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Sunbird just won't quit, is now opening its iMessage on Android app to 171,000 waitlisters

If you signed up for the waitlist before it was found to be a security nightmare, you might be gaining access soon.

Published onJune 19, 2024

Apple iMessages on iPhone stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • The Sunbird app promised to bring iMessage to Android but was discovered to be a security nightmare.
  • The company halted activity for a bit but is now back, rolling out access to its waitlist of over 171,000 users.
  • We advise anyone who added themselves to the list to be wary before trying the “new” Sunbird, at least for now.

In late 2022, we learned about a new Android app called Sunbird. The app promised something that many Android users want, which is the ability to use iMessage on Android. While no company but Apple could ever actually port iMessage to Android, Sunbird claimed to have a simple (and free) way to do it by essentially bridging your messages to a virtual macOS machine. Sunbird got a lot of traction quickly, even seeing its app skinned over as Nothing Chats and included with the Nothing Phone 2.

Unfortunately, the service barely worked and, most importantly, turned out to be a security nightmare. Within just hours of Nothing Chats becoming available, it was removed from the Play Store and disabled on the Nothing Phone 2. Shortly thereafter, Sunbird itself went on hiatus. We covered the whole debacle in detail, if you care to read it.

Months later, in April this year, Sunbird inexplicably announced its return. It said it was going to relaunch its beta app with “comprehensive enhancements to Sunbird’s backend infrastructure” to make it more secure and private. Today, the company says it is officially beginning to roll out access to its waitlist, which it claims has over 171,000 people.

Obviously, a huge chunk of those waitlisters likely signed up before the Nothing Chats debacle. Regardless, if you get an email welcoming you to Sunbird in the coming days and weeks, you might want to be extra cautious about giving it a shot. While Sunbird has made big claims on its “commitment to offering a robust, secure, and unified messaging experience that bridges the gap between Android and iOS users,” the company has a proven track record of making big claims it can’t support.

Members of the Android Authority team are on the waitlist, so we’ll look into it if and when we get an invite. Until then, though, we’d advise you not to try out the “new” Sunbird without taking extra precautions regarding your privacy, such as only using it as a testing app.

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