Aegees is the new application that we are developing to give the market a new standard for secure messaging and personal data protection. As challenging as that sounds, we have already achieved a lot, and our project is now close to the global rollout stage. That’s why we decided the time has come to tell you what the messenger can already do and how it works.
Setting up the application is a different process to all other messengers, but for user convenience, we’ve made it look and feel almost the same. There are two stages, in the first users download the setup file from the Store and launch the setup process. In stage two, the application installs a crypto-container on the device; this is where all confidential data will be stored securely. This is why the messenger login and password are not set up until after the ‘safe-for-user-data’ is in place.
Instead of putting the user through a boring ‘screen-by-screen’ procedure, which is the usual way, we’ve taught our app to talk to each new owner. It will politely ask you to wait until the data crypto-container is set up on your device, you will then be prompted to enter a password. The way it communicates with you is a bit like a waiter in a good restaurant or the receptionist at a nice hotel; smooth, clear, and easy to understand.
The routine will take no more time than usual, but engaging users in this kind of dialogue during installation makes them more involved in the process and more aware of exactly what’s happening at every stage.
We’ve included a password checker to ensure that every user has a good, secure password. If a weakness is detected, the system declines an offered password and explains why.
We’ve chosen to stick to these (tried and tested) criteria for strong passwords:
- Password length (at least six characters);
- Mandatory combination of letters and numbers;
- Mandatory use of capitalization;
- Requirement for password to differ from login combination;
- Requirement to use Latin characters.
Once the crypto-container is installed, and the authorization set-up is complete, you’re ready to use the app.
Structure, User Interface, Navigation
At the moment, the app features four main tabs: chats, calls, contacts and profile. The navigation panel is towards the bottom of the screen while the active tab and its menus are shown at the top.
We chose a minimalist interface style: white background, black characters and symbols, blue for selection, and the occasional use of red, grey and light pink. This was intended to make it easier for users to focus on the application’s primary purpose; the act of communicating. In the future, we will also develop more themes and screens for users who like to add a personalized touch.
We’ve made the navigation process as easy as possible – right now, it’s a standard set of taps and swipes. We might add some more navigations gestures in the future to go with the new functionality we’ll be adding, but the basic flow will always be simple and straightforward, in line with the standard guidelines and traditional approaches for both Android and iOS.
For now, Aegees is equipped with the basic functions such as individual and group chatting, regular audio calls between two users and audio conferences. Data flows are fully encrypted, so the user doesn’t have to worry about data interception by any third party.
To protect data if the device should fall into the wrong hands, we have implemented a crypto-container that will store all the app data. Even if someone else lays their hands on the device, they won’t be able to retrieve anything.
The current version of the app offers individual and group chatting. We soon will add a timed message function, which is currently undergoing tests. Timed messages will disappear from conversations once their user-set time limit runs out. Traditional message deletion will also be available, but for now, messages can only be deleted on the device of origin. We believe that ownership rights over individual messages in a chat are a sensitive area and should be discussed further. It’s possible we’ll implement different types of chat room with different deletion rights to give users a choice.
To start a chat, the user will need to go to the Chats tab, tap on the chat icon in the upper right-hand corner and select either individual or group chat mode. The contact list will open up for the user to choose the person or persons he or she wants to converse with.
The chat menu, also in the upper right-hand corner, offers options to clear history, mute notification sounds and delete chats.
Regular calls between two users and audio conferences are the two options currently available. All calls are protected by encryption and call history is also available.
Profile and Settings
At the moment, the user profile features username, user pic, user’s company, and crypto-container size (50 MB by default) along with settings and buttons to access help.
Profiles are currently editable, though we may remove this option once our cryptocurrency services and transaction validation systems are implemented.
Settings currently include these menu options:
- Blocked contacts;
- Lock screen (it’s possible to disable the option that requires a password each time the app is opened).
- Pin-code access option;
- Language (right now, available languages include English, Hungarian, Swahili, Malay and Indonesian).
The default language is English, and by default, the app locks every time the user leaves the app screen (not just when they log out).
The help menu offers a detailed FAQ section, technical support contacts, confidentiality policy and brief information about the app.
It might look as though the Aegees messaging app is quite simple and not at all hard to build, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It took months of meticulous hard work to develop each and every function. Everything featured in this app was developed to comply with our own rigorous data security requirements that are dramatically different to what we usually see on the global market. We didn’t just borrow ready-made solutions; all the coding was written from scratch to achieve just one goal; to ensure that your communication is both easy and entirely protected. And we’ll be sharing a whole lot more with you very soon.