The saga of Beeper Mini continues as the developer behind it relaunched the app, although it comes at the cost of one of its main features.
To give you a crash course of recent events, Beeper Mini is an Android app that gives users the ability to send and receive texts using the iMessage protocol. Apple eventually found out about it then proceeded to block the service, claiming it posed “significant risks” to user safety. On December 11, Beeper the company managed to restore connectivity, however, people must now sign in with their AppleID credentials whereas before all you had to enter was the phone number of your Android smartphone.
This ease of use was especially appealing since you weren’t forced to add or create another login. According to Beeper’s post, texts will instead be exchanged through the email address listed on your AppleID. This won’t be nearly as convenient as TheVerge points out, but at least people can still communicate with iMessage.
Working things out
There are plans to restore phone number registration later down the line although no word when the feature will come back. To make up for the downscaling, Beeper Mini will now be free moving forward until the day comes when things stabilize. At that point, Beeper may reintroduce the monthly fee. You can keep the $2 subscription turned on as a way to support Beeper during these times, but it’s not a requirement.
The company states in its blog post it will remain committed to ensuring Beeper Mini becomes a successful service on Android. Apple is obviously the biggest obstacle to achieving this goal, so Beeper had decided to extend an olive branch to the tech giant by making two commitments.
One: if Apple truly believes Beeper Mini is a danger to iOS user safety, the developer says it will share the app’s entire codebase “with a mutually agreed upon third-party security research firm.” Two, at Apple’s insistence, Beeper might consider “adding a pager emoji” to the metadata on all messages coming from their app. The purpose of the emoji is to make it easier for iMessages to filter out texts coming from Beeper Mini.
Now the question is will Apple leave the service alone? It’s hard to say. Apple certainly isn’t afraid to bring down the hammer despite pressure from other corporations and governing groups. That said, Apple isn’t inflexible. Hell froze over back in mid-November when it finally decided to support the RCS protocol from Android phones. Plus this whole situation caught the eye of the US government. Senator Elizabeth Warren on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) called for Apple to allow Beeper Mini to exist.
She recognizes the fact that the “green bubble texts [from Android] are less secure”, putting forth the idea of expanding the security measures as well as making communication between the two platforms easier to do.
The updated Beeper Mini is currently available for download on the Google Play Store. We reached out to the developer on X asking if it could give us a timeframe for the release of future fixes plus what it hopes to achieve by sharing the codebase. This story will be updated at a later time.