The National Informatics Centre (NIC) took one step forward to “Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)” and recently launched the “Sandes App” – an instant messaging platform. According to sources, it will be the direct rival of WHATSAPP. If you don’t know this yet, then you have come to the right place. In this article, I am trying to explain every bit of it, so that you can get a clear idea about this app. There was already an instant messaging system for our government employees, known as GIMS. This newly launched “Sandes App” is just its upgradation with some extended features.
WHAT IS SANDES APP & WHAT ARE ITS FEATURES?
This is an end-to-end encrypted instant messaging app. According to sources, this is a much secured alternative of WhatsApp. If you are still trying out different messaging apps, such as Signal / Telegram or any other else, then I am sure you can install Sandes and try to explore its features by your own! After all, this is an internal product of INDIA & we all should be proud of & try atleast once, before commenting on it. Sandes is totally FREE TO USE and there are no ads in this app. Please note carefully, that when you download this app, the name is displayed as GIMS (Government Instant Messaging System). But, the our Govt. of India is calling it as “Sandes”, which basically means MESSAGE in Hindi.
Sandes has a similar interface of WhatsApp & it has it’s Web Version as well. You can find most of the popular features similar to WhatsApp, in this app. One of the major difference with WhatsApp is, Sandes offers an option to signup using your own Email ID, along with your mobile number. The Sandes App is already available on Apple App Store, whereas Android users need an external APK file to download it.
You can easily find the features like – message forwarding, creating a group, broadcast messages, emojis, voice call & video call in this app. Sandes app takes an one step forward forward to a unique feature that ensures the user’s security – it is known as “Confidentiality Tag”. According to this feature, if an user marks a message as CONFIDENTIAL, he / she will receive updates if that message has been shared or spread without their permission. The only limitation of this app is – it does not let you change your mobile number or email ID after creating your account. So, if you want to change your mobile number or lost your Email ID, then you need to create a brand new account on this app & all your past chat histories will be lost.
This app allows you to share videos or photos with your connections with up to 500MB, which is more than WhatsApp.
There is a section called “Gimoji” which is similar to EMOJI, having all the symbols used in official communication.
WHAT ABOUT THE SECURITY MEASURES OF SANDES APP?
“Any information provided to the system will be protected from unauthorized access, alteration, or destruction.”
According to the Privacy Label, mentioned in the Apple’s App Store – it collects Contact Info, User Content info, Identifiers and other data. The system collects metadata of each message, including the sender’s Identity, the receiver’s identity, the date, time and size of instant or group messages, audio and video calling date, time and duration.
Currently, there is no FINGERPRINT LOCK feature or SCREEN LOCK feature in this app. Other privacy features such as incognito keyboard mode, screen security (block screenshots feature) are also not available. You can not get at what time the recipient has checked your message!
This “Made in India” initiative helps to promote different software companies to step forward and create something that belongs to INDIA solely. As a Tech Savvy person, I can definitely say, that there are lots of missing links in this Instant Messaging App and those should be implemented slowly. But right now, as an INDIAN, we are definitely proud of this excellent initiative by our Indian Government.