Well, that didn't last long. After the fanfare that Nothing would bring an app which allows Nothing Phone 2 owners to exchange iMessage conversations with their iPhone-owning friends, the Nothing Chats app has been pulled from the Google Play Store.
We've removed the Nothing Chats beta from the Play Store and will be delaying the launch until further notice to work with Sunbird to fix several bugs. We apologise for the delay and will do right by our users.November 18, 2023
Roussel claims, "Sunbird has access to every message sent and received through the app on your device." That's not great for your privacy.
He goes on to say "all of the documents (images, videos, audios, pdfs, vCards...) sent through Nothing Chat AND Sunbird are public" and "Nothing Chats is not end-to-end encrypted."
This clearly contradicts Nothing founder Carl Pei's claims that the firm's app is secure, as we reported just a few days ago, and Nothing co-founder Akis Evangelidis' claim that messages in Chats are end-to-end encrypted.
When will Nothing Chats return?
Nothing has currently said it "will be delaying the launch until further notice", so there is no time scale - however, there's a chance it may not return at all.
Since the announcement of Nothing Chats on 14 November, Apple has confirmed it will bring RCS (Rich Communication Services) support to its own Messages app in 2024 - something which has been a major sticking point for Google and Android users over the years.
While RCS won't replace iMessage functionality for Apple-to-Apple device comms, it will enhance messages with non-Apple devices such as providing communication over wi-fi as well as cellular, group chats, read receipts, media sharing and more.
There are a couple of key features which Apple won't support with RCS though - end-to-end encryption (which iMessage does have and keeps all your messages secure), while chat bubbles with Android users will remain green rather than the blue you get using iMessage.
With a host of more useful features for communication between Apple and Android devices though, the need for Nothing Chats diminishes and this security issue will not have helped the app's chances of sticking around.