Remember earlier this month when Beeper Mini – the app that appeared to bring the benefits of iMessage to Android by faking the appearance of an iPhone to Apple’s servers – was hobbled by the world’s richest company? Rather implausibly, the app maker pledged to keep fighting, but after 11 days of fix and counter fix, it’s now accepting that its increasingly ratty-looking towel might have to be thrown in after all.

The app maker has announced that the latest convoluted workaround will be the last.

“Each time that Beeper Mini goes ‘down’ or is made to be unreliable due to interference by Apple, Beeper’s credibility takes a hit. It’s unsustainable,” the company writes. “As much as we want to fight for what we believe is a fantastic product that really should exist, the truth is that we can’t win a cat-and-mouse game with the largest company on earth.”

Instead, Beeper will abandon its figurative attempt to climb Everest backwards, and instead focus on doing the same with K2. It’s switching to its “long-term goal of building the best chat app on earth” – y’know, going up against Apple, Telegram, Meta and other major players. Easy stuff.

But all is not lost yet! Beeper’s final fix is one it believes “Apple can tolerate existing” (suggesting that the company hasn’t really been paying attention, but we’ll see). That said, it might be right, as the solution is so ridiculously convoluted that only the really committed with too much time on their hands need apply.

Firstly, to get Beeper Mini working today, you’ll need to have a jailbroken iPhone. Don’t have one to hand? Beeper will sell or rent you one if you sign up and fill out a Google Docs form.

With jailbroken iPhone in reach, the next step is to plug it into a computer and run commands via the Terminal tool, while installing an app called Palenra1n. It will then install Beeper Mini on your jailbroken iPhone which will register your Android handset.

But you can’t then sell on your jailbroken iPhone. It needs to be left connected to your WiFi and turned on at all times.

Will anybody do this? Probably some people who really want to stick it to Apple. But most people used Beeper Mini because it was a simple app that just worked. This is about as far away from that as it’s possible to be.

“At this stage, Apple’s actions to block Beeper Mini look increasingly hard for them to defend,” said Beeper, which – to be fair – hasn’t really looked very hard for Apple defence arguments so far. “The only potential reason they have left is that they might make less money selling iPhones if iMessage were available on Android.”

Well… yes. The first clue was when Apple executives said as much themselves. It’s not quite the gotcha Beeper appears to think it is, but there we are.

Anyone who wants an iMessage style experience without jumping through hoops will have to wait for Apple to enable RCA messaging standards, which the company has pledged to finally do next year. Better late than never? Maybe. We’ll have to see how decent an experience it offers…

Alan Martin
Alan is an experienced and versatile writer with the unique distinction of having written for both The New Statesman and Nuts. The list of publications Alan has written for doesn't stop there. His work has also been published in: Wired, CNET, Gizmodo UK, ShortList, NME, TechRadar, The i, The Independent, The Evening Standard, City Metric, Macworld, Pocket Gamer, Expert Reviews, Coach, The Inquirer, Rock Paper Shotgun, Tom's Guide, T3, PC Pro, IT Pro, Ideal Home, Livingetc, Stuff, Business Insider, theBit, Wareable, and Trusted Reviews. Alan now covers a range of subjects for ReviewsFire, with a focus on news - his unique style of covering technology news is a key part of ReviewsFire's success.


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