Messaging alternatives: Jami
I've lately been \~insufferable\~ exploring other options for instant
messaging now that Google Hangouts is going into that grand Google
product limbo in the
(Or is that cloud? Who can say?) I've been looking at alternatives for
instant messaging that aren't SMS for keeping in contact with folks. One
of those platforms that I've been playing with isJami
. Jami is an implementation of the Tox
which means it's
a decentralized messaging platform. What that means is there is no
server used for communicating between devices; each device becomes part
of a larger distributed messaging platform. This is kind of cool because
it means there's no servers that get all of the traffic on the network.
The only "centralized" piece is a Etherium blockchain piece as a lookup
for which usernames have been taken on the network and what addresses
they map to. That's it. It's rather clever how they managed this. They
on the protocol and the
I've been playing around with it and I have some thoughts about how it
- Getting set up is really easy. Since there's no centralized server
your device acts as the location for your account and credentials.
This means it's critical to back up your file or at least
synchronize your account with multiple machines. If none of the
machines have your account credentials your account is essentially
terminated and you'll need to create a new one. The upside of this
is if you're sure you no longer want to use Jami just delete the app
and you're done.
- Your devices need to be on in order to receive messages. Messages
have a Time to Live (TTL) where they will no longer be propagated on
the network. Once the TTL expires so does the message.
- File transfer needs direct access between both machines, which can
get a little tricky with NAT and what-not. We haven't been able to
successfully do a file transfer yet.
- Since Jami is always on it requires more battery than most messaging
applications. And since it's distributed it also requires more data
than most messaging applications. And since it routes traffic to
other Jami participants you'll want to be aware of your data usage
should you decide to use this on a mobile network.
- It doesn't support group messages, nor does it handle chat history
between different clients. Consider your Jami conversations
- It's released under a GPLv3 license and is part of the GNU project.
For me that's a huge win.
Overall I'm quite impressed with Jami. I hope it continues to grow and
become more reliable, and gains more participants so that running it on
a mobile device is more gentle. It may not be for everyone but having a
distributed platform or messaging folks without the need for servers is
something to consider in this age of surveillance and corporate
If you decide to check it out feel free to let me know.http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/kwyo2XfYz6Q/
GSuite customers will get the boot first—consumer shutdown comes later.arstechnica.com