iMessage and Phone Registration Are Back - Kinda
We’re extremely sorry that the iMessage connection in Beeper has been so unreliable over the last two weeks. We knew when we started Beeper that this would not be easy. Regardless, we’re deeply aware of how painful this experience has been to those of you who came to rely on Beeper to communicate with your friends and family via iMessage.
We've found a solution to fix and stabilize the iMessage situation for Beeper Cloud and Mini users. From our internal testing, this fix works well and has been quite reliable. Even better news - we’ve even figured out how to get phone number registration working in Beeper Mini! Your phone number will be blue again.
Here’s the catch - you will need access to an old iPhone, Mac computer, or find a friend with a Mac.
Yes, we realize this solution is not ideal
While we understand that this solution will not work for everyone, please know that we’re doing our best given the circumstances. Unfortunately, if you don’t have access to a Mac or iPhone, your iMessage connection in Beeper will not work reliably. You can either keep your chat history if you plan on acquiring a device in the future, or delete the connection from Beeper Desktop.
Please read our detailed blog post about our response to Apple’s claims regarding Beeper Mini. Long story short - after today’s release, we will not be continuing to fight a cat-and-mouse game.
What does that mean for me?
If you are a Beeper Cloud user and you:
🍎 Have a Mac with Beeper Desktop installed - please update to the latest version (v3.90.21) then click ⚙️ → Chat Networks → iMessage → Click ‘Reconnect’ and follow the instructions. Not all macOS versions are yet supported (learn more).
👭 Do not have a Mac - ask a friend with Beeper on their Mac to share their iMessage registration code, which you can enter into the latest Beeper Desktop app. In our testing, 10-20 Beeper users can safely use the same registration data. Learn more.
If you are a Beeper Mini user and you:
📱 Have an old iPhone (6s/SE1/7/8/X) and a Mac or Linux computer (Raspberry Pi works) - you’re in luck! Follow our instructions (takes only 10-15 minutes) to jailbreak your iPhone, install a Beeper tool to generate iMessage registration code, then update to the latest Beeper Mini app and enter your code. Phone number registration will now work! Leave the iPhone plugged into power, at home, connected to wifi.
💲 Do not have an old iPhone - sign up here to rent (few dollars per month) or buy (~$30-50) an old iPhone preloaded with the app. This service will be available in the new year, if there is enough interest.
🍎 Have Beeper Desktop installed on a Mac - use your iMessage registration code to set up Beeper Mini. Phone number registration is not available with this method.
The latest Beeper Mini app (v1.2.30) is available on the Play Store. If you encounter any issues, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the app.
🔒 iMessage Registration data is used only to indicate that a Mac or iPhone is available during registration. The Mac or iPhone that generates the data does not have access to your account, or your messages.
Here's the backstory. When you sign in to iMessage on Beeper, we need to send identification information called ‘registration data’ from a real Mac computer. We have, up until now, used our own fleet of Mac servers to provide this. Unfortunately, this has proven to be an easy target for Apple because thousands of Beeper users were using the same registration data.
Beeper Cloud (Mac version) and old iPhones can now generate unique registration data just for you. This 1:1 mapping of registration data to individual user, in our testing, makes the connection very reliable. If you use Beeper Mini, you can use your Mac registration data with it as well, and Beeper Mini will start to work again. Beeper needs to periodically regenerate this data even after you've connected, roughly once per week or month, so the Mac needs to be switched on regularly.
Since we started working on Beeper, we’ve been committed to open sourcing all the Matrix bridges that we’ve created. All are available on github.com/beeper.
Today, we’re proud to release our open source iMessage bridge, as well as the Mac app and iPhone app that generates iMessage registration codes. You are free to inspect our code and confirm the security claims that we’ve made, and if you prefer, you can self-host it.
I don’t have a Mac or iPhone - what are my options?
Can I use an old iPad, or iPhone that isn’t on the list (6/6s/SE1/7/8/X)?
No, it probably won’t work.
If I use a friend’s Mac registration code, can they see my messages, or can I see theirs?
No. iMessage Registration data is used only to indicate that a Mac or iPhone is available during registration. The Mac or iPhone in no way is given any access to your account, or your messages.
What happens if I share my code one too many times, and it starts having problems? Can I regenerate it?
Yes, in Beeper Desktop → Settings → iMessage Registration Code → Regenerate
Can I generate Mac registration code on a Mac without Beeper Desktop?
Yes, anyone familiar with macOS command line can download mac-registration-provider and run it without Beeper Desktop.
Do I have to leave my Mac or iPhone on 24/7?
No, but periodically (once a week/month) iMessage will re-request registration data and your Mac or iPhone will need to be online for that. We’ll be updating the system soon to give you a warning when you need the Mac to be awake.
Can I share my iPhone registration code with someone else?
No. iPhone registration code can only be used by one Beeper Mini user at a time. If a second Mini uses the same code, it will break the first Mini.
More info is available on help.beeper.com.