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Sandbird, an unofficial iMessage client for Android, is back with a focus on privacy

Sandbird, an unofficial iMessage client for Android, is making a comeback with a renewed focus on privacy.

The company announced in a press release that it has launched a beta of its iMessage software for Android. In the early stages, it will be sending out invites to people on its waiting list.

Sandbird originally launched in 2022, promising to bring a fully-featured iMessage app to Android while preserving users’ privacy. However, it was later revealed that Sandbird was highly insecure, and the company temporarily shut down its service to address the security issues.

Sandbird now says that it has replaced its old architecture (AV1), which used Firestore to temporarily store messages, with a new architecture (AV2). The new architecture supports RCS and is designed with user privacy in mind.

Sandbird says that with AV2, unencrypted messages are never stored in the database and are only kept in memory for a limited time. Encrypted messages are stored in the app’s local database.

According to Sandbird, files are stored in secure cloud storage and are completely deleted from Sandbird’s servers after 48 hours of being sent or received.

All Sandbird communication is protected by HTTPS or MQTTS. Messages are encrypted in transit through Sandbird’s servers and are only decrypted in memory at the moment of delivery.

 

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