Sunbird, the company with the eponymous app, has temporarily shut down its service citing security concerns that it is currently investigating.
This information was provided to its users today through the app. The company has promised further updates when it is “ready to proceed”.
Sunbird service offered Android users the chance to communicate over the iMessage protocol with Apple users. It did so by running an instance of an Apple account over a virtual machine running on a Mac on its servers and the user had to sign in with their Apple ID from within the Sunbird app to begin messaging.
Last week, Nothing partnered with Sunbird to integrate its functionality within the Nothing Chats app, which essentially did the same thing. Later that week, a report was released by Texts.com, which showed comprehensively how Sunbird was not keeping its promises of end to end encryption and not storing data on its database, and how that would allow a potential attacker to access the data of any of its users. This affected Sunbird and by extension Nothing Chats users.
Following this reveal, Nothing pulled the beta version of its Nothing Chats app from the Google Play Store citing “several bugs”, a choice of phrasing that was roundly criticized for its inaccuracy and rather deceitful nature. Neither Nothing nor Sunbird spoke of it since, that is until today when Sunbird decided to suspend its service and pull its own app from the Play Store.
Clearly, the company has a lot of work to do before it can get to offering its promised user experience. As for Nothing, it’s not clear yet what the future of its Chats app is and if the company is even interested in continuing down this path, especially in the light of Apple announcing RCS support for its Messages app that would largely negate the need of such services.