Beeper Mini – the latest Android app promising to bring iMessage support to non-Apple phones – might be fairly new on the scene, but it’s already set its sights on bringing another iPhone exclusive to the masses, with the team revealing that it’s currently trying to add Facetime audio and video calls to its third-party app.
The announcement was made via a post on the Beeper Blog, in which the developers highlighted a handful of other features they're currently working on. This includes block lists, full text search, a UI for the best foldable phones, and the ability to schedule messages. As time goes on there are plans for Beeper Mini to support SMS, WhatsApp, Signal, Matrix, and a slew of other chat networks.
This one-stop shop messaging app would then be renamed to Beeper – reclaiming the title the company’s first iteration of its app used before it replaced the service with Beeper Cloud and Beeper Mini.
What’s the catch I hear you ask? Well, Beeper Mini isn’t free to use. It’s currently $1.99 (around $1.6 / AU$3) per month, and while some users love it others point out on the Android store page reviews that it needs a few extra quality-of-life upgrades to make it feel worthwhile.
Is Beeper Mini safe and secure?
Another fear you likely have is how private secure is all of this. It was less than a month ago that we saw the rise and fiery explosive failure of Nothing Chats due to its near-total lack of privacy. To use the service you had to hand over your iCloud login details, and because the service isn’t end-to-end encrypted Sunbird had access to every single text, image, and video sent using the service.
Beeper Mini, to its credit, appears to have already crossed this hurdle. Chats are end-to-end encrypted so only you and the person/people you’re messaging can see what’s being sent. What’s more according to a Beeper FAQ “Beeper does not have access to your Apple account.”
The data the app collects is:
- Your name and phone number
- Your IP address
- Your user-agent (phone model, Android version)
- Your Google and Apple account email addresses
- Anonymous push notification token
- Diagnostic information (Optional)
“That’s it” per the FAQ. The reason it doesn’t need to collect as much of your data as previous attempts to bring iMessage to Android is because your information isn’t passed through a relay server. Instead, the app connects directly to Apple’s servers.
Given that Beeper Mini supports end-to-end encryption with iMessage it seems to actually be more secure than regular text chats between iPhone and Android phone users.
We’ll have to wait and see how Beeper Mini develops, but currently, it does look to offer a more immediate, somewhat comprehensive solution to green bubbles and secure messaging between iMessage and Android phones. You’ll just have to decide if the cost of entry is worth it compared to the other best encrypted messaging apps – some of which are completely free.
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Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.