We already have the award for the worst mobile app of the decade

Story of a Disaster

We already have the award for the worst mobile app of the decade
Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

  • Updated:

Last week was a whirlwind for Nothing. In the span of five days, the company announced, launched, and subsequently removed access to a chat application called Nothing Chats. This app, created in collaboration with a company named Sunbird, promised to bring iMessage support to the Nothing Phone 2.

Nothing Launcher APK DOWNLOAD

As soon as Nothing announced the app’s launch, many media outlets highlighted the app’s obvious and terrifying security risks.

They also pointed out that Sunbird’s technology wasn’t secure enough. Unfazed, Nothing issued several statements defending the app’s pedigree before ultimately launching it.

Less than 36 hours later, the app was partially disabled due to being a security and privacy nightmare.

Whether you’re a fan of Nothing, own a Nothing product, or even respect the company, one thing is very clear: we may forgive the company for this epic mistake, but we shouldn’t forget it.

Story of a Disaster

November 18, 2023: A Twitter report further highlighted security issues with Nothing Chats. The report presented evidence that Sunbird had unencrypted access to all messages sent through Nothing Chats; all media sent through the app was easily accessible to the public in an unencrypted database.

Nothing Chats was far from being end-to-end encrypted, despite claims to the contrary. Two hours later, Nothing announced on Twitter that they were disabling the ability to install Nothing Chats from the Play Store and that they would “delay the release until further notice to work with Sunbird on fixing various issues.”

By early afternoon, Sunbird had sent a notification to all active Nothing Chats users informing them that the transfer of multimedia files through the app would be temporarily disabled. In total, Nothing Chats was active for less than 36 hours.

Why didn’t Nothing close it earlier?

Since Nothing withdrew access to Chats, the company has been notably quiet. The only activity we’ve seen on the official X account of the company—its most active means of communication—is a new post about Carl Pei’s attendance at the Las Vegas GP.

Before the launch of Chats on November 17, Nothing had multiple opportunities to abandon the application and its partnership with Sunbird. Sunbird had undeniable issues from the moment it arrived, including organizing shady events, false claims about its product, missing deadlines, and much more.

Even after Nothing announced Chats and saw the negative reaction from media outlets like Android Authority and independent researchers, it didn’t stop or even slow down. Not even Apple’s announcement of RCS compatibility deterred Carl Pei from pulling the plug.

It’s confusing and concerning that Nothing thought Chats was a good idea. The security risks were evident and dangerous.

Nothing, this won’t be forgotten

One can’t help but wonder: if Nothing couldn’t see (or chose to ignore) all the issues present with Nothing Chats, what else might the company irresponsibly push to launch? Will Nothing OS receive a feature in the future promising significant gains but being unsafe to use? What will happen to owners of Nothing Phones in that situation?

Nothing Chats is just an app, and its issues are causing people to change their Apple ID credentials and hope that their private information didn’t fall into the wrong hands during the time it was publicly accessible.

Fixing an operating system update isn’t as straightforward. If Nothing were to push something directly to Nothing OS of a similar scale of danger as Nothing Chats, users would have to stop using their phones until a new update arrived, which is incredibly problematic.

Nothing Launcher APK DOWNLOAD

The only appropriate response to this debacle is for Carl Pei to formally apologize for the blunder. He needs to completely end the Nothing Chats program and sever ties with Sunbird. Additionally, he must promise that future developments and partnerships will undergo much more scrutiny to ensure they don’t jeopardize users.

Any response other than that would put the company in a terrible situation. Nothing’s user base isn’t made up of “average” consumers—they’re tech-savvy, young individuals who are aware of what’s happening within the company thanks to Pei’s unique openness with that information.

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Journalist specialized in technology, entertainment and video games. Writing about what I'm passionate about (gadgets, games and movies) allows me to stay sane and wake up with a smile on my face when the alarm clock goes off. PS: this is not true 100% of the time.

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