Android cellphone maker Nothing made waves final week when it introduced that its Nothing Chats app would permit Android customers to turn into “blue bubbles,” logging into an Apple ID and sending iMessages between iPhones. The app was powered by Sundbird Messaging, an app, and repair that has been in a closed waitlist beta for nearly a yr.
Instantly upon launching the Nothing Chats beta, researchers and journalists found that it failed nearly each safety promise Sunbird makes. Messages in plain textual content, media saved on Google Firebase servers, accessible vcards with contact data, you title it. Nothing Chats was pulled from the Play Retailer inside a day. And now Sunbird, the app/service upon which it was constructed, has halted operations.
In response to 9to5Google, Sunbird customers at the moment are greeted with a notification that the app is being briefly shut down:
Expensive Sunbird Consumer. We have now determined to pause Sunbird utilization for now whereas we examine safety issues. We’ll replace you after we are able to proceed.
Will Sunbird (and subsequently Nothing Chats) ever begin again up once more? That is still to be seen. Many of the iMessage options it permits will likely be enabled subsequent yr when Apple lastly brings RCS to iPhones. The safety lapses present in Sunbird have been extreme sufficient that the corporate certainly can’t simply pinky-swear they’ve mounted every little thing—you’ll count on them to publish an unbiased third-party safety audit earlier than resuming operations. And the truth that the service by no means grew to become broadly obtainable because it was introduced final December is considerably problematic.
The time and expense vital to actually alleviate Sunbird’s safety issues in a method that can fulfill the general public could now not appear worthwhile with RCS on the horizon for the iPhone. Sure, the bubbles will nonetheless be inexperienced, however you’ll no less than get learn receipts, full-res media, typing indicators, and extra. It’s unclear what the long run holds for the Sunbird service or Nothing Chats, however this serves as a very good reminder to be very cautious with any app or service that guarantees to allow iMessage on Android.