Sunbird, the company behind the namesake app, has temporarily suspended its service due to ongoing security concerns that are currently under investigation.
Users were informed of this development through the app today. The company has committed to providing additional updates when it is prepared to resume operations.
The Sunbird service provided Android users with the capability to communicate using the iMessage protocol with Apple users. This was achieved by operating an instance of an Apple account through a virtual machine on a Mac on its servers. Users were required to sign in with their Apple ID within the Sunbird app to initiate messaging.
In a recent development, Nothing collaborated with Sunbird to integrate its functionality into the Nothing Chats app, essentially replicating the same process. However, a report from Texts was subsequently released, revealing that Sunbird was not fulfilling its promises of end-to-end encryption and non-storage of data on its database. This vulnerability could potentially allow an attacker to access the data of any Sunbird and, by extension, Nothing Chats users.
After the disclosure, Nothing removed the beta version of its Nothing Chats app from the Google Play Store, citing “several bugs” in a choice of wording that faced criticism for its inaccuracy and deceptive nature. Since then, both Nothing and Sunbird remained silent on the matter until today, when Sunbird opted to suspend its service and remove its app from the Play Store.
It is evident that the company has significant work ahead to fulfill its promised user experience. Regarding Nothing, it remains unclear what the future holds for its Chats app and whether the company is inclined to continue along this path, especially in light of Apple’s announcement of RCS support for its Messages app, which could potentially diminish the need for such services.