Beeper Mini is an iMessage for Android app

Mishal Rahman / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Beeper Mini brings iMessage to Android without the need to sign in with an Apple ID or enable iMessage on a server.
  • All you need is your phone number and a Google login to get started.
  • After the 7-day trial, the app costs $1.99/month.

Like many of our readers, I use an Android phone as my daily driver, but some of my friends and family members use an iPhone. Since iMessage isn’t available on Android, my messages to them are sent via SMS/MMS, displayed in the oft-derided “green bubble” in Apple’s messaging app. As a result, they lose access to high-resolution media sharing, reply texts, voice messages, typing indicators and many other iMessage features. Thanks to Peeper Mini, however, I can finally use iMessage on Android so iPhone users can see my messages in a “blue bubble”.

Beeper Mini is a new app from the people behind Beeper, an integrated chat and inbox app that brings the best chat apps under one roof. The original Beeper app supports iMessage among other messaging services, but you must provide Beeper with your Apple ID credentials to use iMessage. Because this service acts as a bridge between your Android phone and Mac Mini with the Beeper app installed and signed in to your iMessage account.

Beeper assures that your password is not saved, your messages are encrypted and cannot be read by anyone, and only iMessage-related permissions are requested. Nothing and Sunbird made similar claims when they announced the Nothing Chats app, but researchers quickly discovered that the app was a security and privacy nightmare that was pulled shortly after launch. While no such security issues have yet been identified in Beeper’s use, there is still a small risk inherent in handing over your Apple ID credentials. Even if you trust the beeper, you’ll need to get an invitation to access its app and then set it up from a computer.

The new Beeper Mini app has none of those caveats: you don’t need to provide your Apple ID credentials to use iMessage, you don’t need to sign up for a waiting list to use the app, and you don’t even need a PC to set things up. Setting up iMessage on Android with Beeper Mini only takes a few minutes. Download Beeper Mini from Google PlayTo sign in to Google, tap “Continue with Google,” give the app permission to access your SMS conversations and contacts list, and you’re on your way.

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The Beeper Mini setup is layered

Mishal Rahman / Android Authority

You don’t have to sign in to your Apple ID at any point during setup, however, after setup, you can go to the app’s settings, tap “Manage Connection,” select “Link Apple ID,” and then sign in from there. You need to enable sending/receiving messages from your email address or your other Apple devices. The Beeper Mini claims to store your account credentials locally before sending them to Apple servers using encrypted HTTPS requests, but I chose not to sign in since I didn’t need to use iMessage.

Beeper Mini Introduction Stacked

Mishal Rahman / Android Authority

While the need to access your SMS conversations and contacts list is obvious, I was curious why the app asked me to sign in to Google during setup. This is to register you on the Beeper API server, check your subscription status (more on that later) and give their support team your name and email address so they can help troubleshoot any issues you may be facing. After signing in to Google, I confirmed through my Google Account settings that only the Beeper Mini had access to my name, email address, and profile picture.

When I finished setting up the app, it seamlessly pulled in my previous SMS conversations with iPhone users and upgraded them to iMessage. These conversations are arranged in a list like most chat apps, although I can fit some conversations at the top. From the Home screen, tap FAB to start a new chat, swipe right to mark the conversation as unread, or swipe left to mute the conversation. From the top bar, you can change your display name and profile picture, or access the app’s settings, where you can change the theme, change read receipts, mute sounds, change push notifications, or link your Apple ID as mentioned earlier.

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Beeper Mini systems are stacked

Mishal Rahman / Android Authority

Beeper Mini is still in its early stages and doesn’t have many other bells and whistles, which is good because Beeper is focusing on supporting as many iMessage features as possible before building out support for other features and messaging services. Speaking of which, Beeper co-founder Eric Mickikowski told me that the Mini will eventually add support for all the other messaging services that the original Beeper currently supports. Once that happens, the “mini” will be dropped from its name. To reduce confusion between the two products, the original Beeper app is being rebranded as Beeper Cloud.

For now,​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​front now, the app has a “mini” suffix because it only supports iMessage. While it doesn’t currently support every iMessage feature, it does support group chats, high-resolution media sharing, emoji reactions, voice messages, and more. Here’s a list of iMessage features Beeper Mini currently supports:

  • Live news
  • Group chats
  • High resolution images and video
  • Editing and unsending messages
  • Read receipts
  • Typing status
  • Tapback Emoji Reactions
  • Answer texts
  • Voice messages
  • Stickers and GIFs

Live location sharing, message effects, and FaceTime calls are not yet supported, Beeper says. iMessage games are also not supported, although Beeper says the feature will never be supported. Personally, I’m fine with Beeper Mini because it gives me the most important iMessage features that I missed before. Here are screenshots showing some of these features:

Beeper Mini Chat UI is layered

Mishal Rahman / Android Authority

Beeper Mini Team UI Stacked

Mishal Rahman / Android Authority

Beeper mini chats from iPhone

Mishal Rahman / Android Authority

Overall, I’m very happy with the Beeper Mini so far. Once Apple brought RCS support to its messaging app, I no longer needed to use the Beeper Mini for all my communications with the iPhone. However, if I wanted to avoid the green bubble stigma, I’d stick with the Beeper Mini since Apple still uses green bubbles to differentiate Android users. After my 7-day free trial expires, Beeper Mini costs only $1.99 per month, and I’m happy to offer alternatives. Also, once Beeper Mini adds support for all my other messaging services, I’ll have fewer apps to switch between, although I’m not convinced after reading C. Scott Brown’s experiences with Beeper.

I believe the beeper mini will last until Apple releases RCS support on iOS. Beeper Mini is based on the work of a developer who modified iMessage. Apple didn’t bring iMessage to Android after all these years for a reason, so they’re completely oblivious to this. When asked about this, Eric Mikkikowski said, “I don’t think Apple will do anything.” Apple touts privacy as a key selling point of its ecosystem, Eric pointed out, and Beeper Mini makes iPhones more secure by upgrading conversations with Android users from the insecure SMS/MMS standard to the end-to-end encrypted iMessage protocol.

Speaking of encryption, Beeper has taken several steps to earn the trust of security-conscious users. The team released A Technical blog post It’s about how the app works, shared A blog post Explains how iMessage works under the hood and shares the source code for it A Python script Send and receive iMessage on any platform. They’re inviting security researchers to examine Peeper Mini’s network traffic, and are helping the effort by providing a special copy of the app with certificate pinning disabled.

Will you try Beeper Mini? Let us know in the poll or in the comments!

Will you try the Beeper Mini?

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