Published On: Sat, Dec 9th, 2023

Beeper Mini Outage Disconnects the Android App from Apple’s iMessage

Beeper Mini Outage Disconnects the Android App from Apple’s iMessage
Beeper Mini Outage Disconnects the Android App from Apple’s iMessage

Beeper Mini’s key feature — allowing Android phones to send texts on Apple’s iMessage service — appears to have gone down during its first week of operation.

Following reports from Beeper Mini users that messages weren’t sending or receiving on Friday, a post from the app’s X account said the team is now investigating why the iMessage integration is no longer working for sending or receiving texts. During my own testing of the Beeper Mini app Friday, attempting to send a text results in your message not being sent and an error message stating “failed to lookup on server: lookup request timed out.”

Beeper Mini’s feature allowing users to unlink a phone number from Apple’s iMessage network may also be interrupted during the outage, which may lead to affected customers missing out on texts from an iPhone that’s trying to reach out over iMessage. Apple’s own deregister tool is accessible from Apple’s website, and that can be used by Android phone owners to regain access to receiving texts from iPhone users over SMS and MMS.

Beeper co-founder Eric Migicovsky did not confirm the cause of the outage in an email to CNET, only saying that the app experienced “overwhelming interest.” Migicovsky did suggest the possibility that Apple may have blocked Beeper’s access. Apple did not respond to requests for comment by time of publication.

“If it’s Apple, then I think the biggest question is — if Apple truly cares about the privacy and security of their own iPhone users, why would they try to kill a service that enables iPhones to send encrypted chats to Android users?” Migicovsky said.

The new app launched Tuesday touting that it has “reverse-engineered” a way to access the iMessage network without using any Apple hardware or requiring an Apple ID. However the service is not affiliated with Apple, and at launch it supports many but not all of the texting features offered to people using iMessage on an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Beeper Mini itself plans to eventually incorporate other texting services, and make use of a $2-per-month subscription in order to fund its development. Beeper’s original app that was recently renamed to Beeper Cloud — which interconnects to several chat networks and uses a Mac relay to connect to iMessage — isn’t affected by the outage.

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