Sunbird Halts Development Of IMessage For Android Due To Security Concerns


Sunbird, the company aiming to bring iMessage to Android users, has temporarily paused its development efforts and removed its app from the Play Store in response to security worries. The decision comes after concerns were raised about the app’s security this week, prompting the company to conduct a detailed security analysis before proceeding.

Key Takeaway

Sunbird, the company behind the effort to bring iMessage to Android, has halted development and removed its app from the Play Store due to security concerns. The decision was made after researchers discovered security flaws, including the transmission of messages in plain text. Sunbird is working to address these issues before moving forward.

On November 19, Sunbird sent a notification to its users, explaining the temporary shutdown and promising to keep the community informed about the exact issues and their plan to address them. The company acknowledged that they have been working tirelessly to address the concerns and improve the user experience.

Sunbird messaging was founded in 2021 and has received $2.9 million in funding according to Crunchbase data. The app was released in a closed program last December and gained attention when Nothing, a company created by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, announced its partnership with Sunbird to bring iMessage to Android through Nothing Chats.

However, after the partnership announcement, security researchers raised concerns about the app’s security, highlighting vulnerabilities such as messages and media being sent and received in plain text. Dylan Roussel, a researcher, revealed that all messages and media sent through Nothing Chats and Sunbird are publicly accessible.

As a response to these findings, Nothing Chats beta was removed from the Play Store, and Nothing expressed its intention to collaborate with Sunbird to address the identified bugs.

Various messaging aggregator apps have attempted to bridge the blue bubble/green bubble divide, offering iMessage integration or alternatives. However, questions about privacy and security have been raised regarding these solutions. Additionally, Apple announced plans to adopt Rich Communication Standards (RCS) next year, enabling Android users to send multimedia messages to iPhone users.

While the temporary halt in Sunbird’s development of iMessage for Android is unfortunate, it demonstrates the company’s commitment to addressing security concerns and ensuring a safe and reliable messaging experience. Users eagerly await further updates and improvements from Sunbird.

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