Our offices are half a world away from each other, and as such we use messaging clients to keep in touch. We’ve all used them – WhatsApp, Messenger, Skype, Viber, Line, Signal… the list goes on.
But as a company, what do we actually need? Our requirements are simple – just text chat, audio calls, video calls, and screen sharing, and to have these functions (with the exception of screen sharing) work reliably on mobile as well as desktop. Nothing more.
At Nexus, we used Skype for many years. It worked fine for years, until it was acquired by Microsoft, at which point it became unstable and we stopped using it. We just couldn’t depend on it.
The various Google chat apps? We found them unreliable and constantly changing. Security was also a concern.
Viber? That worked for us adequately, but had its own issues.
Facebook Messenger? Concerns about privacy mean we are not that comfortable using it for what is sometimes confidential information. The same goes for WhatsApp.
Line? We both find this bloated and more of an entire ecosystem than a simple app that does a few things well.
Many messaging clients start off with basic functionality, but then suffer from ‘feature creep’ – the desire of software developers to keep adding functionality that inevitably adds complexity, and often instability and unreliability. We both enjoy simple software that does a few things well.
So what do we use now? We’ve been trialing Signal, and have been very impressed. It is built from the ground up to be secure, and it is very regularly updated. It’s simple, but that is a good thing. It does what we need, and it does it well.
But what about contacting other people? In these instances, we have to use what they use, so we still need to have some of these other chat apps installed. We even still use telephones sometimes! But for easy, reliable, and secure communications, we use Signal, and recommend it!
You can get signal here: