Converse first-hand: 14 questions for developers

The publication of the first materials in our blog caused a lively reaction among the habrasociety: someone scolded Converse , someone, reading the first articles, complained that “the topic of boobs was not disclosed”, and someone, on the contrary, showed interest in the messenger. Given the questions that have arisen, we have collected the most frequent of them, systematized and gave our answers.

So all the same, why did we decide to create our own mobile Internet messenger?

We tried to answer this question in a previous articlebut, it seems, not all of our arguments seemed true. Take a look. Firstly, there are more and more mobile users, a market niche is growing, which means that the likelihood that a new product will actively increase its audience is high. Anyone who enters this market is equally likely to succeed with us. Secondly, we study competitive solutions and, when implementing any Converse functions, we try at least not to step on other people's rake, and at least to surpass analogues in something. Typical examples are the work of Converse in a narrow Internet channel when connected via GPRS, the ability to use one account, the low cost of a call to mobile and landline phones. After all, competition is always good.

Here you also need to understand that we do not have such a popular character as Pavel Durov, we cannot provide Converse with the same PR that accompanies Telegram. You can’t count on the attention of a wide audience, so we opened a blog on Habrahabr in order to improve Converse as a result of our interaction with advanced habra users so that people themselves want to use it.

How did you get the idea to create your own mobile Internet messenger? The idea was born spontaneously, or did you find that the functionality of the existing programs is not enough?

It all started with the idea of ​​creating an application for making voice calls between applications and paid calls to external networks. At the same time, the functionality did not initially support text messaging with smiles or photos. Already in the process of working on the program, we came to the understanding that the function of exchanging text messages, as an alternative to SMS, is unambiguously demanded by many potential users of the program. And it’s much easier to enter the user market with a messenger that supports text messaging.

The very idea of ​​creating a voice communication application appeared in 2012, and, in fact, Converse was its logical continuation. Both functionally and from the point of view of the business development of the development team.

What is already implemented in Converse and what features will appear in the future?

Converse currently has the following features:
  • Free voice communication between users. At the same time, we tried to realize the stable operation of voice communications even in “narrow” channels. For example, when connecting via GPRS. Here it is necessary to clarify that voice communication will work well if the GPRS channel is stable and provides a speed of at least 8 Kbps.
  • Paid voice calls to any numbers (cell phones and landlines) outside the Converse network at attractive rates. The cost of a minute of conversation is automatically displayed after entering the number in the dialer. If the number is already entered in the phone book, then the cost of the call is displayed in the contact details.
  • Text messaging, sending photos, videos and location maps.
  • Group chats for up to 100 participants.
  • A single expense account for multiple Converse users. For example, if you want your child to call using your Converse account, you can link multiple devices to one account.
  • If you have more than one mobile device, you can install Converse on everything and duplicate chats between these devices. In this case, incoming messages will be sent to all connected devices, and outgoing messages will go on behalf of the main unit.
  • 12 languages ​​are supported: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Kazakh, Korean, Turkish, Ukrainian, Chinese, Japanese and, of course, Russian and English.

In the near future, Converse will have the following features:
  • Video calls within the Converse network;
  • Sending contact details and any file;
  • Select multiple chat messages to delete / forward;

In addition, Converse will be adapted for use on large screen tablets.

In the long term, before the end of the year, we plan to implement automatic recovery of the voice session when changing the Internet connection (for example, switching from 3G to Wi-Fi), the ability to delete messages from other users of conference audio and video calls. It is also planned to release client versions for the Windows and MAC platforms.

Currently, phone calls are announced to the USA, China, India, Thailand and Singapore. Is this a complete list? Which countries will join this list in the near future?

Using Converse, any user can call any phone number anywhere in the world. To test the function of paid calls, each new user of the application automatically receives $ 2 in his account. At the same time, we are constantly working to improve the quality of paid calls. And if someone has difficulties with paid calls (lack of audibility, wheezing, arbitrary reset of calls, etc.), we ask you to report such cases through the feedback function in the application.

Is it correct to say that calls to Converse to phone numbers outside the application are cheaper than those, for example, in Skype?

Yes, it is . Converse Out tariffs are very attractive for making calls to mobile and landline numbers.

Does the program focus on something specific, or is equal attention paid to the development of all its capabilities?

Our application has three main functions: voice calls, text messaging and, now being introduced, video calls. We are working on the development of these functions at the same time. At the same time, we are open for dialogue with our potential users. If there are any suggestions for functionality / design, then they will be surely considered by us and considered. So any of the habrasociety can offer its ideas - we are only happy about this.

Is this your first mobile app release experience? What is the experience behind the team developers?

This is the only app our team has for end users. Previously, we worked in the corporate voice segment. Unfortunately, the terms of the existing contracts do not allow us to provide more information about our other developments.

How many people are already Converse users? What are the statistics of daily program installations?

Currently we have over 5,000 users. About 150 people are installing Converse per day. Of course, these are very small numbers compared to other market participants, but everything is just beginning.

Is Converse still in beta? If so, how many beta testers do you have and can I join them?

At the moment, we are actively collecting and processing all comments / suggestions, and once a week Converse updates appear. We plan to finish the active beta test in May.

Anyone can become a test participant. To do this, you just need to install the application and start using it. Please send all comments and suggestions, bugs to or via the feedback function in the application.

How is the process of catching and fixing bugs in Converse set up?

Catching bugs occurs during the use of the application. We have 2 sources of information about bugs: user messages via the feedback function or e-mail, as well as the function of collecting “caches” built into Converse itself. If for some reason an error has occurred in the application, we will immediately know about it. The function of collecting “crashes” only works with the application itself, it transfers to us only the name of the smartphone and the version of Android - no more information is collected about the mobile device or user and is not given to us.

After the bug was fixed, the testers of our team reproduce it, and then the developers correct the bug based on the description received from the testers. New builds of the program are again sent to testers who check how well everything is fixed. It turns out something like double control.

How will Converse be updated?

As mentioned above, given that there is a stage of active testing, now we release updates once a week. In June, we plan to enter the monthly update cycle.

When will Converse for iOS appear?

We are working on the iOS version of Converse now, we plan to release it in May. The Android version appeared earlier only in order to work out all the Converse functions in detail, and this choice was not based on the “religious” affiliation of the team to the Android platform. One of the reasons for the release of the version for Android before iOS is the ability to quickly make changes and publish a new version on Google Play in case of critical errors. On the App Store, this process can take a week or more.

What are the methods of depositing funds in Converse. What payment methods will be implemented in the future?

Currently, there is only one way to replenish your account - internal payments on Google Play. In June, it will be possible to replenish the account using VISA and Master Card.

What program do you consider Converse's main competitor?

At this time, we are probably most like Viber. But we did not try to copy someone. So, the Converse interface was designed based on existing Google recommendations. IOS will have a completely different interface in bright colors in the spirit of applications for the iPhone and iPad.

Converse is one of the youngest mobile messengers, it reflects our vision of what a convenient messenger can be. We, as developers, are still only at the beginning of the journey and look forward to a constructive dialogue with the habro-community: if you have any suggestions for improving the functionality or work of Converse - share, we will only be happy. In the near future, a detailed article about Converse “from the inside” will be published on the blog. That is, how the application works.

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