Recently, a new event has stirred up the media – Skype’s development team has released Wire, the messaging app of the next generation. They put together a real star-spangled team, including the company’s ex-VP and many celebrated developers. People were expecting something spectacular. Although, it’s too early to tell how well expectations were realized. However, it is an undeniable fact that the app is raw. The brainchild of Janus Friis and his team has been overwhelmed with criticism.
But let’s not jump to rash conclusions and condemn something that may not necessarily fail. There is still hope.
- Janus Friis, who is also the co-founder of Skype – the “grandfather” of mobile apps and messaging apps in general, founded the project. The CEO, Jonathan Christensen, is one of the people responsible for the development of MSN Messenger. The company has many big-name employees. Quite a lot of Skype developers joined the project.
- Wire has finished beta testing not so long ago (Dec.2014) and has been presented to the world. Approximate user stats is currently unavailable, but we can safely say that Wire has a long way to go before getting close to the leading positions.
- The messaging app’s motto reads “Messaging. Reborn.”
- The app is currently available on iOS, Android, OS X devices.
- With Wire you can exchange text messages, small files, upload links and images to chats.
- Enjoy the calls function, which is currently free by the way. Speaking of sound, Wire has Koen Vos on payroll, who is responsible for the development of audio compression format SILK and its codec Opus. According to user feedback, the sound quality during a call is much better than that of similar apps.
- No video calls yet, but this is most likely temporary.
- The registration process isn’t any different from the majority of other messaging apps – it requires you to link your phone number to the app. The contact list is made up from phone numbers that are also linked to the app.
- Make the best of the invite new user function.
- Wire recognizes and plays back YouTube and Soundcloud links. Many users were very grateful for the drop of this feature.
- Wire has a neat “ping” feature to help you remind other users about yourself, like a Facebook Poke.
- All in-app messages are encrypted.
- Wire supports synchronization with every kind of device. Meaning that it doesn’t make a difference from which device you logged into the app. The message will be delivered and displayed on all of them.
- Wire’s push notifications aren’t working properly at the moment. Moreover, iOS notifications simply get lost.
- The messaging app’s battery consumption is very low compared with its competitors.
- As of now, it is impossible to register without providing your personal photo. Every user must set one.
- Users have profile pages, but many people had problems setting it up within the first few days after the release. Bugs don’t need a second invitation.
- Wire is absolutely free of charge. No monetization plan so far.
- Supports GIF animation exchange.
- Navigate through the app by swiping and tapping.
The fact that we have devoted an entire paragraph to the app’s design is no coincidence, because we think that the design is capable of winning over user support. As it turns out, interface minimalism and usability can attract the not particularly fastidious user. Janus Friis’s team saw this trend and made a design that is much kinder on the eyes than that of competing apps. Soft lines, nice matte tones, the ability to set a photo (and apply color filters if necessary) on the interface’s active area, nice avatars and cozy chats.
After the release of the app, users highlighted what they like best about it and it turned out to be the design. Each user is able to create his very own one-of-a-kind interface to look at while using in the app. This is definitely an advantage and the app’s main feature that sets Wire apart from other messaging apps that are equipped with global color schemes.
Despite the fact that the app came out less than a year ago, it managed to surround itself with oodles of criticism and negative feedback. iOS bugs that ‘swallow’ part of texts and letters, auto-subscriptions and crashing – these problems marked the release of Wire. However, majority of the issues were fixed by the updates.