Apple cracks down on third-party apps that allow iMessage on Android phones

In an effort to maintain security and reduce phishing attacks, Apple Inc. announced on Saturday that the company has shut down all the third party applications that have allowed Android users to download iMessage, which is exclusive to iPhone users.

Now, Android users won’t be able to download iMessage, which is exclusively made for iPhone users.(HT_PRINT)

In an official statement, Apple said that the steps taken to shut down the third party iMessage apps to protect iPhone users “by blocking techniques that exploit fake credentials in order to gain access to iMessage.”

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The iPhone maker further said that “these techniques posed significant risks to user security and privacy, including the potential for metadata exposure and enabling unwanted messages, spam, and phishing attacks.”

This comes just a day after Beeper Mini, one of the most popular apps to enable iMessage in Android devices, had stopped working with no prior warning. Through Beeper Mini, Android users were able to communicate with iPhone users via iMessage, breaking the end-to-end encryption of the platform.

Apple’s iMessage offers encrypted messaging between iPhones, Macs, iPads and other devices made by the company, and it has resisted calls for nearly a decade to expand the service to Android.

Many Android users believed that the lack of such third party apps for smooth communication between iPhones and Android devices leads to more threats of phishing and data leaks, and Beeper Mini was seeing an increased number of downloads because of this.

Beeper was founded by Eric Migicovsky, who is known for creating the Pebble smartwatch in the years before the Apple Watch and for being part of Y Combinator, the tech industry’s most prestigious business incubator.

While Apple doesn’t charge iPhone users to subscribe to iMessage, Beeper Mini subscription costs $1.99 for Android users per month. Apple was not able to verify the messages sent through this app, leading to the firm blocking and shutting down the platform altogether.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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