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Nothing Chats gets pulled from Google Play Store amid privacy concerns

Nothing cites bug fixes as the reason for the app’s disappearance, but user testing points to concerning privacy and security issues.

PR photo of the Nothing Phone 2 and a Octopus for Nothing Chats pulled from Google Play Store news

Not even a week since Nothing announced Nothing Chats – a new app allowing Nothing Phone (2) users to directly message other phone users, including those with iPhones, via blue bubbles, the tech brand has pulled it from the Google Play store.

In an X post, the company said that the Nothing Chats beta, powered by Sunbird, has been pulled from the Play Store and that it would delay the launch until further notice “to work with Sunbird to fix several bugs.” “We apologise for the delay and will do right by our users,” added Nothing. Considering how Nothing intended this app to affect the iPhone vs. Android argument, we’re guessing there are some pretty smug faces at Apple HQ right now.

Several online sources claim that Nothing has pulled the Nothing Chats app not owing to bug fixes but rather substantial privacy and security issues.

While all popular messaging apps use end-to-end encryption so that messages are kept private and only accessible to the people sending them, some are claiming that Nothing Chats is not currently end-to-end encrypted. Furthermore, there are suggestions that the app made messages and contact information of those using it vulnerable for strangers online to download.

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App developer Dylan Roussel tested the app and immediately found problems. “I think I went through everything. This is probably the biggest “privacy nightmare” I’ve seen by a phone manufacturer in years” he says in an X post. “Sunbird *lied* to Nothing. They said messages were end-to-end encrypted. They were not. Sunbird knew this because they upload stuff to Firebase,” reads another of his posts.

Roussel’s testing is backed up by screenshots, showing him gaining access to a user’s data from Nothing Chats via a V card, which Sunbird did not keep private. There is pressure on Nothing to now pull the Nothing Chats app rather than delay the launch. We think this looks likely and are sure to keep you updated.

With that, you’re up to date on the news that Nothing has had to pull Nothing Chats from the Google Play Store less than a week after its release. For more on the latest mobile technology, check out our guides to the best Motorola phones and the best OnePlus phones.