As an alternative to WhatsApp and other instant messaging apps, the government has developed the Sandes app. It has been launched by the National Informatics Center (NIC). This new platform is an upgraded version of the existing Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS) which was developed to provide service to government officials.
Now, Sandes app can be used by both government officials and ordinary users. It requires a mobile number or government email ID to sign up. Once signed up, users can send and receive messages and can also send multimedia content. Like WhatsApp and other major instant messaging apps, Sandes has also been described as end-to-end encrypted.
How to Sign-up for the Sandes app?
You initially have to download the Sandes app on your mobile through the government’s GIMS portal. You will be able to run app on Android 5.0 and above. Whereas, iOS users can download it from the App Store.
Once downloaded, you can sign up on this app using your mobile number or email ID. The app will send you a six-digit OTP for authentication. Email Ids are limited to government Ids only. If you try to sign up from a Gmail, Hotmail or other email account, you will see a notice that emails from that domain are not in use. You have to sign up using your phone number only.
Sandes vs WhatsApp
The government’s Sandes app and WhatsApp have many similarities and some differences. The first major difference is the option to sign up using your email ID on the Sandes app. For now, government officials can use email ID. This function is not on WhatsApp. A mobile number is required to sign up on WhatsApp. The Sandes app also supports a verified account for government employees. On the other hand WhatsApp does not.
Chat backup can be sent to email Id
Sandes has the option to send chat backups on email Ids. While Android users can only backup their chats on Google Drive in WhatsApp, iPhone users can backup on iCloud.
Cannot change mobile number or email id
The Sandes app also does not allow the user to change their mobile number or email ID after signing up. However, by deleting your account, you can create a new account with new mobile number or email ID. In contrast, on WhatsApp you can easily change your number without deleting account.