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Nothing Chats: Nothing’s iMessage for Android Pulled from Play Store Within Three Days

Nothing recently launched its own iMessage for Android, dubbed “Nothing Chats,” on Play Store. This ambitious project aimed to enable chatting with iMessage users from Android, marking the first free option of this magnitude—a feature initially available for the Nothing Phone 2.

However, the app’s stint in Play Store was short-lived, lasting less than a week. Nothing stated that they withdrew it “until further notice to collaborate with Sunbird in fixing various errors.” The focus shifted to developers who uncovered security issues after dissecting the app.

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What Was Nothing Chats?

Nothing Chats, a collaboration between Nothing and Sunbird, intended to bridge the gap between iMessage and Android. Sunbird, a messaging app (and web solution), assured users that communication wasn’t stored on its servers, and encryption kept chats within the device.

Nothing Chats adapted Sunbird’s technology exclusively for Nothing’s platform, debuting on November 15, only to be removed three days later on November 18.

Developer Concerns Surface

Kishan Bagaria, founder affiliated with Automattic (parent company of WordPress), flagged Nothing Chats as “extremely insecure.” Kishan Bagaria exposed the app’s code on social media and published a detailed report unveiling critical flaws like the absence of HTTP protocol usage and inadequate app encryption. This meant that information was transmitted in plain text, easily accessible to anyone.

Independent Confirmation and Sunbird’s Defense

From 9to5Google they assure that independent investigations, including one by Dylan Roussel, an Android app developer, corroborated the identified vulnerabilities. Roussel confirmed that documents sent via Nothing Chats were public, highlighting the absence of end-to-end encryption.

Sunbird countered these accusations , claiming that HTTP protocol was used in limited parts and asserting end-to-end encryption. However, conflicting evidence arose from the app’s code, contradicting their claims.

Nothing’s Response

Nothing released a statement on  X (formerly Twitter), acknowledging app errors but sidestepping security concerns. They removed the beta version of Nothing Chats from Play Store, postponing the launch until issues are resolved, emphasizing apologies and commitment to rectify the situation for users.

Efforts to reach Nothing for additional comments are ongoing, and this article will be promptly updated if more information becomes available.

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