Mobile

The FCC commissioner wants to investigate Apple for Beeper Mini crackdown


Photo of an Android phone with Beeper Mini app

Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • The FCC commissioner has called on the commission to investigate Apple for cracking down on Beeper Mini.
  • Commissioner Brendan Carr cited iMessage’s low-contrast green bubbles and the degrading of photos/videos.

Beeper Mini promised a more convenient way for Android phone users to use iMessage as a blue bubble. Unfortunately, Apple clamped down on the solution and effectively killed it.

Now, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr (h/t: The Verge) has called on the FCC to investigate Apple for this crackdown.

“Beeper bridged the ‘blue bubble – green bubble’ divide that Apple maintains as part of a broader set of walled garden practices that inhibit competition,” Carr explained on X.

Reasons for an Apple/Beeper Mini investigation

“Apple’s wider set of exclusionary practices warrant scrutiny by antitrust and competition agencies, but the FCC should also examine this particular incident through the lens of our Part 14 rules on accessibility, usability, and compatibility.”

More specifically, Carr cited iMessage’s green bubble color as being “low contrast” and therefore hard to read. He also acknowledged the platform’s degrading of photos and videos for green bubble users.

“I think the FCC should investigate Apple’s conduct with respect to Beeper Mini. Subsequently, Apple made changes to iMessage to disable the functionality of Beeper Mini.”

Apple shut down Beeper Mini back in December 2023, citing security concerns. The standard Beeper service is still around, however, but requires the Android user to have access to an iPhone or Mac computer.