Although many have patiently been waiting for BlackBerry’s BBM messenger to come to iOS and Android, most would agree that a cross-platform iMessage app is far more in demand.
Interestingly, Android users who have downloaded the relatively new "iMessage Chat" from the Google Play Store are now able to communicate back-and-forth with their Apple friends. Despite this short-term thrill, analysts are warning users to proceed with caution; the app could just as easily compromise your smartphone security.
According to 9to5Mac, iMessage Chat is in no way an official Apple app, and was actually created by a third-party developer named Daniel Zweigart. The app works by disguising the Android handset as a Mac mini, before it is processed through the Apple iMessage server. As a result, you must still provide the app with an Apple ID in order to gain access, and unfortunately, this is the primary source of the security concerns.
Jay Freeman, the creator of Cydia, noticed that the app redirects to a server in China prior to forwarding the necessary information to Apple. In essence, the service simply acts as the middle man, handling the transferring and processing of information between your smartphone and the iMessage server. However, no one can be sure what the Chinese server is doing with all of the information; it could easily store everyone’s Apple IDs (with payment and personal information attached) and use them for more nefarious purposes.
Furthermore, esteemed programmer Steven Troughton-Smith also pointed out that the app permits the installation of software in the background, without your knowledge or consent. This means that malware, keyloggers, or a host of other things could be quietly added to your device.
Either way you look at it, users of iMessage Chat are placing plenty of trust in the honesty and well-being of its developers. For most, it’s probably not worth the risk.