Beeper claims it has a new fix to let you send iMessages from your Android phone — but the change requires that you own or have easy access to a trusted Mac.
First, I’ll quote part of an explanation from Beeper about how its iMessage service works — and how Apple has been able to shut things down. From a message posted to Reddit:
When you connect iMessage on Beeper, we need to send identification information called ‘registration data’ from a real Mac. We have, up until now, we been using our own fleet of Mac servers to provide this. Unfortunately, this has proven to be an easy target for Apple because thousands of Beeper users were using the same registration data.
However, with an update to Beeper Cloud on Mac that’s coming out on Wednesday, the app can create what Beeper says is “unique” registration data.
“This 1:1 mapping of registration data to individual user — in our testing — makes the connection very reliable,” Beeper claims. This same Mac registration data will also work with Beeper Mini (the Android app that started this whole saga). However, Beeper will have to “periodically regenerate” the registration data — “roughly once per week or month” (that’s quite a range!) — which means you’ll have to turn on your Mac “regularly” to refresh it.
Beeper claims that if you have Beeper and a Mac, you can share registration data with a friend. “In our testing, 10-20 iMessage users can safely use the same registration data,” Beeper says. The company is also going to open source its iMessage bridge and the tool for Mac that creates the registration data.
These updates may sound promising, but they significantly limit the appeal of what made Beeper Mini such a big deal in the first place. The original version of Beeper Mini only needed an Android smartphone and a phone number to let you send iMessages, but Apple found a way to break that within days. Beeper’s next attempt to bring Beeper Mini back required logging in with an Apple ID, but recently, the app started to break down again for many users.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But given that the company has continued to find ways to shut down Beeper’s ability to send iMessages, it seems likely that Apple will try to do so again.