San Francisco, November 15: Global consumer electronics brand Nothing, which added Apple's iMessage functionality to Android Phone (2) via a new “Nothing Chats” app powered by the messaging platform Sunbird, comes with some red flags. Sunbird will offer support for iMessage service, allowing users of Nothing's flagship phone to text iPhone users as if they were on an iPhone themselves, appearing as a blue bubble. Nothing Chats will also support texting to other Android phones via RCS, in addition to SMS and MMS.

The app will be available to download from the Google Play Store, and will initially be available in the US, Canada, the UK and other European countries starting November 17. While little is known about the Sunbird app, it promises to make this app available for free to all users. On downloading the app, users will need to log in to Nothing Chats with an Apple ID username or create one if they don't have one, according to CNET. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI Says 'We Are Pausing New ChatGPT Plus Sign-Ups for a Bit', Advises Users To Sign Up To Get Notified When Subscriptions Re-Open.

Even though Nothing promises that neither it nor Sunbird will store any of your message data or Apple ID information, it should be noted that users will be initially entering their login details that might also be tied to other Apple services. According to a Nothing representative, these details are tokenised by Sunbird, used to set up a relay with one of Sunbird's Mac Mini computers that make the connection to iMessage and after setup are destroyed by Sunbird.

After that, users will need to set Nothing Chats as their default messaging app to start sending and receiving iMessage chats from iPhone users alongside texts from Android devices. Another thing that needs to be noted here is that iMessage texts users send will use the email address attached to their Apple ID instead of their phone number. It's similar to using iMessage from an iPad or Mac computer when they don't otherwise have an iPhone.

According to the report, Nothing plans to build phone number compatibility in a future update. For now, users' texts may appear to come from an email address rather than their phone number, but whoever they text can fix this by including their Apple ID email address in their contact information on their phone.

Nothing Chats isn't the first service to provide a workaround for Android phones using iMessage. Beeper, which is also in beta, aims to give users access to iMessage and other chat apps. AirMessage employs a self-hosted model in which it is installed directly on a Mac that must be kept running at all times, with messages forwarded to an Android phone, the report mentioned. Apple Announces To Extend Free Access To ‘Emergency SOS via Satellite’ Feature for Additional Year for iPhone 14 Users.

These methods allow Android phones to send and receive iMessage texts, but they come with their own set of security risks and are unlikely to maintain feature parity as Apple updates its official iMessage service with new features. Nothing's iMessage access, which is being developed independently of Apple, may also lag behind any new iMessage features that Apple adds to iOS.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 15, 2023 06:42 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website