Aegees: Big Brother Shall Not Pass!

We thought the time had come to tell you about what we’ve been working on, so, here we go! As a team, we’ve been working hard to develop Aegees, a messaging app that gives users better personal data protection than any other similar product on the market. We also thought it quite fitting that our product is planned for completion in 2019, the 70th anniversary of George Orwell’s iconic novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four about a dystopian society in which every citizen is under constant surveillance. Now, we are all too aware of how prophetic Orwell’s writing was so long ago. As impossible as it may once have seemed, much that he described has indeed become at least a part of our current reality. Big Brother truly is watching us 24/7 – through our smartphones. That may sadly be true, but we are confident that in a world with Aegees, the ‘Thought Police’ won’t stand a chance!

That is the main reason that we decided to make “one more messenger”.

There is still some time before we roll out internationally, but already, we have a great deal to share. Even now, our app already supports fully secure text and audio messaging, and that’s just the beginning.

Getting Started
Aegees will be different from other messaging apps right from the outset. Instead of making the user go through the boring procedure screen by screen, 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 the password. It will communicate with you like a waiter in a good restaurant or 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 precisely what is happening at every stage.

We’ve implemented a password checker that will ensure every user will be sure to have a good, secure password. If a weakness is detected, the system declines an offered password along with an explanation. We’ve chosen to stick to traditional strong password criteria:

  •    Password length (at least six characters);
    •    Mandatory combination of letters and numbers;
    •    Mandatory use of capitalization;
    •    Requirement for password to differ from log in combination;
    •    Requirement to use Latin characters.

Once the crypto container is installed, and the authorization set-up is complete… ta-da! You’re ready to use the app with confidence.

User Interface, Performance, Navigation.
You will undoubtedly notice how swiftly the app works, even during the setup stage. High-speed performance is a great advantage Aegees will have over the best-known commercial messaging apps. We’ve checked them, and we think they have some serious speed issues!

We went for a minimalist style of interface, and that was deliberate: white background, black characters and symbols, blue for selection. The basic colour palette will include red, grey and light pink. The thinking behind this was 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 any users who like to add a personalized touch.

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’ve made the navigation process intuitive and easy and quite uniform in all supported OS platforms. Right now, it’s a standard set of taps and swipes, and we’ll probably keep it that way, with a few possible exceptions in some of the new functionality areas we are developing. In any case, the basic flow will always be simple and straightforward.

Functionality
For now, Aegees is equipped with the most basic functions such as individual and group chatting and regular audio calling. Data flows are fully encrypted, so the user doesn’t have to worry about data interception by any third party – that just isn’t going to happen.

To protect data if the device should fall into the wrong hands, we have implemented a crypto container, the one that’s set up on your device during the installation process. The crypto container will protect your data, even if someone else hacks into the device.

Chatting
At the moment, we have developed and implemented individual and group chatting. Message deletion is also available, but for now, messages can only be deleted on the device of origin. This is a temporary solution because we believe that ownership rights over individual messages in a chat are a sensitive area and should be discussed further. We plan to develop several different types of chat room with different message deletion rights for all users. By the end of August, we expect to complete the development of ‘timed message deletion’, by which users will be able to pre-set the time before which a given message is deleted.

Calling
Regular voice calls between two users are already available. We have implemented filtering for incoming, outgoing and missed calls. We have developed and are now testing our audio conferencing solution which is nothing short of revolutionary – and we really mean that! We are putting a particular emphasis on encryption: both individual conversations and group conferences will be fully protected.

Profile and Settings
Right now, the user profile features username, user pic, user’s company, and crypto-container size (50 MB by default) along with settings and help access buttons.

Profiles are currently editable, though we may remove this option once our cryptocurrency tools and 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 up 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.

Bottom line
You might think, with such basic functionality and simple solutions, the Aegees messaging app must have been 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 of these functions because every single one of them was implemented to conform to our own rigorous data security requirements that are dramatically different to those we normally see on the global market. We didn’t borrow any 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.

There’s much more news to come, and we’ll keep you posted.

Thanks a lot for reading this far 🙂

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