Sunbird, the company behind the eponymous application, has temporarily shut down its service citing security issues that it is currently investigating.
This information was provided to its users today via the application. The company has promised further updates when it is « ready to continue ».
The Sunbird service offered Android users the ability to communicate via the iMessage protocol with Apple users. To do so, it ran an instance of an Apple account on a virtual machine running on a Mac on its servers and the user had to sign in with their Apple ID from the Sunbird application to start messaging.
Last week, Nothing partnered with Sunbird to integrate its features into the Nothing Chats application, which essentially did the same thing. Later in the week, a report was published by Textes.com, which exhaustively showed how Sunbird was not keeping its promises of end-to-end encryption and was not storing the data in its database, and how this would allow a potential attacker to access the data of any of its users. This affected Sunbird users and by extension Nothing Chats users.
In light of this revelation, Nothing removed the beta version of its Nothing Chats application from the Google Play Store citing « multiple bugs », a choice of wording that was heavily criticized for its inaccuracy and rather misleading nature. Neither Nothing nor Sunbird have spoken about it since, until today when Sunbird decided to suspend its service and remove its own application from the Play Store.
Clearly, the company has a lot of work to do before it can deliver the promised user experience. As for Nothing, it is not yet known what the future holds for its Chats application and if the company is even interested in continuing down this path, especially in light of Apple’s announcement of RCS support for its Messages app, which would largely negate the need for such service offerings.