A new app is promising to bring iMessage to Android users, and its name is Sunbird Messaging. The Sunbird Messaging app has initiated a closed and limited beta, and it touts itself as the first and only one of its kind to offer a fully functional version of iMessage for Android. According to the company’s management, all you need is an Android phone to use it, and there is no need for a personal server, an Apple device, or desktop software.
Chrome Unboxed attended a demo for the product yesterday, where we were shown the signup process in the app. The steps involve creating a Sunbird account and then linking it to the messaging service of your choice that Sunbird supports. One of these – and the one the company is hinging its entire marketing on – is iMessage. However, the app was also shown to support Whatsapp, SMS/MMS, and Facebook Messenger as a unified messaging experience and with more app support coming in the future, including the web.
The company puts a lot of emphasis on its app solving the green/blue bubbles conundrum in the United States and thus addressing the resulting bullying issues among teens and adults. It also solves the issue of having too many messaging apps to keep up with by offering “one inbox for all your messages.”
In regards to app security, the Sunbird team assured us that all messages sent through their app would be fully end-to-end encrypted and that their messaging servers never store user or personal data. Furthermore, Sunbird supports two-factor authentication as well. Not many details were shared in the demo or the press release on the technical aspects of the app and how they have managed to make iMessage work, except to say that they do not employ any “hacks” and only use the existing methods that these messaging companies already have in place.
The app is currently in closed Beta, and the only way to try it out is by signing up for their waiting list. Once you sign up, you are given a number that denotes your place in the line to get your invite. We did not get a chance to try the app ourselves, as we are too on the waiting list. Sunbird will roll out invitations in phases to join the closed beta user group beginning in late 2022. When asked the Sunbird team what would be the projected price for the app once it hits the Play Store, we were told the app would be free for as long as possible, as they didn’t see any need at the moment to add a paywall.
Without trying out the app or knowing much of what is going on in the back end, it’s difficult to form an opinion on whether this is actually a good solution for Android users looking to use iMessage. The company claims it is different from its competitors simply because its app is easy to use and has a simple onboarding process. However, I shall reserve my opinions on it until I can actually get a chance to use it and speak to the user experience.