Unofficial iMessage app for Android appears, likely unsafe
New Android software lets users unofficially tap into Apple's iMessage service, though the security behind the app is suspect.
A functional version of Apple's iMessage has arrived on Google's Android platform, though not with Apple's blessing, or without potential security risks.
The software is called iMessage Chat and was created by developer Daniel Zweigart. Users enter their Apple ID and password credentials and can text with registered iMessage phone numbers and e-mail addresses freely.
CNET has tested the software with dummy accounts and confirmed it works.
Per iOS developer Adam Bell, the service appears to be tricking Apple's iMessage server into thinking it's a Mac Mini -- Apple's entry level Mac desktop -- in order to send and receive the messages. Jay Freeman, the creator of the third-party App Store alternative Cydia believes the app is piping the data through Chinese servers as well.
"This not only means that Apple can't just block them by IP address, but also that they get to keep the 'secret sauce' on their servers," Freeman wrote in a post on Google Plus.
To that end, users should not install this software or offer their Apple ID account credentials.
Apple introduced iMessage alongside iOS 5 in 2011. The messaging service lets users on iOS devices and Macs chat with one another like they would send a text message. The service is not tied to any carriers and has been designed to work on non-cellular devices like Wi-Fi-only iPods and iPads.
The protocol has remained exclusive to Apple devices since its debut, and served as way to keep users locked into Apple's ecosystem of devices. BlackBerry used a similar tactic with its BBM service, which was set to arrive on iOS and Android devices this past weekend, .