Backed by Skype co-founder Janus Friis and a team of tech veterans, the freshly launched Wire aims to be more than a regular chat service. It is a marriage of its competitors' most popular features, including the ability to "ping" contacts. In an interview with The Guardian, Skype co-founder and Wire investor Janus Friis remarks, "What attracted me to Wire is that it is something truly new. This is not some marginal improvement. This is not just an app." He then adds, "Skype was launched more than a decade ago. A lot has changed since then - we are all used to free calls and texting, and we have taken to carrying our computers in our pockets." Friis says that now is the time to create "the best possible communication tools" that are as beautiful as they are functional.
"This is not just an app."
Available on iOS, Android, and OSX, Wire will allow users to sync conversations, call one another, participate in one-to-one and group messaging, share SoundCloud music, and more. The audio quality of Wire's voice calls is supposed to be exemplary, with its use of the Opus open source audio codec. What Wire can't do right now is video. Chief executive Jonathan Christensen says that the company has the necessary skills to develop such a feature, however.
Security is a major concern for Wire. Christensen says that the software uses end-to-end encryption for all of its voice calls, and encryption to and from its data centres for all messages and media. The company is currently working on an HTML5 version of their app, and plans to have a PC-compatible version ready in "less than a quarter." Wire is currently free, but may eventually introduce paid features in the future.
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