On India’s 72nd Independence Day, a company called Namaste Online Pvt. Limited has released its new chat application, which claims to be India’s chat app which can compete with WhatsApp. Today, we are going to have a brief review where it stands against Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
The Good: The app is quite simple and easy to navigate. Lazy loading makes the app loading a bit faster. The design principle is little inspired by WhatsApp itself. For example, the profile popup, the search and menu positions etc.
It has two new sections called news and adda. The new section is totally meant for the latest news and happenings around India. And the Adds is basically an interest-based section.
The Bad: Design wise the app seems quite simple and old. I am not impressed with the color scheme of the Application. The placeholder image, during the lazy loading, is bit pixelated. In the Adda section, the category images look a bit clumsy. maybe a grid size needs to be decreased and the icon size as well.
Navigation and ease of use:
The app is very easy to navigate. I did not face any issues in navigating throughout the application. It took me a few minutes to get used to it. As the app is meant for Indian users, the news and other sections are in Hinglish, rather than English.
You can create extra-large groups with members up to 5000, You can be the sole admin or make everyone the admin and Like /Dislike or Comment on any message and be more proactive in your groups. You can also send messages to multiple individuals at a time or multiple groups at a time.
Now, you don’t need to depend on social media and news apps to stay up to date any longer. Namaste Vapor Chat doubles as a News and content aggregator. Stay abreast with latest happenings in the world with one tap of your finger, simultaneously while you are chatting.
This is the worst part over here. The app does a heavy battery usage, even in the background. I have got the notification almost 5 times till now in last 5 to 6 hours. So, the battery usage needs to be optimized.
Privacy and Security:
- Vapor Mode: Auto delete/self-destruct Vapor messages to maintain privacy and secrecy when you send and receive messages. Choose between ‘send’ and ‘vapor’ option while sending a message. Vapor messages get deleted by default, without a trace, after the receiver reads it.
- To give you the user more control, and ensure secrecy, vapor messages not only delete by default, and the receiver is blocked from taking a screenshot of the texts sent as vapor.
What is still missing (in comparison to WhatsApp)?
- We have not noticed any voice call or video call functionality in the application yet.
- Sticker functionality is still not there.
- Payments option is not there.
- The live status functionality is not available right now.
- Live Location sharing is not available right now.
- I did not find any option to verify the delivery details of my messages in the application.
- The Last seen time is not there is the functionalities.
What is not tested yet?
- We have not tested the end-to-end encryption right now. And can not really guaranty the total security without reviewing it.
Bugs I have faced so far:
- I have faced some Issues while signing up for the application. The permission request never appeared for the first time. After clearing the cache, everything was solved.
- It takes time to integrate with profile phonebook.
- Excessive Battery usage. This needs to be optimized.
The review is not complete yet. We will update you guys with latest findings as soon as we find them.
The Developers of the application were fast enough to fix few of the mentioned bug. On 18th of August, 2018 they have pushed a new update on Google Play store that solves few of the issues we have faced in the first version. Those include:
- Updated Permissions appearances. Now contact and SMS permissions will be asked at the time of Sign in and Sign up. Rest other permissions like Camera/Gallery/Media/Location/Audio/Video will be asked at respective activity.
- Now the “Invite” option available on Home screen.
- Sign-in/Up and OTP verification screen earlier in few devices not appearing resolved and it will work perfectly.
- Now, users can go to Chat Home > Settings > User Profile > Feedback to log any Issues/Bug or feedback related to app.
We have not come across any more bugs right now. We will keep you guys updated as soon as any bug has been discovered.