AirMessage Server, next-level

Attachments, new group chats, and FaceTime are here

Posted on Feb 26th, 2022 by Cole Feuer
AirMessage Server 4 running on macOS Monterey

Rewritten from the ground up, AirMessage Server 4 makes AirMessage even more powerful and capable. Now running native code, AirMessage Server consumes less power and runs faster than ever before.

Deeper system access lets AirMessage users create group chats, send attachment files, as well as make and receive FaceTime calls on macOS Monterey. Remote updates make it easy to stay on top of new features and security fixes from anywhere.

All this, available for Intel and Apple Silicon Macs running macOS 10.10 Yosemite or later.

AirMessage Server 4

Let’s bring some good news into 2022, by making iMessage and FaceTime even more powerful across Android and the web!

With full access to all the advanced capabilities of macOS, AirMessage Server 4 realizes what I’ve been wanting to do with AirMessage for a while - a more streamlined experience, and more powerful features.

Built with macOS Monterey in mind, AirMessage Server becomes faster, more power efficient, more secure, and more capable.

Fast and friendly

The first thing you’ll notice when you start up AirMessage Server is the refreshed UI. AirMessage Server now uses fully native macOS UI components, so it should feel right at home with all your other Mac apps.

AirMessage Server in the menu bar

It’s also easier to get AirMessage set up. Digging through menus to grant Full Disk Access and Automation access can be daunting and tiresome, so now it’s as easy as the click of a button and a drag-and-drop.

AirMessage Server asking for Full Disk Access

With the help of Apple’s software foundation, AirMessage Server also brings big gains to performance and efficiency. Opening the AirMessage app will cause the applet in the menu bar to appear instantly. Compared to the last version, AirMessage Server 4 is up to 3x more memory-efficient, twice as CPU-efficient, and twice as power-efficient.

Say hello to FaceTime

AirMessage Server 4 allows you to both make and receive FaceTime calls, across Android and the web.

By combining FaceTime links with macOS system integration, AirMessage Server is able to make or accept calls on your behalf, then automatically forward the call to a FaceTime link that can be used on any device.

This results in a seamless FaceTime experience on Android, where an incoming call will cause your phone to ring. On the web, FaceTime links are handled by your web browser.

The FaceTime screen on AirMessage for Android An incoming FaceTime call on AirMessage for web

To use FaceTime with AirMessage, you’ll need a computer running macOS 12 Monterey or newer with the system language set to English, French, or Japanese, and a camera available to use. Then, open AirMessage’s Preferences window, and select the box for Enable FaceTime integration.

"Enable FaceTime Integration" highlighted in AirMessage's settings window

Please note that AirMessage’s integration with FaceTime is currently experimental, and does not represent a complete experience. This feature may be removed at any time.

Safe and sound

AirMessage Server 4 goes to great lengths to make sure that your data stays yours. On top of end-to-end encryption, here are a few other additions that make this the most secure version of AirMessage Server:

However, AirMessage can only do so much for you to protect your messages, which is why AirMessage Server 4 has new features to help you remain in control.

Want to see who’s connected to your server? Selecting “connected clients” from the menu will open a list that displays information about all active connections.

AirMessage's client log, showing an Android client and web client connected

Latest and greatest

This won’t be the last release of AirMessage Server, and staying on the latest version is important for security fixes and feature updates.

From both your Android phone and the web, you’ll be notified when a new update is available, and will be able to install the update without touching your Mac.

AirMessage for Android and AirMessage for web displaying a remote server update

Making up for lost features

AirMessage Server 4 is capable of using new methods to work around limitations introduced in macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 12 Monterey.

Using any version of macOS between 10.10 Yosemite and 12 Monterey, AirMessage Server can once again send attachment files and create new iMessage group chats across Android and the web.

Here’s an updated table feature support:

Feature Supported macOS versions1
Send and receive messages 10.10 Yosemite - 12 Monterey
Send and receive attachments 10.10 Yosemite - 12 Monterey
Receive tapbacks, stickers, send effects 10.12 Sierra - 12 Monterey
Receive read receipts 10.10 Yosemite - 12 Monterey
Create new conversations 10.10 Yosemite - 12 Monterey2
Make and receive FaceTime calls 12 Monterey

1. Both Intel and Apple Silicon-based Macs have access to the same features
2. Text message forwarding group chats cannot be created on macOS 11 and 12 (iMessage chats and direct text message forwarding chats can still be created)

Get the update

The alpha version of AirMessage Server 4 is available today! It will be released to users of the beta channel once it is confirmed to be compatible with a wider range of Macs.

You can use this link to download AirMessage Server 4 (alpha 8).

Please note that if you’re using AirMessage for Android, you must join the beta channel for compatibility with AirMessage Server 4: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/me.tagavari.airmessage.

I’m excited to finally be able to release this update. Your feedback is important, so be sure to submit any you have on AirMessage’s subreddit, or via E-Mail!