Skip to main content

Do not use iMessage Chat for Android – it’s not safe [Updated]


Whatever you do, no matter how cool it sounds, do not use iMessage Chat for Android. The app, which allows Android users to send messages through Apple’s iMessage system and has already been downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times through Google Play, contains serious security flaws that put your device, privacy, and Apple ID account at risk.

As International Design Times reports, numerous security researchers have found that iMessage Chat redirects all messages sent from Android devices to a third-party server in China, unwraps the messages (meaning they can be read by anyone with access to the server), and then sends them on to Apple. Developer Jay Freeman (aka saurik) lays out the technical details of how this works here and in the top comment here, if you’re interested.

Furthermore, the app likely sends your unscrambled Apple ID and password to the third-party server, as well – meaning you could be handing over access to your Apple account and all the payment data that goes with it, if you use this app with your regular Apple ID.

In addition, as 9to5Mac reports, app developer Steven Troughton-Smith discovered that the app includes code that allows it to install additional software on your Android device without your knowledge, a serious security problem that could result in your handset or tablet coming down with a major case of malware. This is probably the most problematic part of the app.

We’ve reached out to Google to find out if they have any plans to review iMessage Chat, or pull it from Google Play. We’ll update this space when we hear back.

If you must give iMessage Chat a try – and we understand why you would; it’d be great if it worked without putting you at risk – create a throw-away Apple ID that is not linked to any payment credentials or your personal Apple account. But again, the app could potentially result in a malware infection on your Android device, so we highly recommend against using this app.

Update: Google has pulled iMessage Chat for violating the company’s policies, reports Computerworld.

Editors' Recommendations

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
How to find your phone number on iPhone or Android
Rebtel Calling

Gone are the days when phone numbers were as commonly memorized as street addresses. While you once had your own phone number, your best friend's, your crush's, and the one for the local pizza shop all at the top of mind, the advent of smartphones has rendered this memory exercise moot. Like most people, you probably don’t call your own phone number very often -- and if you do, it's likely listed in your Favorites -- so you may not know it off the top of your head.

With that reality comes the familiar grip of panic when a new acquaintance asks for your mobile phone number and you have no clue. Or maybe you're so used to sharing your second phone number that you forgot the first! 

Read more
I just found the perfect ChatGPT iPhone app, and it’s free
Someone holding an iPhone 14 Pro, with Perplexity AI running on it.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: ChatGPT is huge right now. After exploding in popularity in late 2022, the AI chatbot has been on an enormous rise, with no sign of slowing down. One of the ways we've seen ChatGPT expand is its continued integration into smartphone apps. Whether it's Bing Chat coming to mobile or a ChatGPT iPhone keyboard, it's all been fascinating to watch unfold.

One of the latest ChatGPT mobile apps to hit the scene is one called "Perplexity AI," which is an iPhone app that brings ChatGPT directly to your smartphone -- no need for a web browser. And it does so with a sleek interface, helpful features, and zero ads. Best of all? It's 100% free to use. I've been playing with the app on my iPhone 14 Pro for about a day now, and I'm seriously impressed with what I'm seeing.
Getting started with Perplexity AI

Read more
How to stop spam texts on iPhone and Android phones
iPhone showing a spam text with the Report Junk option.

Everyone from legitimate marketers to outright scammers wants to get your attention these days. With a mobile phone in nearly every pocket, many of these have turned to SMS text messages as a way to extend their reach. After all, it's a fast means of communication that's much more likely to be noticed than traditional email messages. Plus, there aren't nearly as many spam filtering solutions available for dealing with text messages, making them ripe for abuse.

The good news is that U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently set its sights on reducing text messaging spam, much like it's already done for spam calls. The first phase of the FCC's plan will require carriers to block text messages from numbers that shouldn't be sending SMS messages in the first place, such as invalid, unallocated, or unused numbers. This won't eliminate text message spam entirely, but it will hopefully cut down on the most egregious ones.

Read more