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05 December 2023

I got my first blue bubble scam text the other day and I think I know why

Beeper Mini is a new Android app that gives Android users a blue bubble when they text iPhone users.

According to some folks on the internet, Beeper Mini tricks iMessage into thinking the sender is using an iDevice:

I’ve been using it for a while and it’s a really big deal. TL;DR

  1. ⁠This doesn’t use a macOS bridge VM on some computer you don’t control—iMessage has been reverse engineered to work on-device
  2. ⁠This app can register Android phone numbers directly for use with iMessage—no Apple ID required — /u/snazzylabs

Here's a YouTube video with a more in-depth explanation.

Apple brought this on themselves #

Apple has refused to adopt the RCS standard, causing all sorts of problems for Android users. If you ever wonder why videos from your Android friends are small and pixelated, it's because iMessage lacks RCS support.

The good news is that Apple finally announced it will support that SMS standard in 2024. But it's doing so only on threat of EU regulation.

Beeper Mini feels more like a troll to iPhone users than anything with long-term value. I can't imagine Apple does nothing about the new hack-as-a-service.

The app does make iMessage objectively less safe, at least empirically. iDevice users can no longer confidently say if a text is from a registered Apple ID. And you know what? That's 100% on Apple.

Whether or not it was possible to fake an iMessage in the past, I can say in my decade of using iPhone as my primary phone, I have never received a phishing text from a blue bubble. That is until this past Sunday.

Nevertheless, I offered this type of sender the same greeting I always do:

scam text message


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