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Pebble founder reveals universal chat app for Android, with iMessage support

The service will even send you an old iPhone to enable iMessage support.

Published onJanuary 21, 2021

  • A new subscription-based app called Beeper promises to unify 15 messaging apps.
  • The app also touts iMessage support.
  • The iMessage functionality requires a Mac, or Beeper will send an old iPhone to you.

There are loads of cross-platform chat apps out there, with the likes of WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal all available on both Android and iOS. Unfortunately, Apple’s iMessages app is still an Apple-exclusive service. But a new app promises to unify a variety of popular chat apps, including Apple’s chat platform.

Beeper is the brainchild of Pebble smartwatch founder Eric Migicovsky (h/t: The Verge), and it promises to unify 15 messaging apps into one app on Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The app also grants capabilities like unified search and the ability to set reminders.

Some of the more popular apps and services supported in Beeper include WhatsApp, Signal, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Discord, Hangouts, Slack, IRC, and yes, iMessage. However, the founder admits that it’s had to resort to a workaround to get Apple’s service running on Beeper.

“Beeper has two ways of enabling 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,” reads an explanation on the service’s website.

This isn’t an unprecedented workaround, as other unofficial Android apps like AirMessage and WeMessage also call for a Mac or iPhone as a relay to your Android device. But the fact that Beeper is sending a jailbroken iPhone to you (even if it’s a much older one) is rather neat.

The service costs $10 a month, so it’s unclear if subscribers will need to commit to a fixed period of time if they want the jailbroken iPhone (e.g. six months, 12 months). 

The company adds that all of its bridges are open-sourced so you can verify the security of your data and have a look at how Beeper connects to each chat service (the client app isn’t open source though). Nevertheless, you can press the button below to check out more info at the Beeper website.

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