Sunbird, which aims to bring iMessage to Android users, has halted development and pulled its app from the Play Store amid security issues raised this week.
Earlier this week, the company sent a notification to its users, as noted by 9to5Google first, saying that it is pausing the development of the app to investigate security concerns.
“We have temporarily shut down the Sunbird app while we do a detailed security analysis. We will revert back to the community as soon as we are aware of the exact occurrences and our plan to mitigate them going forward,” the company said on its Discord on November 19.
“We have been working around the clock on the app to address the concerns that were raised and improve the experience. Navigating the press and our partner obligations kept us from sending a message sooner. Lots going on still and we’re committed to Sunbird’s success,” the company said on its Discord on Tuesday in an update.
Sunbird messaging was founded in 2021 and has received a total of $2.9 million in funding according to Crunchbase data. The company released its app in a closed program last December.
The app came into the limelight when Nothing — a company started by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei — announced earlier this month that it is using Sunbird’s technology to bring iMessage to Android through Nothing Chats.
However, after the announcement, multiple researchers pointed out security flaws within the app, including messages being sent in plain text, as pointed out in a blog post from Texts.com.
Other security researchers, including researcher Dylan Roussel, also pointed out that all messages and media sent through Nothing Chats and Sunbird are public.
In response to these claims, Nothing pulled the Nothing Chats beta from the Play Store and said it would work with Sunbird to “fix several bugs.”
Given the blue bubble/green bubble divide, many message aggregator apps have tried to solve this problem. The aforementioned Texts.com, which was acquired by WordPress.com owner Automattic last month for $50 million, offers iMessage on Mac and SMS with iMessage. Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky’s Beeper also offers iMessage integration in some capacity. However, there have been questions about the privacy and security impact of these solutions.
All these developments come amid news from Apple last week saying that the company will adopt RCS (Rich Communication Standards) — a superpowered alternative to SMS that allows sending multimedia messages with other features — next year. While this might not solve the green and blue bubble divide, users on Android would be able to send high-res photos and videos to their friends and family using iPhones.
Courtesy by: TechCrunch