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Navigating the Evolution of Wire for Android: An Interview with Leen Rehawi

Wire for Android has seen a lot of change this year. After the relaunch on a new codebase we re-introduced many features loved by our customers.

Hauke Gierow
Hauke Gierow

Dec 14, 2023

Earlier this year, we relaunched our Android-App on a completely new codebase and switched to a new underlying development framework to enhance stability, performance, and security for our users. Due to this step, some features had to be removed for a while – but they are all coming back.

In this Interview with our Product Manager for the Android App, Leen Rehawi, we are taking a closer look at what happened in the last few months and the exciting next steps in enhancing the Wire experience on android. Join us as we gain valuable insights into the past, present, and future of Wire for Android:

Leen, what can you share with us regarding Wire for Android - did we achieve the goals we set for ourselves?

We are very happy with the progress we have made in the last few months. While we haven’t been able to bring all features back yet, we have seen massive improvements in performance and stability, which we are really happy about. This is also reflected in messages and reviews from our customers. 

What was the biggest challenge in the process?

Committing to redo an application from scratch is a big project that takes a lot of effort and good planning. If you have been involved in any software engineering project before, I am sure you can feel it. The things you need to consider are almost endless. So we are very happy with the success.

Which features did we bring back?

We re-introduced self-deleting messages, the ability to lock the app with a passcode, more possibilities for reactions as well as text formatting. Some other features will take some more time to re-implement, including the drawing function. Those will come back next year. 

We also enabled federation in our apps on Android and iOS, correct?

Yes, federation is a key component of our messaging platform. It allows customers to connect multiple on-premises instances of Wire and enable seamless secure communication between those entities. Soon, we will also enable our customers to connect on-premises instances to the Wire Cloud and communicate with the whole Wire community. 

And what is coming next?

After our federation release we are currently working hard towards integrating Messaging Layer Security (MLS). MLS is a new standard for secure real time communication that we helped to develop together with other major players in the industry (See also the blog we wrote on MLS to learn more about the upcoming industry standard in secure messaging). Having MLS in the product will allow our customers to enjoy significantly larger groups for messaging as well as audio- and video communication while maintaining a high level of performance. 

And, as I said, we will be bringing back the rest of the missing features over the course of the next year. So the next year will be really exciting for all Wire users.

Hauke Gierow

Hauke is the VP for Communication, Brand and Government Relations at Wire. Before joining Wire he held several positions in the Cybersecurity industry and worked as a journalist with focus on IT-security at Golem.de, Zeit.de and for Süddeutsche Zeitung.

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