Apple rolls out messaging action on customers' Macs
When Apple blocked the Beeper Mini app last month from giving Android users access to the tech giant's messaging service, Beeper encouraged customers to use their Mac computers to connect and continue sending messages.
But in recent days, dozens of Beeper customers have reported that they no longer have access to Apple's messaging service on their Android phones or Mac computers. Many people have called Apple's customer support and reported that the company has revoked their Mac's access to iMessage due to irregular activity. No one was warned that they would lose service.
For Beeper customers, many of whom prefer Android devices to iPhones but Mac computers to PCs, Apple's move shows how far the company will go to maintain control over its services. . In these instances, Apple discontinued one of the services it provided with its computers because it objected to the way its customers were using it.
“Legally, they're probably in the clear because of their terms of service, but it's still kind of crappy,” said Matvey Vavitsky, who noticed this month that he can now call his mom through his 12-inch MacBook. Can't send iMessages.
Apple declined to comment. After The New York Times contacted Apple, some beeper customers began reporting that they had been unblocked in recent days.
The maneuver is the latest in a tit-for-tat situation between Apple and Beeper that has drawn the attention of antitrust regulators. Last year, the Justice Department met with Beeper's leadership team about Apple's actions, and the Federal Trade Commission said in a blog that it would investigate “major” players who justified denying interoperability between services. As use privacy and security.
Beeper Mini debuted on December 5 as an app that gives Android phone users the ability to send encrypted messages to iPhones. This made it possible for people with Samsung and Google devices to send high-resolution videos and use features like animations that were previously reserved for iPhone customers. Within three days, the app had added 100,000 subscribers.
But Apple blocked the app by making changes to its iMessage system. It said the app posed a security and privacy risk.
After this Beeper came up with a solution to maintain its service. It asked customers to use their Mac computers to obtain the registration code for iMessage and log in to Beeper on an Android device.
Mr Vavitsis, 31, said he used a MacBook around 2015 to connect the beeper on his Samsung Galaxy phone to Apple's messaging service. A self-proclaimed tech tinkerer, he prefers using Android phones because the system is more customizable than the iPhone. But his mom has an iPhone, and he wanted to be able to send her high-quality photos and videos.
Earlier this year, the beeper stopped working, and Mr. Vavitsis was no longer able to send messages to his mother. He opened his MacBook and tried to send her a direct message but had the same problem, so he called Apple Support.
“Apple told me my iMessage was marked for spam,” he said. The Apple support representative offered to unblock it, but that didn't solve the problem. Ultimately, he downloaded an app that allowed him to create an alternate serial number for his MacBook and was able to start using iMessages again.
Beeper said more than two dozen of its nearly 3,500 customers had reported a similar malfunction on their Macs. Several of those customers spoke to The Times and provided records and details of their conversations with Apple support.
Ghazi Shami, founder of Empire, an independent music company in San Francisco, said he has run into a similar problem. Like Mr. Vavitsis, Mr. Shami prefers to use a Galaxy rather than an iPhone, but many musicians send audio recordings with iMessage. Mr. Shami will connect to Beeper using his iMac Pro desktop so he can send and receive those recordings from his phone.
But late last year, he said, the beeper stopped working and iMessage stopped working on his iMac, which cost Apple $5,000 when it was released in 2017.
Mr. Shami said, “I don't think it's in the spirit of Silicon Valley to block someone's serial number because they were testing beta software.” “It's like they're scolding schoolchildren.”