Pebble founder launches Beeper, a universal chat app that rolls 15 top services into one

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,895   +125
Staff member
Editor's take: Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky has launched a new app that aims to consolidate communications from 15 of the top chat apps into a single interface. If it works as advertised, the service could be incredibly convenient for those juggling chats across many apps.

With Beeper, you get a unified inbox for WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Twitter, Slack, Discord, Signal and Instagram, just to name a few. The complete list of supported networks is available over on Beeper’s website, and the company tells us that they plan to add new chat networks every few weeks.

Wait, iMessage on Android and Windows? According to Migicovsky, it’s possible but was tough to figure out.

Per Beeper’s FAQ, there are two ways to allow Android, Windows and Linux users to use iMessage.

“We send each user a Jailbroken iPhone with the Beeper app installed which bridges to iMessage, or if they have a Mac that is always connected to the internet, they can install the Beeper Mac app which acts as a bridge.”

Apparently, Migicovsky isn’t kidding about sending users jailbroken iPhones, either.

Migicovsky said on Twitter that he has been using it as his default chat client for the last two years, “and there is NO going back.”

It’s worth noting that Beeper is a subscription service that commands $10 per month, which partially explains how they could afford to send out old iPhones to use as a bridge.

Interested parties can register their interest by filling out a form over on Beeper’s website. No word yet on when the service will exit the invitation phase.

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 3,324   +3,727
So absurd it borders on scam territory. Who even uses iMessage these days? And why would anyone want to allow a single company to monitor ALL their communications and pay for the privilege? Android is bad enough about that..you have to do some fairly complex hackery to sandbox your non-Google apps.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,185   +2,233
TechSpot Elite
So absurd it borders on scam territory. Who even uses iMessage these days? And why would anyone want to allow a single company to monitor ALL their communications and pay for the privilege? Android is bad enough about that..you have to do some fairly complex hackery to sandbox your non-Google apps.
How would it even come close to being a scam if it does what's advertised? Like, do people these days just forget they can literally google the definition??

Otherwise, you are out of the loop if you don't think iMessage is popular (though, I'd rather a platform agnostic messenger was). At the least, kids these days see Apple as cool, and iMessage as the main (only) way to then communicate.

As for monitoring everything, do you have a quote as to where in their TOS they say they do that? Or is that just an assumption? If anything I'm seeing they are transparent with providing open-source...
 
Last edited:

brucek

Posts: 708   +940
TechSpot Elite
I use iMessage, because there are non-tech-enthusiasts in my life who have iPhones, who like iMessage, and who don't know or have anything else. I suspect there are tens of millions more in the same situation.

And yes, as a windows desktop user, it annoys me to have to stop typing on my keyboard so I can pick up my phone and tap on the screen to reply. I'd love a legit solution but this sounds like one that will be broken as soon as it gets to sufficient scale to be worth Apple's while.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,185   +2,233
TechSpot Elite
From their site
Can I self host?

We decided to open source all our bridges to enable you to audit how Beeper connects to each chat network and verify the security of your data. The side effect is that you may self host if you prefer.
There are two options for self hosting Beeper:
  1. On-premises, managed by Beeper: run our install script on your amd64 server or 4gb Raspberry Pi and run all bridges locally on your own hardware. This option requires a Beeper subscription.
  2. Self-host the full stack: The simplest and free way to self-host the full Matrix+bridges stack is with this Ansible script

NB: the Beeper client app is not open source, but the stack will work with Element (open source Matrix client).
Sounds like you can self-host for free if you want...
 

3volv3d

Posts: 314   +137
So absurd it borders on scam territory. Who even uses iMessage these days? And why would anyone want to allow a single company to monitor ALL their communications and pay for the privilege? Android is bad enough about that..you have to do some fairly complex hackery to sandbox your non-Google apps.
Sounds like trillian and pidgin. Kinda popular but awkward.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lipe123

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,965   +6,731
Over a decade and a half ago when AOL and a few chat programs were started up there was another application that allowed to to add .... I think it was 4 together. Can't remember the name but in it's time it was fantastic, especially when it would alert you to ANY chat request on any of the programs you listed. Doubtful this one is a scam but there certainly had to be a pretty good bit of engineering to get them all to work .... assuming they all do work .....
 

Tams80

Posts: 52   +25
People should stop using iMessage. It may well be convenient and good, but it's locking you into one company's ecosystem that covers all of consumer computing. That is terrible.

Thankfully, it seems contained to North America.

So absurd it borders on scam territory. Who even uses iMessage these days? And why would anyone want to allow a single company to monitor ALL their communications and pay for the privilege? Android is bad enough about that..you have to do some fairly complex hackery to sandbox your non-Google apps.
iMessage seems to be only a North American thing.
 
Over a decade and a half ago when AOL and a few chat programs were started up there was another application that allowed to to add .... I think it was 4 together. Can't remember the name but in it's time it was fantastic, especially when it would alert you to ANY chat request on any of the programs you listed. Doubtful this one is a scam but there certainly had to be a pretty good bit of engineering to get them all to work .... assuming they all do work .....
No doubt you're speaking of Trillian. For its time, it was pretty good.