Sunbird suspends iMessage for Android app over encryption issue

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Sunbird, the iMessage for Android, has paused its operations due to privacy concerns. The app gained attention after Nothing announced the Nothing Chats app, which offered iMessage-like features on the Nothing Phone (2). However, Sunbird’s failure to protect user data raised some serious privacy concerns.

Sunbird shuts down its “iMessage for Android” app

Sunbird has temporarily suspended its operations due to security concerns. It aimed to bridge the iMessage and Android divide, or say attempted to resolve the “blue vs green bubble” dispute. 9to5Google first reported the shutdown, and Sunbird has confirmed that it is halting the service while it investigates claims that messages are not truly end-to-end encrypted.


Just recently, Nothing announced its launch of an iMessage for Android on Nothing Phone (2). The app was a result of the partnership between Sunbird and Nothing boss Carl Pei. However, amid security and privacy concerns, the app was pulled from the Play Store just one day after its launch, and is no longer available to download for new users.

Sunbird, which launched in 2022, has been accessible only to those who signed up for its waitlist. It marketed itself on its robust privacy features, including end-to-end encryption, no message data collection, and no advertising. The app’s temporary closure raises questions about its security practices and the broader issue of data privacy in the messaging app landscape.

Report reveals that messages weren’t end-to-end encrypted

An investigation revealed that Nothing Chats failed to uphold its “end-to-end encryption” commitment. Over 630,000 files were accessible due to this security flaw, despite Sunbird’s wide claims that user data is not stored on its server. The claim stands true, as the data was stored via Firebase, a third-party cloud storage service.

Nothing quickly took action to block downloads of Nothing Chats and informed users of the app’s temporary suspension. Meanwhile, Sunbird has decided to extend this precautionary measure to its services. As a result, it has paused the entire platform for further investigation.

Just before the complete shutdown of the app’s functionality, Sunbird issued another notification indicating that it would initially only disable media sharing on Sunbird. However, the company ultimately decided to halt all operations to ensure the protection of user data.