TECHNOLOGY

Sunbird returns to allow Android users to use iMessage features including blue bubbles

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Sunbird returns to allow Android users to use iMessage features including blue bubbles

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Back in November, the Sunbird messaging app, which powered the Nothing Chats messaging app, shut down due to security concerns. The Sunbird app allowed Android users to use iMessage for messaging even down to having blue bubbles, high-quality images, read receipts, typing indicators, and more. While Sunbird promised users that they would have end-to-end encryption for user messages and files, users’ Apple login info was not encrypted obviously creating a huge security concern.
With 630,000 files vulnerable to this exploit, Sunbird decided to halt all of its services including its Play Store app. But Sunbird is re-launching its iMessage for Android app. In a press release, Sunbird announced that its messaging app has been relaunched and 165,000 Android users are on the waitlist. A small number of invitations have been disseminated.

Sunbird has updated its AV1 Message system which is now AV2 and it is designed to keep messages safe. As Sunbird notes, “Unencrypted messages are never stored anywhere on disk or in a database. When messages are decrypted to be passed to the iMessage and RCS/Google Messages network, they exist in that state only within memory for a limited period of time. In the front-end app, messages are only stored in an encrypted state within the in-app database.”

The bottom line as far as Sunbird is concerned is that “Since November, the Sunbird team has worked to migrate the iMessage implementation off of AV1 to the AV2 architecture. With the adoption of AV2, we believe that we’ve not only resolved the security vulnerabilities previously identified but also provided a secure and privacy-oriented foundation for Sunbird’s iMessage integration moving forward.”

You can join the Waitlist for Sunbird by tapping on this link and pressing on “Join the Waitlist.” You might wonder why this is necessary if Apple will support RCS later this year. The answer is simple; despite Apple adding support for RCS, those using the latter will still have green text bubbles. For those Android users concerned about getting teased for being green, outside of buying an iPhone, using Sunbird might be the next best solution. 
The developers admitted that they could have used the downtime since November to release a quick fix to patch the vulnerabilities. But Sunbird said, “We recognized that such an approach would not align with our core values or our unwavering commitment to the privacy and security of our users.”Sunbird added, “We decided to take the opportunity to thoroughly reevaluate both our technical implementations and our organizational processes from the foundation up. This decision was driven by our belief in the paramount importance of trust and safety in our platform. It reflects our dedication to not just resolving the immediate issues at hand but also to ensuring that we uphold the highest standards of security and privacy for our community in the long term.”



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