Giving a more reliable and secure alternative to the Zoom meeting app, the Mumbai-based company Inscripts has come up with 'Say Namaste' app, already crossed half a million users adding almost a lakh per day. This makes even more sense after PM Modi urged the citizens of India to opt for 'Made in India' ie local products over alien options.
Stuck at home for a while now, video calls have become a mainstay for most of us. However, while some apps allow only a few participants to take part in a voice chat, others have been dealing with a whole bunch of security and privacy issues. In all this, the need to find a secure, stable alternative, preferably an indigenous one, has been growing.
What is Say Namaste meeting app?
Say Namaste is not actually an app, but an online tool which can be accessed through a web browser. It has been experiencing a high demand since coming out, which even caused the site to be down. The website currently has a note saying that users may face some temporary connectivity issues with the site as they have been facing tremendous demand, thereby requesting users to check back after some time.
Say Namaste - What are the features?
Just like other popular video-conferencing platforms, Say Namaste offers users with live calling and chat options. It allows you to invite other users to a conference call using a meeting link and a code. To begin a new call, Say Namaste will request for your camera and microphone access on the device, however, you can choose to turn off the camera and mute the audio once you're on a call. It also lets you toggle between the screens and check out other meeting participants similar to Zoom.
Who developed Say Namaste?
Say Namaste has been created by a Mumbai-based web application and software development company called Inscripts. The website also provides a feedback form to users at the bottom of the page so people can submit their queries or suggestions on the new tool. Anuj and Anant Garg who have been in the business of creating communication products for enterprises for the past 10 years who claim it's APIs (application program interfaces) are used by various companies for their video conferencing facilities, text chats etc.
Say Namaste, though, came into being by chance, on a day when the team was discussing privacy concerns in video calls. Why isn't there an Indian app? We need one, they thought, and the rest, as they say, is history. "We have developed this underlying technology, we have expertise in this, why don't we just go build our own app? That was the genesis," said Anuj. So, the team went ahead and built a web app that they started using to communicate internally. "One of us suggested Namaste and it immediately resonated with everyone," Anuj said, while talking about where the name came from. According to him, this was the first time the team used its own product as a customer.
How secure is all of this?
Cyptographic standards like AES 256 bit encryption and TLS (Transport Security Layer) encryption are already in place, Anuj claims. "All our data is encrypted at rest and encrypted at transmit. We also have our GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance in place. Things like 2FA (two-factor authentication) are being built and will be launched soon, we are still experimenting with it in terms of how we make sure that the experience is not broken," he added.
"End-to-end encryption gets thrown about like it is the be-all and end-all of security, but that's not the case. There are many, many factors that go into making a secure application. Encryption is one of them and we are encrypted," said Anuj.
The company is working on a lot of things as it tries not only to scale its product, but also to get all the security protocols in place. The company is in the process of getting a third-party independent audit done. The idea is to start figuring out what the chinks in the armour are. The app is built for simpler use cases right now, but Anuj said the company will add customised log-ins and authentication systems usually required for enterprise use cases when the need arises.
While Anuj says that comparisons with Zoom, which is a multi million dollar company, is unfair at this point, Inscript is aware that it is building up to take on giants. "We are making sure we learn from others' mistakes. Our focus right now is to be in tune with what our customers need," Anuj said.
What can you not do on Say Namaste right now?
Anuj said the company is working on features that will be "game changers", but there are still things you can't do on Say Namaste. At least for now. For one, there is no option of screen sharing right now and that Say Namaste is more supportive on laptops, desktops or Android phones (not iOS) through the Chrome browser. Say Namaste is free right now but there will be a premium model in future for power users.
Download the app here- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inscripts.namaste
Use the app desktop here- https://www.saynamaste.in/meeting