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Wire app offers a clutter-free chat experience

Wire app offers a clutter-free chat experience
Highlights

Even though most people use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for chatting, there is no dearth of alternatives available. There are privacy-focused...

Even though most people use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for chatting, there is no dearth of alternatives available. There are privacy-focused options such as Telegram, and sticker-filled apps such as WeChat, so there is a messaging app for every purpose. One such app, Wire, takes a slightly different approach.

Wire's appeal lies in its simple, clutter-free design that is suitable for both professional and personal use. The app let's you chat, share images, and make voice calls to other Wire users. Like WhatsApp, and some other apps, Wire uses your phone's contact list to quickly connect you to other users you know.

It has recently launched a Windows app to complement its iOS, Android, OS X, and Web apps. Wire's group calling feature and clean interface could make you if it could find a niche that swears by the app.

True to its claim, Wire does have a neat interface. With a white background, a large and clean font, and a relatively minimalist interface, it looks good and is easy to use. You can sign up with your phone number or email address.

Wire was snappier than WhatsApp, Messenger, or Slack (which we use for office-wide chat) and it helped that the app looks really nice too. The Web interface had all the same features and worked without any problems. The new Windows app works just like the Web interface, and looks the same too.

Wire lets you upload pictures, add gifs as you type (with Giphy integration), and ping your contacts in case you want to ensure that they haven't missed your message. The calling feature also works well. Wire worked surprisingly well on a 2G connection, even for calls, but the app couldn't load the gif on a slow 2G connection and it wouldn't let you send or receive messages until the gif could be loaded. A setting to disable pre-loading of pictures or gifs on cellular connections would have been helpful.

When the Internet connection is fast, Wire works very well. Messages can be sent and received instantly, it pre-loads URLs from SoundCloud, Spotify (not available in India though), YouTube, and Vimeo, which is a nice touch.

Wish it could pre-load URLs from all websites - to reveal the title and summary of articles, for example, similar to what Slack does - but that isn't a big miss considering that it's not really an enterprise-focused app. All of Wire's apps are pretty good overall, when you get past annoyances such as uploading a profile picture.

Wire is a nice messaging app overall that could use a little bit of polish to get rid of annoyances. Wire can be recommended for semi-professional groups who need a chat app that doesn't have a million friends and family members bothering you every minute. For this to be effective, make sure that you don't give the app access to your contacts while signing up, and manually add people you know to your groups. The app is light, loads quickly, and looks great. The downside is that all the people you know are already using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

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