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First Nothing Chats, now Sunbird takes down its iMessage for Android app

Sunbird is also putting a pause on its iMessage app for Android.

Published onNovember 21, 2023

Sunbird iMessage on Android Example
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
  • Amid security concerns, Sunbird has now shut down its iMessage for Android app.
  • Sunbird has notified users it is pausing usage for now.
  • Sunbird says it will investigate reports that messages aren’t end-to-end encrypted.

The Nothing Chats rollout and subsequent takedown from the Google Play Store was a debacle Android users won’t soon forget. In fact, the launch went so poorly that the app that Nothing Chats was built on is also now being shut down.

First reported by 9to5Google, the Sunbird app is being shut down by its creators. The app no longer appears in the Google Play Store and Sunbird users have been notified that the company has “decided to pause Sunbird usage for now” as it investigates security concerns.

Sunbird was launched in 2022 and promised to bring iMessage compatibility to Android. It boasted end-to-end encryption and offered iMessage features while claiming not to collect users’ data. Since launch, the app has only been available to those who have signed up for the waitlist.

Last week, Nothing announced a partnership with Sunbird while rolling out the Nothing Chats beta. Nothing Chats was said to be built off of Sunbird’s architecture, but was designed by the Nothing team. The app was subsequently shut down and taken off the Google Play Store in the same week after a flood of reports found that the software was woefully insecure and not as private as advertised. Nothing has since said it is delaying the launch of Nothing Chats to work with Sunbird to address “several bugs.”

Now Sunbird is following suit and doing the same with its own app. The company’s last statement reads as follows:

Good afternoon everyone. We are investigating the security issues raised in the last 24 hours. In an abundance of caution and to protect your confidential data, we are shutting down Sunbird media temporarily. We will keep you posted. Thank you, & sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

Since taking down the app, Sunbird has not commented on the situation. The team found in their investigation that Sunbird was using HTTP instead of HTTPS, while Android developer Dylan Roussel shared that messages aren’t end-to-end encrypted and that Sunbird stores thousands of media files on the cloud service Firebase.

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