Apple halts another attempt at iMessage on Android, while dodging EU scrutiny

Daniel Sims

Posts: 1,287   +43
Staff
Why it matters: Recent developments make it clear that iMessage won't come to non-Apple devices for the foreseeable future. The Cupertino giant's messaging service has dodged looming European regulations, and two third-party attempts to circumvent iMessage's Apple exclusivity have failed. However, Android phones sending messages to iPhones will soon no longer be stuck with SMS.

Apple appears to have shut down a messaging service that attempted to bring iMessage features to Android users. Furthermore, the European Commission has indicated it will not force the company to make its messaging service cross-compatible.

Currently, Android users who send text messages to people with Apple devices can only use SMS, which lacks features like end-to-end encryption, high-quality media, read receipts, and more. While services incorporating such functionality, like Android Messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, are available on Android and other platforms, Apple restricts iMessage to iPhones, iPads, and Macs to keep users locked onto the company's devices. The policy has frustrated companies like Google, Meta, and several telecoms.

The latest effort to bring iMessage to Android came from Beeper after a high school student named JJTech reverse-engineered the service's protocols. The company's Android app, Beeper Mini, promised to provide functions like end-to-end encryption, group chats, full-resolution media, read receipts, and more when communicating with iPhone users.

However, less than a week after the service launched, users reported experiencing outages. Beeper CEO Eric Migicovsky later told TechCrunch that his information suggests Apple has blocked the company's service.

Smartphone vendor Nothing made an ill-fated attempt to emulate iMessage on Android a few weeks ago through a chat app exclusive to the Nothing Phone 2. However, security researchers soon discovered large security holes in the service, prompting Nothing to pull the app.

Meanwhile, Google, Meta, and European telecom providers hoped the European Union's recently passed Digital Markets App would force Apple to enable compatibility between iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and potentially other services. The DMA stipulates that digital services that reach a critical level of popularity cannot employ walled gardens.

When the law takes effect next year, it will apply to software like iOS and Safari but not iMessage. After a months-long investigation, EU officials will likely determine that iMessage isn't widespread enough in Europe to warrant regulation under the DMA.

However, Apple doesn't intend to leave Android-to-iPhone conversations stuck on SMS much longer. The company recently announced that it will begin supporting RCS messaging next year, bringing features like encryption, read receipts, high-resolution media, and more to non-iMessage conversations.

Permalink to story.

 
Why anyone supports Apple so adamantly is beyond my understanding...

Because, for the most part, everything just works. It is all so seamless. My AW Ultra does just about everything my phone or ipad will do.

Now IOS is another story. It's become so bogged down with so many features that nobody wants. They keep adding and adding, and changing things. It's almost become TOO complicated. Apple use to be simple. Now I like my Samsung S21 phone better, because it's so damned simple.

And, with Samsung, I don't feel completely vulnerable with Android. They have a pretty good Knox and security setup.
 
Why anyone supports Apple so adamantly is beyond my understanding...
Simple, because they support older devices far beyond anything the Android world ever experiences. And before you say... oh, Google Play Services can take care of things, I cite this...

Google fixes critical Android flaw that could be exploited to hack your phone remotely | Techspot

Yeah. Great security there Android... NOT!

Complain about Apple all you want, but if you want security and you don't care about having the latest and greatest device in your pocket, Apple is the only option for the average non-geek user. Period. Mic drop.
 
Because, for the most part, everything just works. It is all so seamless. My AW Ultra does just about everything my phone or ipad will do.

Now IOS is another story. It's become so bogged down with so many features that nobody wants. They keep adding and adding, and changing things. It's almost become TOO complicated. Apple use to be simple. Now I like my Samsung S21 phone better, because it's so damned simple.

And, with Samsung, I don't feel completely vulnerable with Android. They have a pretty good Knox and security setup.
Simple, because they support older devices far beyond anything the Android world ever experiences. And before you say... oh, Google Play Services can take care of things, I cite this...

Google fixes critical Android flaw that could be exploited to hack your phone remotely | Techspot

Yeah. Great security there Android... NOT!

Complain about Apple all you want, but if you want security and you don't care about having the latest and greatest device in your pocket, Apple is the only option for the average non-geek user. Period. Mic drop.
I guess it wasn't obvious, but that was said rhetorically. I know why. People just don't care (like you couldn't even look up that word I specifically used lol).

There's shouldn't be such a simple reason to be so [insert that specific word here] when they're (also) being blatantly anti-consumer enough that the EU lawmakers are seen as the good guys.....
 
iMessage is a apple exclusive thing. They are not forced to push their tech or messaging app over.

Just buy an iphone if you want or need Imessage.
 
I am fine with Apple keep iMessage exclusive, but I never understood the "it just works" meme, it's implying that others somehow don't? Are you a literal retard and you can't message people? Leaving illiterate people behind is the right way to go. Learn how to use the phone or don't use it. Learn how to drive a car or don't drive it...
 
iMessage is a apple exclusive thing. They are not forced to push their tech or messaging app over.

Just buy an iphone if you want or need Imessage.
Exactly. Apple paid for and developed it. It probably cost a good chunk of $ for Apple. They own it and it's their right to do with it as they please.

This whole movement of nobody owns anything, and companies must share everything is going to decimate development over time.

It's no different than people who pay taxes and those who pay no taxes and then get a refund to boot!
 
Maybe one day Apple may release imessage but perhaps as an app for non-Apple devices. Strict TOS, sign up for Apple ID which some will not want to do, etc. Maybe charge for the app, maybe subscription service like many other companies do. Many non-apple users will probably say WTF?

Imessage being Apples's property and goes through their servers is their property like so many other companies like MS, Adobe, Photoshop, etc. I think the EU will not go beyond a certain point.
 
Back