That Nothing chat app says it’s end-to-end encrypted…it isn’t

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

According to Nothing, their new iMessage app was end-to-end encrypted.

Nothing Chats is built on Sunbird’s platform and all Chats messages are end-to-end encrypted, meaning neither we nor Sunbird can access the messages you’re sending and receiving.

As you may have guessed:

that’s just not true.

To be super clear on how this worked, you gave Nothing your plain text iCloud username and password, they would sign you into iCloud on a Mac mini good knows where, and that Mac would forward your iMessages to Nothing’s app. That’s a lot of trust to put into Nothing, and we found out almost immediately that you should not.

Funnily enough, pressure from the EU that gets Apple to adopt RCS will do way more good to make messaging between iOS and Android better than Nothing trying this workaround.

On a related note, I recently tried Texts, the app that Automatic just acquired, and the experience is sadly pretty bad. In that case, you’re not giving the app your iCloud password, but you do give it full access to your messages data on your Mac and it forces you to keep the Messages app open at all times.

At this point, I think raising the level of quality of generic messaging does more good than trying to hack together proprietary messaging solutions.