Gibberbot’s “ChatSecure” MakeOver: Almost Done!

In a previous post with the mouthful of a title “Modernizing Expectations for the Nouveau Secure Mobile Messaging Movement”, I spoke about all of the necessary security features a modern mobile messaging app should have. These include encrypted local storage, end-to-end verifiable encryption over the network, certificate pinning for server connections and a variety of other features. I am VERY happy to report that the latest v12 beta release of the project formerly known as Gibberbot, now called ChatSecure, has all of the features described in that post implemented. From a feature perspective, it is the most security mobile messaging app ever. We also hope that in reality, in practice, it also is, as we have spent a great deal of effort on security code audits, penetration testing, and responding to the outcomes of those effort, to further harden our app.

NOW, moving on to a more lighthearted, but equally important topic – MAKEOVERS! Well, in truth, it is countless hours of study trying to understand how we could make our app not only secure, but also beautiful, efficient and fun. On top of that, countless more hours actually implementing it, debugging it across Android operating systems from 2.3 to 4.3, and making sure it works as well on a Nexus 7 tablet as it does a bargain basement ZTE device.

Much of this effort was spent on features like themeing, emoji/emoticon support, swipe navigation and improved color schemes for various states of encryption. This may seem frivolous to some, especially while they are “real” problems out there like backdoored basebands and weakened random number generators. However, while we continue to do all we can to ensure our apps are fortresses, we also must make sure they are comfortable fortresses, as we hope and expect our users to spend many hours a day inside of them. If you eyes will be staring at something for that long, don’t you want smooth fonts, and cohesive color schemes? If you are going to be navigating between chats and buddies a hundred times a day, wouldn’t you expect us to make that as seamless an move as possible? Yes, yes, and so we did!

In the end, we designed our software around people who have little patience or spare time, and every right to be that way – activists, human rights defenders, journalists – people on the front lines in conflict zones and change in their society around the world. Usability for them means they have more time to be in the real world, while still having our apps maximize the precious time they have to communicate digitally, and of course, ensure that the walls of our digital fortress around them are as high and hard as can be.

You can get your hands on this fully functional beta right here on HockeyApp: https://rink.hockeyapp.net/apps/2fa3b9252319e47367f1f125bb3adcd1/ or directly from our site – ChatSecure APK and signature ASC.
WARNING: The current beta does not supporting importing your existing account configurations, and you will need to setup the accounts again.

9 comments for “Gibberbot’s “ChatSecure” MakeOver: Almost Done!

  1. yeswescan
    2013/09/20 at 6:11 pm

    please use beta releases over google play, w/ either a g+ community or a g group.

    thanks for the update!

  2. 2013/09/21 at 3:29 am

    Looks quite nice, but I miss a option to switch to a text-only contact list.

  3. Dmitri
    2013/09/23 at 3:22 am

    This client is so good, I could just hug you right now.

  4. John
    2013/09/25 at 8:26 pm

    Looks great! I’ve been running it for a few days and it’s been a much more pleasant experience (and more stable) than Gibberbot.

  5. me
    2013/09/28 at 1:47 am

    chatsecure seems to support file tranfers, is that right?

  6. Marco
    2013/10/22 at 8:52 am

    Hi,

    thank you for this great app – finaly we can chat in a secure way.

    Three things would be awesome (I use the newest version – loaded today from google play):

    1. If the app is in background for a while, the security pin is needed to open it again, BUT if I click the Icon in the Taskbar, an blank window of ChatSecure appears and then the app crashes.

    2. The smilies are awesome – but I a page indicator is missing.

    3. It would be phantastic, if we could re-arrange the smilies on the pages AND add custom smilies / emotions (gif).

    Greetings
    Marco

  7. westie will
    2014/01/14 at 11:29 pm

    securechat wont encrypt at all me and my girl both just got nexus 5 phones and we installed chatsecure and we created accounts on the jabber.ccc.de server and added eachother without problem .. we cant encrypt out converstations its stil lin the red and the circle thing keeps going .. i dont see any key exchanges or anythingcan help me out plz thanks

  8. seppl
    2014/02/22 at 9:20 am

    Same here: no matter what I configure: the chat conversations are always red = not secure. 🙁

  9. Anonymous
    2014/03/27 at 4:11 pm

    Would it be possible to support SDK-Verion 8? Or at least stating a reason? Isn’t exactly obvious to me: https://github.com/guardianproject/ChatSecureAndroid/commit/6cf0c03b3fa8603bd090b5d46763cf779598ce50#diff-a48d6def78e18cbabab3c95ae3c9fc49

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