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New Android app that let people use iMessage is removed over privacy concerns

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Plus, what coding experts have to say about the app

NOTHING Chats, the app that gave Android owners the opportunity to camouflage themselves as iPhone users, has been pulled from the Google Play Store.

The company behind the app, Nothing, pulled the plug on the beta-version of the new messenger over privacy concerns - just one day after it first launched.


The launch of Nothing Chats has now been delayed "until further notice" while Nothing fixes "several bugs"Credit: Nothing

The app, which was still under development, let Android owners gain some of the perks of Apple's iMessage, including having blue bubble messages instead of green.

While you got the blue bubbles - you didn't get many other iMessage perks.

The rest of the features enjoyed by iPhone owners, such as emoji stickers, editing, read receipts and message reactions, were not yet available.

The launch of Nothing Chats has now been delayed "until further notice" while Nothing fixes "several bugs".

The app relied on a third-party platform called Sunbird.

But a Texts.com blog revealed that Sunbird did not have end-to-end encryption for the messages in its system, which led to the app being removed.

9to5Google pointed to a tweet from site author Dylan Roussel that said Sunbird "has access to every message sent and received through the app".

Roussel investigated the app's coding and found that each message is stored unencrypted in plain text.

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Texts.com founder Kishan Bagaria wrote on X (formerly Twitter): "Texts team took a quick look at the tech behind Nothing Chats and found out it's extremely insecure

"It's not even using HTTPS, credentials are sent over plaintext HTTP.

"Backend is running an instance of BlueBubbles, which doesn't support end-to-end encryption yet."

The discovery suggests anyone at Sunbird - or someone with coding experience - could access messages sent or received through the Nothing Chats app, according to The Verge.

Sunbird claimed yesterday on Twitter that "the HTTP is only used as part of the one-off initial request from the app notifying back-end of the upcoming iMessage connection."

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