New Delhi: In another addition to the “Aatmanirbhar” call, the Indian government has come out with a new instant messaging app called ‘Sandes’ which has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC). ALSO READ | Facebook To Launch Own Smartwatch, Branded Smart Glasses To Grow Its Device Ecosystem: Report
The latest WhatsApp alternative will be available for both android and iOS users. It is said to be based on the popular messaging app but with one difference that is Sandes allows users to log in through email addresses apart from their phone numbers as opposed to WhatsApp. Meanwhile, login by email ID is currently restricted to government officials but can be extended to all users in the future as the app gets more traction, as seen in the much-talked-about ‘Koo’.
Recently, while the monopoly of existing apps and social media platforms is debated, the call for supporting Indian apps has also seen a boost. Eventhough the government is yet to reveal details of ‘Sandes’, an official announcement is expected to happen soon.
Those who want to access Sandes can choose an alternative based on the OS they are on, such as iOS users can download the Sandes app on Apple App Store, while Android users can get the APK file from the GIMS.Gov.In portal (iOS download link also available here).
“Your chats are secured with end-to-end encryption. The platform supports audio/video calls and multimedia and file sharing,” the official app description on Apple App store reads.
Users can share contacts, messages, tag other users, back-up and restore their chat history, just like WhatsApp. There is group chat, broadcast messages, and more.
As previously stated, currently, only email addresses ending with ‘@gov.in’ can be used to sign-in on the app. Also currently, users are not allowed to change their mobile number or email ID once signed up. Reportedly, there is another government app in making called ‘Samvad’ which means conversation.
For android users, the app is currently undergoing beta testing mode and will soon be available for download on Google Play Store after successful conclusion.