One of the advantages of working with a company with its own communication platform is that you’re never far from contact. Whether it be other friends on federated XMPP servers wanting to contact you, or coworkers looking to get your quick response, it can come in handy. Sure not everybody wants to take their work with them wherever they go, but when a quick chat message can solve a problem, it can help improve response times across the board. Using Tigase’s Android XMPP client, I’ve been able to keep in touch on the go.

Of course I could do this with E-mail, so why XMPP? E-mail is far from instant, a 2 minute conversation on XMPP can take far longer with E-mail! Sending a short message and sending it through e-mail servers, waiting for the recipient to get it, reply and send back extends the time of even the simplest conversations. Think of any instant chat you have had recently, could you imagine how long it would take to have it using E-mail? It is also not nearly as secure. Although some E-mail services encrypt communication, and very few do, it is difficult to control all aspects of that message and what state it is in when it arrives at a destination. E-mail was never designed with encryption in mind, many services will send the contents through unencrypted channels making it extremely vulnerable. XMPP on the other hand was designed with security in mind, and can easily encrypt communication end to end with hardly any hassle. I don’t have to ask the other party if they are using a secure and encrypted E-mail server, for example.

Another benefit that the android messenger has that E-mail simply cannot deliver is real-time location sharing. Should I want, I can report (or limit) my current location status on scales from Lat/Long coordinates to the country I’m in. It can be useful to know where I am to determine if I can make a quick reply; I may be in a different time-zone than normal, and my hours could be skewed. Or I could be in a situation where the location could change somewhat rapidly; a safer way to say I’m driving rather than picking up the phone! Even if I drive outside of a service area, the application can fetch messages the moment I return to one, ensuring I don’t spend too much time out of contact.

The Tigase android app works with this base of features and puts more XMPP features in the palm of my hand. Using the security of XMPP along with the convenience of a mobile application ensures communication between coworkers and friends allows me to stay informed, without worrying if the conversations can be intercepted.