Beeper, the app that brings iMessage to Android users, is implementing a fix that it says will allow users to once again access the service after Apple blocked it. However, the fix requires you to have access to a Mac computer or have a friend on Beeper with a Mac.
In a Reddit post, the company explained that when users connect iMessage on Beeper, it needs to send identification information called “registration data” from a real Mac. Up until now, the company has been using its own fleet of Mac servers to provide this but notes that “this has proven to be an easy target for Apple because thousands of Beeper users were using the same registration data.”
With the new update, which is scheduled to launch tomorrow, Beeper will start generating unique registration data for its users.
“This 1:1 mapping of registration data to individual user — in our testing — makes the connection very reliable,” the post reads. “If you use Beeper Mini, you can use your Mac registration data with it as well, and Beeper Mini will start to work again. Beeper needs to periodically regenerate this data even after you’ve connected, roughly once per week or month, so the Mac needs to switched on regularly.”
Beeper claims that if you have a friend on Beeper with a Mac, you can ask them if you can use their registration data. Beeper says that in its testing, it found that 10 to 20 iMessage users can safely use the same registration data.
The company went on to note that it will “also be open sourcing our full iMessage bridge, as well as the Mac code that generates registration data.”
Apple did not respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment.
Although the new fix will theoretically keep Beeper alive, it somewhat limits the appeal of the service, which originally allowed users to access iMessage without an Apple device. Some users have already taken to Reddit to share their frustration, as one user commented: “At this point, I am willing to wait for Apple to come out with RCS support.” However, others are welcoming the fix, as one user commented: “This is a great bandaid to stop the bleeding and let ppl use beeper as intended . . . as a way to integrate all your message apps in one place.”
Of course, given Apple’s recent continuous actions to block Beeper, it’s unknown how long the fix will remain operational once launched.
Today’s development comes a day after a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Apple’s “potential anticompetitive treatment” of Beeper, noting that “interoperability and interconnections have long been key drivers of competition and consumer choice in communications services.”