Beeper Mini is back and working, with the developers releasing an update for the Android app that lets it use Apple’s iMessage network once again.
Following the launch of the Android app and the blocking of it by Apple, Beeper insisted that a fix was on the way that would get Beeper Mini working again. On Monday, it released the update.
Offered as a sideload-able app while it awaits to be approved for download from the Google Play Store, the Beeper Mini app update is said by the company to fix an issue “that caused messages not to be sent or received.”
As part of the same update, Beeper Mini also has some feature improvements, such as chats opening at the last unread message and changes to the video player.
With the latest iteration, phone number registration isn’t working, which now requires users to sign in with their Apple ID. Messages will, for the moment, be sent and received using the user’s email address instead of their phone number, Beeper’s blog post states.
The app is also being made free to use for the moment, due to events being “a bit chaotic” and that Beeper is “not comfortable subjecting paying users to this.” Once things stabilize, Beeper intends to turn back on subscriptions.
At the same time, the security and privacy of Beeper Mini is “unchanged” according to the developers, using local end-to-end encryption.
While the update makes Beeper Mini functional once again, it remains to be seen how long it will stay active before Apple makes another change that disables access once again.
Objecting to risk’
As part of the blog post, the company takes a moment to respond to Apple’s statement where it took “steps to protect users by “blocking techniques that exploit fake credentials in order to gain access to iMessage.” Apple referred to the techniques as posing “significant risks to user security and privacy,” justifying its blocking of the app.
Referring to Apple’s statement as “1984-esque doublespeak” and “complete FUD,” Beeper Mini is declared to have “made communication between Android and iPhone users more secure. That is a fact.”
Apple’s move was “designed to protect the lock-in effect of iMessage,” which leaves iPhone customers with “less security and privacy than before.”
Beeper’s reasoning is that, when Android users joined an existing iMessage secure encrypted chat, the app would default to switching the entire group chat to using unencrypted SMS. “This immediately made communication between iPhone customers in the group chat less secure,” Beeper writes.
Beeper Mini “fixed this problem” to enable Android and iPhone users to “enjoy a secure, easy, and high quality chat experience.”
The developers “deeply object to the allegation” that Beeper Mini poses significant risks. “This is completely untrue. As we explained above, the opposite is actually true,” the blog reads.
“At the end of the day, we are committed to building the best chat app on earth, the blog post concludes. “We will continue working on that.”