While other instant messaging services are available on all platforms, Apple reserves its iMessage application for its iPhones and Macs. Therefore, officially, users of Apple products can use this app, which is the default messaging application, only to communicate with other users of Apple products.
However, if you want to use iMessage on a Windows or Android device, you should know that there is an unofficial trick that allows you to view and send messages even when you are a non-Apple device.
More exactly, you have to go through an application called Beeper. As the 9to5Mac site notes, this one launched in 2021 and it’s not really an email service, but rather a client that acts as a hub for all your messages.
Indeed, the objective of the app is to allow you to manage your messages on other platforms, including Telegram, WhatsApp, Slack, Messeger and iMessage, on a single application.
And when it comes to iMessage, Beeper already had support for this messaging service. However, as 9to5Mac explains, previously the user had to own a jailbroken iPhone. But Beeper has evolved and now this is no longer necessary.
Indeed, Beeper would now have Mac servers where iMessage is run on and then messages are forwarded to the app.
Unfortunately, there is a compromise
Currently, the function to use iMessage messaging on Beeper without going through a jailbroken iPhone is being tested in private beta. Therefore, an invitation is still necessary to take advantage of it. Moreover, it is a paid service.
But the real trade-off is privacy. Indeed, in order for your iMessage to be opened on Beeper’s Mac servers, you should entrust your Apple ID to this third party. Another downside is that the messages go through third-party processing that compromises end-to-end encryption.
Beeper, however, ensures that it has taken the necessary steps to secure the data of its users. For example, each account is launched on a Mac mini server, which means that it is not accessible by other users. And access to these computers would be restricted.
But despite this, according to 9to5Mac, Beeper admits that using its service to access iMessage is less secure compared to Apple’s app on its iPhones and Macs.
Anyway, if you don’t have an iPhone or a Mac, Beeper will let you use iMessage on another device. But you must be aware of the risks that this will involve.
Will Apple eventually give in?
Apple’s closed system is often criticized. And the fact that iMessage only allows (officially) to communicate with users of Apple products is one of the elements pointed out.
Google, for example, is asking the Cupertino company to support the RCS standard on its messaging application, so that it can allow communication between Android devices and iPhones.