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iMessage for Android looks like a great way to compromise your security

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imessage chat
imessage chat

A new messaging app on the Android Play Store has been stirring conversations this month, and its name should be enough to tell you why: it's called iMessage Chat. Promising to allow Android users to communicate via Apple's iMessage, this app goes to great lengths to emulate the look and feel of the iOS and OS X service, but could be more trouble than it's worth.

While others have reported that it works successfully, in our own testing we were only able to get iMessage Chat to communicate between Android devices running the app — attempts to ping other iMessage contacts were not recognized. In other words, the functionality we've been able to access today is basically Android-to-Android messaging, which you can do with much better alternatives that don't ask you to go via a third-party developer to sign in to Apple's services.

Jay Freeman, better known as Saurik, has taken a closer look at what's happening under the hood with iMessage Chat and he raises the concern that your information might not be secure as it passes through the app maker's servers in China before it's sent on to Apple. Fellow developer Adam Bell claims the app is circumventing Apple's restrictions by spoofing chat requests as a Mac mini.

Acting as a middle man in the transfer and processing of data, iMessage Chat asks users to invest a lot of trust in its proper operation. Having tried the app for ourselves, and knowing how many cross-platform alternatives already exist, we'd advise against it.

Update: iMessage Chat has been pulled from the Play Store. In a statement to Computerworld, Google says that it found that the app was violating store policies.