Sunbird, the app that brings iMessage to Android, has temporarily shut down the service over “security concerns,” as first reported 9to5Google. In a notice to users, Sunbird says it has “decided to suspend use of Sunbird at this time” while it investigates reports that its messages are not truly end-to-end encrypted.
Sunbird launched in 2022 as a messaging app that attempts to end the battle between the blue and green bubbles. It’s only available to those who sign up for its waitlist, touting plenty of privacy features, like end-to-end encryption, no message data collection, and no ads.
At the time, Nothing said it needed to fix “several bugs” within the application. However, its removal from the Play Store came around the same time that a Texts.blog post revealed that messages sent via Sunbird may not be end-to-end encrypted. Android developer Dylan Roussel came to similar conclusions and also discovered that Sunbird stored thousands of media files on the Firebase cloud service. This means that Sunbird claims not to store any data on its own servers are only partially true, as the company appears to simply ship the information outside.
Sunbird has yet to comment on the app’s shutdown, but its message to users says: “We will update you when we are ready to continue.” » As pointed out 9to5Googlethe app is no longer listed on the Google Play Store even though it was available for download last month, according to an archived version of the page.