iMessage finally comes to Android, but only if you have this phone

Though it’s a much bigger pain point in the US than here in Blighty, if you have an Android phone and are fed up with being a green bubble in group chats then there’s phone company out there that has your back.

Nothing, the British consumer tech startup, has announced a new app called Nothing Chats that can send blue bubble iMessage texts to people using iPhones. The catch is the app will only be initially available to people who have the Nothing Phone (2) when it launches in beta on the Google Play Store on 17 November. 

“The app is currently in beta and we’ve decided to keep availability more focused to ensure the best user experience at this time,” a Nothing spokesperson told “Although we’re excited to be the first mobile company to introduce a blue bubble solution and we’d like to make it as widely available to Android enthusiasts as we can, we’re prioritising delivering an optimal user experience before committing to expansion at this time.”

The app will initially only be available in the US, Canada, UK, EU, “and other European countries including Norway and Switzerland”.

The Nothing Phone (2) is a solid phone at £579, and this is a great new free app for people who bought the device. But this technology could work on any Android phone, and Nothing isn’t even bringing it to its Phone (1) yet, which it still sells for £399.

The company, which just hit two million product sales, announced the Nothing Chats app in characteristically cheeky fashion in a video posted to YouTube on 14 November, with Nothing CEO Carl Pei posing for the thumbnail image with a blue speech bubble that says ‘Sorry Tim’.

“I’m working under the assumption that Tim Cook is going to watch this video … and he won’t be happy with it,” Pei says in the video.

Apple announce all products will be 'Net Zero' by 2030

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Apple has famously kept iMessage an Apple-only feature to keep people tied into its ecosystem, but what the company is doing to hack iMessage into Android is not technically illegal. Nothing partnered with Sunbird, a New York startup that has developed the technology to make it work. Nothing says you can simply log into the Nothing Chats app with your Apple ID username (or after you’ve created one) and away you go, able to send and receive blue iMessages.

There could be concerns over security. Apple prides itself in the end-to-end encryption of iMessage, and Sunbird’s product means storing messages on their own remote servers not owned by Apple.

Nothing says Chats supports texting, group chats, live typing bubbles, full resolution media sharing of photos and videos, and voice notes – read receipts and messages reactions and in-line replies are labelled as ‘coming soon’. 

If you don’t have the Nothing Phone (2) you can sign up to the waitlist for Beeper, a similar app and technology to Sunbird that routes all your messages from SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, LinkedIn, and every other major chat app into one inbox – and yes, it works with iMessage too.

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