Sunbird shuts down iMessage app for Android

Sunbird has shut down its iMessage app for Android over significant privacy concerns following its partnership with Nothing, 9to5Google reports.

The app was first launched as a closed alpha in late 2022. However, Sunbird partnered with phone maker Nothing on the Nothing Chats app, which was pulled within a day of its launch after eagle-eyed users spotted significant privacy and security flaws.

The Sunbird app has now been removed from the Google Play Store, but the company says the shutdown is only temporary.

A Reddit user shared a notification they received from Sunbird regarding the shutdown.

“We are investigating the security issues raised in the last 24 hours. In an abundance of caution and to protect your confidential data, we are shutting down Sunbird media temporarily,” the company said.

Its collaboration with Nothing is what put Sunbird in the spotlight.

Nothing launched Nothing Chats for Nothing Phone 2 users in the US, UK, and EU on Friday, 17 November 2023, promising a single end-to-end encrypted platform where users could access both RCS and iMessage chats.

However, the app failed to live up to its end-to-end encryption promise for messages and files, making private data relatively easy to access for other users.

9to5Google found more than 630,000 files that were accessible through the vulnerability.

Following several reports and user complaints surrounding Nothing Chats’ privacy issues, the company immediately blocked downloads of the app, saying usage had been “paused”.

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Sunbird shuts down iMessage app for Android