Owners of the Phone 2 can now utilize Nothing Chats to send iMessages to iPhones, marking the first instance of an Android OEM incorporating such functionality into a device.
Nothing Phone 2 users can now enjoy blue bubbles with the latest addition of iMessage through the “Nothing Chats” app, powered by Sunbird messaging platform, as announced by the company. This feature will be rolled out to North American, EU, and other European countries on November 17th.
On its website, Nothing claims that it aims to eliminate the division among phone users caused by messaging services and break down those barriers. However, to achieve this, one must rely on Sunbird’s trustworthiness. Sunbird’s FAQ assures that its architecture enables message delivery without any storage at any point during the journey, and messages are not kept on its servers.
According to Jane Nho, the US head of PR for Nothing, Sunbird utilizes an encrypted database to store user iCloud credentials as a token. These tokens are then associated with a Mac Mini located in either the US or Europe, depending on the user’s location, which acts as a relay for iMessages sent through the app. Nho also mentioned that Sunbird automatically deletes account information after two weeks of inactivity.
The feature was tested by The Washington Post, which reported that Nothing Chats functioned “mostly well.” However, it was noted that some advanced features found in iMessage, such as message editing and complete functionality of Tapback reactions, were not fully supported. The article also mentioned that during their testing, The Post occasionally encountered difficulties in sending group messages, requiring multiple attempts to successfully deliver them.
It is worth mentioning that group iMessages will not function if any participant in the conversation does not have iMessage, which is not surprising. Nho has confirmed that Nothing Chats does support SMS, though, so group SMS messaging will still be operational.
In this platform, there is no visual indication for users on the receiving end when you’re typing, similar to native iMessage. Additionally, you have the ability to share media without any compression, ensuring its original quality. The Post noted that sharing full-quality images is usually not problematic. Furthermore, there are plans to introduce read receipts and message reactions in the future.
Typically, in order to use Sunbird, individuals are required to join a waitlist. However, according to an article by the Post, Danny Mizrahi, the CEO of Sunbird, stated that “for the upcoming months, the exclusive means to acquire Sunbird is by owning a Nothing Phone 2.” Beeper, another platform that enables access to iMessage on Android and Windows devices, also has an extensive waitlist consisting of six figures.
It is worth mentioning that Nothing will not introduce this feature until Friday, possibly allowing Apple enough time to prevent it, either through legal actions or technical measures (although both options may be difficult enough for the feature to be released before that happens). Carl Pei, the CEO of Nothing, stated in the Post that the app will not “revolutionize the world,” but he believes it will “initiate a discussion.” At present, the EU is conducting an investigation to determine if iMessage should be classified as an Apple “core platform service.”