No one asked for it, but the privacy disaster Sunbird is coming back


What you need to know

  • Sunbird, the messaging app that aimed to bring iMessage to Android users, announced Friday that it is relaunching in beta.
  • The original app quickly shut down after users exposed critical security and privacy flaws that left user messages susceptible to being intercepted.
  • The company added a page to its website detailing what went wrong the first time around and what has been changed since.

Sunbird, the messaging app that infamously partnered with Nothing to bring iMessage to Android before being swiftly shut down, is now returning. The company announced Friday, April 5, that it would relaunch the beta version of its app after making changes to its backend infrastructure. Sunbird says that over 165,000 users have registered for the app’s waitlist and that invitations will become available in small phases.

The first time around, Sunbird brought iMessage to Android through its own app and the Nothing Chats app. Nothing, the Android phone manufacturer behind the Nothing Phone 2 and Phone 2a, wanted to make all of its devices compatible with iMessage through Nothing Chats. However, users quickly discovered that the messages and internal processes were unencrypted, leaving user messages and shared files available for anyone to access. 

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