iMessage Chat, the controversial Android app that brought Apple’s propretary iMessage service to Android users, has been removed from the Google Play store.
The app – which was written by a third-party developer called Daniel Zweigart rather than Apple itself – raised security and privacy concerns because it requested users to hand over their Apple IDs and passwords, and routed instant messaging conversations through a server in China.
Additionally there were worries that the app had the ability to silently download code onto users’ Android devices, raising the possibility of malware.
The Android app fooled Apple’s servers into believing it was a Mac mini in order to exchange messages with Apple customers on their iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
iMessage Chat had also managed to waltz past whatever policies and vetting Google puts in place before it allows apps into its official store. (In answer to your question, they don’t do hardly enough in my opinion).
Clearly either Google realised the app shouldn’t be there, or a quiet word was said by Apple, and the app has now been removed – albeit two weeks after it first appeared.
ComputerWorld reports that the app was yanked from the store because it violated store policies.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop the app appearing on third-party unofficial Android app markets.
You should always be very careful about what apps you install on your Android devices. The platform is nothing like as well policed by Google as the vetting Apple does to protect its iOS users.