Tech

This US regulator wants to investigate Apple over Beeper Mini shutdown | – Times of India


The US Federal Communications Commission may open an investigation against Apple over its response to Beeper Mini. In 2023, this app briefly brought iMessage to Android. Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr took to social media platform X to request the US regulator to start this investigation against the Cupertino-based tech giant. Carr said that the FCC should look into whether Apple’s move “complies with the FCC’s Part 14 rules” about accommodating users with disabilities.

What is Beeper Mini and what happened to it

The Beeper Mini app was launched last year.This app allowed Android users to gain access to iMessage features, including blue message bubbles and the ability to send high-quality photos and videos.
However, Apple quickly blocked Beeper Mini users and continued to shut down attempts to make the app work. This led its developers to eventually give up against the iPhone maker and shut down the app.

What Carr has to say against Apple

This rule lays out requirements that “advanced communications service,” such as iMessage, must follow to ensure they’re accessible.
Carr argued that by putting a stop to Beeper Mini, Apple may violate the FCC’s rule that says providers “shall not install network features, functions, or capabilities that impede accessibility or usability.”

He also explained that the low contrast on the green bubbles “makes it difficult for people with low vision or difficulty with seeing from picking up those messages.”

Carr noted: “Apple made changes to iMessage to disable the functionality of Beeper Mini. The FCC should launch an investigation to look at whether Apple’s decision to degrade the Beeper Mini functionality that was being provided, which again, encouraged accessibility and usability, was a step that violated the FCC’s rules.”
According to a report by The Verge, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has not confirmed if the agency plans on investigating. The report notes that Carr may be concerned about more than just the Beeper Mini debacle.
He also mentioned Apple’s impact on the augmented and virtual reality spaces and criticised the “walled garden” Apple puts around its products and services.
“I think there are potentially negative consequences if Apple perpetuates a world in which it treats its proprietary technologies one way and degrades the performance of competitive ones,” Carr added.



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