iMessage on Android is available from Sunbird

Apple has made it clear that it has no plans to bring iMessage to Android. They know it keeps their users on the platform and seem okay with the green bubble bullying of Android users as a result of the broken messaging experience iPhone users complain about when talking to someone who doesn’t have a phone like theirs.

Since there may not be an official iMessage app or service on Android, the messaging industry has taken several steps in creating an unofficial iMessage client. Most apps are weird, including one that wanted you to buy an old iPhone and then set it up as a makeshift server to transfer the iMessage experience to your Android phone. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds.

The next attempt is from a company called Sunbird They believe they have the real experience you want.

Sunbird has created an all-in-one messaging client that “is the first and only premium iMessage app for Android.” Let me try to explain exactly what that means.

According to Sunbird, this means that setting up iMessage on your Android phone only requires your Android phone and about 60 seconds of time. No personal server, Apple device, or desktop software needed. Again, this is unlike the weird fake server ideas we’ve seen in the past.

It also means you get fully encrypted messaging, online messaging, full quality media, group chats, reactions, clicks, live typing indicators, and read receipts. Perhaps most importantly, it means that your messages (from your Android phone) will appear as blue bubbles on your iPhone.

However, Sunbird does more than just iMessage. It will work as a texting app too, plus it can connect to WhatsApp (with group messaging) and Facebook Messenger. The plan is to add Telegram, RCS, Signal, Line, Slack, Discord, and Instagram down the road. Again, this is an all-in-one messaging service.

Sounds too good to be true and you need to know what’s the catch? At this point, Sunbird does not reveal a catch. They’re saying all the right things to get people to sign up for a beta list to test the app out.

For example, they claim that Sunbird “does not store user data,” so that might refer to your login credentials and messages you send. Other services like this one use paging services or need to store your credentials to function properly, but Sunbird says it doesn’t do any of that. In fact, during a briefing with them, they kept pointing out over and over that they tried to build this in a way that didn’t store any data at all.

This is not open source, because they have come up with some kind of solution that they want to keep closed. They believe they have solved any problem from the past that made iMessage on Android not possible.

What about the cost? This was a subscription form, right? Apparently not yet. Sunbird told us that the service would be free and that if they wanted to monetize later, they could, but for now they just want people to use it. This is a bit of a red flag for me. There’s nothing more ridiculous than creating a service you know people might like, telling them it’s free, and then flipping on the credit card machine once they’ve committed well.

And that’s all I have now. This sounds like the best iMessage idea for Android so far, but I haven’t tested it and have no idea when I’ll be able to. At this time, Sunbird requires the world to register to test Sunbird in a closed beta. They’ll collect invites before they open at some point (or even sell the technology, because they’d be making money otherwise?).

If this interests you, you can register on the Sunbird site.

#iMessage #Android #Sunbird

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