Sunbirdwhich aims to bring iMessage to Android users, 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 it is known 9to5Google first, it says it halted development of the app to investigate security concerns.
“We have temporarily closed the Sunbird app while we conduct a detailed security review. We will get back to the community as soon as we know the exact events and our plan to mitigate them going forward,” the company said in a statement. Discord it on November 19th.
“We are working around the clock on the app to address the concerns raised and improve the experience. Navigating the press and our partner obligations prevent us from sending a message as soon as possible. There is still a lot going on and we is committed to Sunbird’s success,” the company said on its Discord 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 Wala — a company started by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei — announced earlier this month that it was using Sunbird technology to bring iMessage to Android via No Chat.
However, after the announcement, many researchers pointed to security flaws within the app including messages sent in plain text, as pointed out by a blog post from Texts.com.
Other security researchers including researcher Dylan Roussel also point out that all messages and media sent through Nothing Chats and Sunbird are public.
In response to these claims, Nothing has removed the Nothing Chats beta from the Play Store and said it will work with Sunbird to “fix several bugs.”
Because of 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 are questions about the privacy and security impact these solutions.
All these developments come amid news from Apple last week, which said that the company will adopt RCS (Rich Communication Standards) – a powerful alternative to SMS that allows sending messages in multimedia with other features – next year. Although it doesn’t solve the green and blue bubble split, Android users can send high-res photos and videos to their friends and family using iPhones.