The man who helped build some of Apple’s most popular services, including iMessage, FaceTime and Push Notifications, is leaving the company for Layer, a messaging startup that’s still in private beta. Andrew Vyrros announced his departure from Apple in a blog post on Thursday meant to coincide with a new round of funding totaling $14.5 million.
Vyrros says he’s “incredibly proud” of the work he accomplished at Apple, but notes that building those products from scratch was rough. “Let me say it out loud: building that crap is hard,” he said of his experience working on FaceTime, iMessage and Push. “If you want security, scalability, low latency, bandwidth and power efficiency (and you do), it becomes brutally difficult. But also interesting and challenging and pretty darn fun. This is where Layer comes in.”
At Layer he hopes to make it easier for other companies to add-on similar features, specifically when it comes to chat. The company’s mission is to offer a messaging service than can be easily slapped onto any app for a small fee with a few lines of code. The biggest advantage to Layer, however, is that all the apps using its messaging service can talk to one another.
For now Layer is much, much smaller than Apple, but Vyrros notes that the company has the potential to change the entire Internet. “We’re laying out a whole dang platform, something that can grow a multitude of novel apps,” he said, adding that it’s up to developers to do something amazing with that new messaging platform.