhone-using mother. “Apple told me my iMessage had been flagged for spam,” he said, recounting his call with Apple support. He was only able to get iMessage working again by using a workaround that changed his serial number on his MacBook.
“I don’t think it’s in the spirit of Silicon Valley to block someone’s serial number because they were testing beta software,” said Ghazi Shami, who also was affected by the iMessage lockdown on his iMac Pro, after using the latter to work with Beeper Mini. “It’s like they’re reprimanding schoolchildren.”
Apple declined to comment to the the New York Times, but after the publication reached out, some users in question affected saw their iMessage get unblocked.
According to Beeper, it said there were over two dozen users out of 3,500 that saw iMessage outages on their Macs.
Apple did comment in December it would continue to block Beeper Mini. “These techniques posed significant risks to user security and privacy, including the potential for metadata exposure and enabling unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks,” said an Apple spokesperson at the time.
The iPhone maker plans to implement RCS technology, enhancing interaction between Android users and iMessage, although text messages will continue to display in green bubbles for the former. You want blue bubbles in Messages? You’ll need an iPhone of course.