As you probably already know, iMessage is Apple’s instant messaging platform. It was introduced in 2011 and Apple never made it available for Android or Windows. This has frustrated many users, especially those who want to switch from iOS to Android but don’t want to lose access to iMessage. With Beeper, Android users can finally have iMessage on other platforms, but it comes at a price.
What is Beeper?
Beeper is not really new. In fact, it was announced in January 2021. The app was created by the founder of Pebble smartwatches, Eric Migicovsky, and it basically acts as a hub for multiple messaging platforms including Telegram, WhatsApp, Slack, Messenger and iMessage.
The Beeper app is available on all major platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS and Linux. This means you can access iMessage on any of these platforms through Beeper, and that’s what makes the app even more interesting. After all, Beeper is neither the first nor the only messaging app hub. But how does it work?
When Beeper was announced, it relied on a real Apple device to work with iMessage. Users had the option of setting up a jailbroken iPhone or Mac to act as an iMessage server. In this way, the device would synchronize the messages with Beeper, so that the user could access them anywhere.
But now things are a bit different. Beeper has abandoned the old method in favor of a new server hosted in the cloud. This means that Beeper now has its own Mac servers to log into users’ Apple ID and integrate iMessage into the app. As a result, users no longer need an Apple device to use iMessage with Beeper – the company takes care of everything.
How to use it?
For now, Beeper remains available in private beta. Anyone interested in trying out Beeper can sign up to receive an invite. I asked the developers when the platform will be available for everyone, but there is no estimate yet. What I was told is that every week a new group of users are invited to join Beeper.
Once you are accepted to join Beeper, you need to set up your account. At least during the beta period, the configuration is done manually with the help of someone working at Beeper. I had to schedule a call with a rep from the app who helped me set everything up. According to Migicovsky, this helps the team “detect any issues that arise and resolve them immediately.”
After setting up the Beeper app on my Mac, I was able to connect to the Android app. iMessage was there and working as expected. Beeper uses iCloud to download messages from your Apple devices, so you’ll have access to all conversations. However, previous chats are not downloaded to the app.
Since the app has access to your Apple ID, it also downloads your iCloud contacts to make it even easier to communicate with friends and family via Beeper. And surprisingly, everything works as expected. I was able to send and receive iMessages from a Galaxy S22 Ultra. You can also send and receive media, voicemails, and even reactions.
It has a price
Yes, Beeper works as promised. But the app comes at a price. First, Beeper costs $10 per month. In order to set up your account, you must add your credit card to pay for the monthly subscription. However, the developers told me that, at least during the beta period, users can request a refund if they have any issues with the platform.
But, using Beeper comes at an even higher price than the $10 monthly subscription, and it shares your Apple ID with a third party. Beeper says the company only uses your Apple ID to access iMessage, but in theory they could do whatever they want with your data.
According to Beeper, each user has an individual account created on a Mac mini server, so the data cannot be accessed by others. The company also says it restricts which employees have access to these computers. Still, it’s a risk you take using the app.
And while we consider all of that, there’s also the fact that sending messages through a third-party app compromises end-to-end encryption. Beeper himself admits that using the app is “less secure than using encrypted chat apps on their own”. In the words of the company, its business model “is built on this trust”.
Is it worth it?
With all that in mind, I’m not sure Beeper is worth it. The developers have certainly done an outstanding job in providing a way for people to use iMessage on Android. However, this comes with a lot of compromises. Worse than having your messages leaked by someone else is having other data tied to your Apple ID, such as documents and photos.
I’m not saying Beeper will intentionally do this, but they also can’t guarantee that it will never happen. For Android users who don’t have an iPhone or any other device, creating an Apple ID specifically for iMessage might be a good solution, but you’re still likely to see your messages by someone else. ‘other.
I also asked Beeper if he had a chance of Apple taking the platform down, but Migicovsky seems pretty confident the Cupertino-based company won’t.
You can learn more about Beeper on its official website. Want to try the app? Let us know in the comments below.
FTC: We use revenue-generating automatic affiliate links. After.
Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news: