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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sunbird suspends iMessage app for Android amid security issues

Sunbird's iMessage app for Android faces a temporary shutdown amid security concerns and doubts over its end-to-end encryption, sparking debate and investigations.

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Sunbird, renowned for integrating iMessage with Android, has temporarily halted its service. This move is in response to security concerns. In a statement to its users, Sunbird highlighted its decision to pause operations to investigate claims suggesting that its messages might not be entirely end-to-end encrypted.

Sunbird's launch and features

Debuted in 2022, Sunbird's primary goal was to ease messaging between Android and users, targeting the longstanding blue vs. green bubble battle. Initially, access to the app was exclusive to waitlisted users. It promoted several privacy-oriented features, such as end-to-end encryption, a commitment to not collecting message data, and an absence of advertisements.

Collaboration with Nothing and subsequent removal

The recent collaboration with Nothing, led by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, resulted in the launch of Nothing Chats. This new service, powered by Sunbird, was designed to enable Phone 2 users to utilise iMessage. However, the app faced removal from the Google Play Store within a day of its release. Though Nothing cited the need to fix several bugs, this coincided with a report from Texts.blog raising doubts about Sunbird's encryption.

Data storage controversy and ongoing silence

Further complicating matters, Android developer Dylan Roussel discovered that Sunbird stored many media files on Firebase, a cloud service. This contradicts Sunbird's assurance of not storing data on its , suggesting that the company might transfer data externally. Sunbird has yet to address these issues publicly.

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Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia is a news editor at Tech Edition. Her interest is in technology and startups, occasionally crunching news for gaming. Sofia enjoys playing video games, going on bike rides, and gardening when she isn't behind a keyboard.

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