Thursday, February 20, 2014

Text Messaging

Many people asked me to use OTT solutions like WhatsApp, Viber, LINE but I quickly uninstall those apps after a while because of two reasons.

Firstly, there is no one-thing-fits-all solutions which means you will need to install a bunch of similar apps because different group of people use different service. God, that's tiresome and kills battery. There are decentralized protocols to fix this very issue but they are too good to be true I guess, even Google backed out from supporting XMPP by dropping their Google Talk service. I believe there are companies working on this front right now (or maybe I should?). They should make a solid server implementation AND clients using established standards, big plus if they stick some open source license in their code and publish them all. Provide good user experiences while allow user to control their data and federate between different system as needed.

The second reason is backup. No services that I know of provide a way to conveniently backup data except Google Hangouts. Don't have to worry about device lost. Being able to search for old messages without using third party solutions (I'm looking at you, Yahoo! Messenger). Google really does well with their Data Liberation Front initiative. For Skype, it is extremely frustrating if you need some piece of information from last month. People don't ever reread their messages?! I need to do a survey targeting young lover to unveil this.

On a similar note, I refuse to use anything but Android because it allows me to backup calls and messages painlessly. Not out of box but at least doable, thanks to its open (and insecure?) nature. Imagine doing backup an iPhone into some unreadable format, ew!

So, if you need to contact me, please do call or send a text message. You may want to try Hangouts or Skype too. For non-urgent matters, email should be the way to go.