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Sandes: Desi alternative to Whatsapp launched - How to download, special features

In August 2020, the National Informatics centre (NIC) released the first version of the app

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An alternative to Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp, India's very own instant messaging app ‘Sandes’, launched on Thursday.

After India's version of the 'Koo' App in response to social media platform Twitter, there is yet another App named 'Sandes' which is in line with the popular instant messaging platform WhatsApp. Only a day ago, the Supreme Court issued a notice to Facebook and WhatsApp over the company updated privacy policy that it has postponed for the next three months.

The National Informatics Centre (NIC) under the Central government's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology launched the instant messaging platform on the lines of WhatsApp called 'Sandes'.

In August 2020, the NIC released the first version of the app, which said that the app could be used by both Central and State government officials 'for intra and inter-organisation communication'. The app was initially launched for Android users and then the service was extended to iOS users.

The launch of the app is also a part of the government strategy to push for use of India-made software so as to build an ecosystem of indigenously developed products. Open initially only to government officers, it has now been released for the common public as well.

Here is how to download the Sandes app:

The APK download version of the app is currently available for Android users. After the beta tests are complete, the app will be available on Google Playstore for Android phones. For iPhone users, the app is available on the  Apple Store from today.

Here is a guide to downloading, and using the app:

Step 1. Open app store and search 'Sandes'.

Step 2. Download the app, make sure it is the official app by NIC which has 4.1 rating.

Step 3. After installation, open the app on the phone.

Step 4. Enter mobile number and OTP.

Step 5. Enter the OTP sent on your mobile number, select gender (optional), and sync contacts.    

Step 6. You will get a notification of the contacts who use the app.

Special features of 'Sandes' App
The instant messaging app, has an interface similar to many other apps currently available in the market.

The chats on this instant messaging systems or GIMS can be backed up to a users' email.

GIMS, like other instant messaging apps uses a valid mobile number or email id to register the user for the first time.

It also offers features such as group making, broadcast message, message forwarding and emojis.

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