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FAQ

Q: Will I need port-forwarding for this to work?

No, we utilize Ngrok to create a secure tunnel between your server and your client. You can optionally disable this to use your own local IP or dynamic DNS.

Q: Is my data encrypted?

Yes, all connections are done over HTTPS/WSS and utilizes TLS encryption by default (see: Ngrok)

Q: How can I support the developers?

We don't charge anything for the use of our applications or code, however you can support us by donating on our donations page.

Q: How is BlueBubbles different than AirMessage?

iOS inspired UI/UX, Custom themeing, Port-forwarding not required, Entire ecosystem is open-source, Community-driven with open issues and feature requests, Dedicated cross platform apps (Desktop & Android), Decreased battery usage on Android due to no background service, and All self-hosted (no need to rely on owner's servers/maintenance).

Q: Why do I need to sign up for Google's Firebase Service?

BlueBubbles does not require an open socket connection at all times (to reduce battery usage). We use Google FCM to still be able to send/receive alerts even when the socket is closed

Q: Why does the MacOS server require Full Disk Access?

MacOS does not allow app's to read from iMessage's chat database unless they have Full Disk Access.

Q: Why does the MacOS server require Accessibility Access?

In order to execute actions such as renaming a group chat or adding/removing a participant from a group. Apple does not expose APIs to do this natively, so accessibility is used.

Q: Can I share my QR Code?

No, your QR code should be private. If it gets leaked, you will need to generate new client secret credentials via Google's Firebase Console.

Q Can we react to messages?

Yes, we create "nightly" builds which contain Private API features such as reacting to messages, sending read receipts, showing typing indicators and more! Though, by default, the stable/official releases do not contain the Private API features.

Q: Can we see typing indicators?

Yes, we create "nightly" builds which contain Private API features such as reacting to messages, sending read receipts, showing typing indicators and more! Though, by default, the stable/official releases do not contain the Private API features.

Q: Does BlueBubbles support SMS?

Yes, the Desktop App currently supports SMS, and we are working to implement a similar solution for Android

Q: Every image I send or receive shows up as `Unknown group event` on my Android device, am I doing something wrong?

No, you are not doing anything wrong! This is actually a bug/issue with macOS itself. More specifically, a known bug with macOS Mojave 10.14 that still has not been patched by Apple. In order to fix the issue, please follow these steps:

WARNING: This process will erase all your Mac's Messages history! Also, I have no idea how long this fix will stay effective.

1. Sign out from iMessage from your Mac.
2. Finder -> Go (top bar) -> Library (Hold "Option" key for this to appear)
3. Locate and open "Messages" folder
4. Delete every file that *ends with* .db in the name - if the has an additional extension, you should try this process first WITHOUT deleting those files.
5. Restart your computer
6. Open Messages and sign into iMessage again
7. Delete the AirMessage app from your phone.
8. Reboot your phone.
9. Re-install the BlueBubbles macOS Server and sign back into your server.

Q: I'm not getting notifications on my lock screen, but they appear when I unlock my phone. What am I doing wrong?

The issue is with the Android option, "Skip lock screen" after face unlock. This needs to be turned off for the notifications to show

Q: How can I make sure my mac starts up after a power failure?

In System Preferences, you must turn on the Automatically turn back on after a power failure option in order for your mac to reboot after a power failure. In addition, turn on the "Startup with macOS" option in the BlueBubbles settings to make sure it runs when you login