Bittorent's attempt for encrypted peer-to-peer communication app which is based on a great idea but hasn't been implemented well.
The latest from the Bittorrent factory is the peer to peer messaging service named ‘Bleep’. It’s supposed to cut out the middleman and enable true end-to-end encrypted messaging and calling, but does it hold true to its promise?
Note: This app is in alpha, so this review will change when a major revision comes up.
Even though its an alpha, its available to general public and requires no Google+ sign ups. Its simply a matter of searching on the play store and downloading it.
The first screen gives the options to login or create a new account. Since this was my first time, I chose to create a new account. Account creation is divided into normal method or the incognito method. The developers take their privacy very seriously and it shows. The things required for sign up are a nickname, your country and phone number. For some reason I couldn’t create an account, so I went ahead and setup an incognito account. Not many people are on this service so, I asked a few of my friends to download the app and join.
My main screen was empty with a single button to add new friends. Friends can be added by searching their number or email and also by scanning a QR Code. Since my friends also had to go incognito, we chose the QR code method.
The design is definitely borrowed from the material design guidelines, but are not quite there. It feels like a poor attempt to get on the material-like design bandwagon.
It took a really long time to initialize the camera on our devices and yet it refused to work, stating wrong code error. So we tried using a VPN and after a few tries, it accepted the codes. Not a very great experience till now from a service which wants to make it user friendly.
One thing that bugged me was that I couldn’t send a message to a contact when they were offline. This is a bummer, because many times I just send a quick text on Whatsapp and expect them to receive it as soon as they come online. Also that the app was unable to work normally in my country was a huge letdown.
The app also has a persistent notification and doesn’t provide an option in the menu to disable it.
The settings menu is pretty scarce. There is the ability to add your contact info, import your contacts, delete history and change notifications.
The notifications doesn’t have a per contact notification sound, vibration frequency or the pulse light color options. These can definitely be chalked up to the devs trying to get the messaging aspect to work and then work on accessories, and from my experience they are a long way to go.
One decent feature that I found was the ability to add another device using a QR Code enabling use on multiple devices, something that other app devs should also implement.
This is an alpha app with a really good intention and I would hate to give it a bad review, but the devs should have tried this a little more before making a public reveal. The app is marred by not so inspiring service and a poor attempt at good design. The idea is a good one but in its current form, it’s just not there yet. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one for sure.
Many platforms supported
Can add different devices simultaneously
Doesn't work properly
Bare bone features