Sandes Messaging App is a Made-in-India Alternative to WhatsApp

Sandes Messaging App is the Made-in-India Alternative to Whatsapp

The Indian government launched a new messaging app called “Sandes” as a WhatsApp alternative for government employees this February. As CNBC-TV18 reports, this Made-in-India messaging app is now available to the general masses.

Sandes Messaging App – Worthy WhatsApp Alternative?

“Sandes is an open source based indigenous instant messaging platform developed by NIC, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India to facilitate instant messaging communication in Government organisations,” reads the app’s description.

Creating a new account on Sandes requires a phone number. Once you verify the number with OTP, you can set your name, gender, and profile picture. While name is a required field, filling in gender and profile picture is optional.

creating profile sandes

There are four tabs at the bottom for Chats, Contacts, Groups, and Account settings. You also have an option to offer feedback within the app, as you can see in the image below.
sandes chats and groups

From the account settings page, you can access app settings, turn off read receipts, log out, or even delete your account. Sandes also lets you link your Aadhaar account if that’s something you are interested in.

sandes settings

Coming to the privacy aspect, the app description reads that Sandes supports end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) messaging and encrypted backups. On the other hand, the privacy policy of Sandes clearly states that the app collects metadata. This includes sender’s identity, receiver’s identity, date, time, and size of instant or group messages, audio and video calling date, time, and duration.

The app also collects device-specific information like hardware model, operating system, app version, language preference, time zone, and device identifiers. Information about your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is included as well. You can check out Sandes app’s privacy policy right here.

While I won’t personally recommend using a government-made app for your personal messages, you can check out the app using the links below if you are interested. Also, for those looking for other secure messaging apps, you will find one in our linked article.

Download Sandes app (Play Store | App Store)

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