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    Snikket: Snikket iOS app now publicly released

    news.movim.eu / PlanetJabber · Tuesday, 31 August - 14:00 · 4 minutes

This is the announcement many people have been waiting for since the projectbegan!

Opinions are often strong about which is the best mobile operating system.However, while it varies by region and demographic, wherever you are it’s verylikely that you have Apple users in your life, even if you don’t use oneyourself. We want to ensure that the platform you use (by choice or otherwise)is not a barrier to secure and decentralized communication with the importantpeople in your life.

The lack of a suitable client for iOS was an obstacle to many groups adoptingSnikket and XMPP. For this reason, today’s release of a Snikket app for Apple’siPhone and iPad devices is a significant milestone for the project.

A community effort

It’s a journey that began late last year with the announcement that we wouldbe sponsoring support for group chat encryption in Siskin IM, the open-source iOS XMPP client developed by Tigase .

The Tigase folk have been very supportive of our project, and I’d like toespecially thank Andrzej for his assistance and patience with all my newbieiOS development questions!

There are many other folk who have also helped unlock this achievement. Thisincludes everyone who helped to fund the development work - especially WaqasHussain, the kind folk at jmp.chat and of course absolutelyeveryone who has donated to the project. The majority of donations areanonymous so it’s impossible to thank everyone individually, but the amount ofsupport we’ve received as a project is amazing, and really gives us confidencein achieving even more ambitious milestones in the future.

Funding aside, we couldn’t have refined the app without help from our diligentbeta testers - with particular thanks to Michael DiStefano, Martin Dosch, mimi8999and Nils Thiele for their bug-catching and comprehensive feedback. Everyoneparticipating in the beta programme has helped shape the app we’re releasingtoday.

What happens now?

We’ll be rolling out a Snikket server update shortly that will add a link tothe iOS app from Snikket invitation pages. If you’re eager to make the appavailable to your users before then, you can add the following line to yoursnikket.conf:

SNIKKET_WEB_APPLE_STORE_URL=https://apps.apple.com/us/app/snikket/id1545164189

After saving the file, apply the change with the command docker-compose up -d .

If you are using the Snikket hosting service, you will get anemail soon that explains how to enable the app store link for your instances.

We’re not done yet

This is a big milestone, without a doubt. But we’re not completely done. Theapp is not perfect (yet!) and we’re still working on many things. But webelieve this is no reason not to share it with the world as early as we can.

Push notification compatibility

The first thing to note (especially as many non-Snikket users will also beexcited about a new iOS XMPP client on the scene) is that our primary focushas been on the app working seamlessly with Snikket servers. We’re committedto XMPP interoperability, but time and resources mean we can’t develop andtest every change in pace with every XMPP server.

Although we expect it to generally work, there are some known compatibilityissues currently. Specifically, due to the strict “no background networkconnections” policy for iOS apps, we have needed to adapt push notificationhandling slightly differently to what is supported on most XMPP servers today.The extensions we use are openly published by Tigase ,and we have made available community modules for Prosody ( mod_cloud_notify_encrypted , mod_cloud_notify_priority_tag and mod_cloud_notify_filters ),and discussion has begun onmoving these extensions over to the XMPP Standards Foundation standardsprocess. We welcome help and contributions towards evolving XMPP’s currentpush notification support. If you’re interested, reach out!

Until then, although some backwards-compatibility considerationsare in the app, this means it’s very possible you may experience issues withnotifications on some non-Snikket servers when the app is closed (thoughTigase servers and Prosody servers with the community modules enabled shouldbe fine).

Language support

The app is currently only available in English, which is an unfortunatecontrast from all other Snikket projects which are available in many languagesalready.

Updating the app to support translation of the interface is high on our prioritylist. After this is implemented, we will also be looking for help from translators,so stay tuned for further announcements.

Other work in progress

Other known issues that we are working on:

  • Notifications for OMEMO-encrypted messages show a potentially-confusingmessage about the app lacking OMEMO support. This will be fixed by the sameserver update that adds the app to the Snikket invitation page.
  • Group chat notifications are not yet working. This will also be rolledout as a future server update.

Of course, we will also soon be incorporating feedback from the usabilityaudit and testing sessions when that work iscompleted.


I want to say a final thanks to our entire community for supporting theproject. Snikket has ambitious goals , and the progress we’remaking couldn’t be achieved without all the help and support we’ve received.

Drop us feedback about the app if you try it out, file bug reports and featurerequests to help us withplanning and, if you can, donate to help sustain the developmentof the entire project.

We look forward to welcoming more users to the XMPP network than ever before!