Video calling has consistently been our top requested feature. Today, we are happy to introduce video calling on Wire for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows.
That is not all. We are also fundamentally changing the way Wire works.
Wire’s voice calls have always been end-to-end encrypted. Today, we expand this to include all conversation content — text messages, video calls, photos, sketches. It is all now encrypted end-to-end, which means it is private and secure.
We believe Wire is the only solution in the market to offer fully encrypted audio calls, video calls and group chats that work across all devices (including Mac OS and Windows). The encryption is transparent, it’s always on. Unlike specialized security apps we do not sacrifice usability for security — there is no set-up or configuration and the encryption does not get in the way.
But let’s take a step back and look at why we are doing this.
Our online lives involve a great deal of personal data sharing:
Our personal data is at the center of a new economy. Things we share and do are used to build digital profiles of us. These are used to sell us products and services through targeted advertising. The data collected is incredibly detailed and often very personal. Vast resources are spent collecting this data, all without transparency, policy or oversight.
At Wire, we believe our personal and professional online communications should not be part of this economy. In the physical world we communicate directly. We lower our voices or close a door when we share private matters. Our digital life should be similar. Our communication should not be passing through any data mines.
This is why we introduced these changes today.
As with any new technology, there are a few limitations. To ensure best privacy, the conversation history is only permanently stored on the devices. New devices and clean installations of the Wire app cannot display the conversation history prior to their activation (for now). Wire for Web can only keep history if “Remember me” is selected at sign in. We are working on a better solution for both of these issues.
Other known issues:
We are using “VoIP” style notifications because they are processed natively by the app and can be encrypted end-to-end vs. standard push notifications that are processed by iOS and transmit plain text. They also have the advantage of being grouped and generally better organized.
However, these notifications are not as robust as the standard push notifications. When they fail to transmit we automatically fall back to a generic notification that does not contain the message text (to protect your privacy).
Battery life is also slightly impacted by the use of VoIP style notifications. We give users the ability to tune notifications on a per conversation basis, so you can silence “noisy” group chats and only receive notifications for your most important contacts. '
At Wire we believe everyone should be able to talk freely and privately. We strive to change everyday communications by keeping it simple to use, yet fully secure.