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Element X: Making a Decentralized WhatsApp Killer With Matrix 2.0

Matrix 2.0 protocol is here. If you are an early adopter, you can try it in action now!

Matrix is an open-source decentralized communication protocol.

You can always integrate it to your services, self-host a matrix server, or purchase a server from select hosting providers. And, to get started communicating with it, you can utilize one of the best Matrix clients available.

The Matrix protocol is great for privacy and security, and being adopted by governments, organizations, and individuals. However, it has not yet managed to take over the popularity of centralized messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, or iMessage.

To tackle that, announced the next generation of the protocol, i.e., Matrix 2.0.

Suggested Read 📖

9 Best Matrix Clients for Decentralized Messaging
Matrix clients help you experience secure, and decentralized messaging. Here are the best options if you want to use it.

Matix 2.0 x Element X: Work in Progress 🚧

Matrix 2.0 aims to focus on the usability, and performance.

As per the official announcement, the features that make it possible include:

  • Sliding Sync (instant login/sync)
  • Native Open ID Connect (authentication protocol)
  • Native Group VoIP (for large-scale encrypted voice and video calls)
  • Faster Remote Joins

That sounds like solid new features to improve the communication experience.

However, all of these are not part of the current Matrix specification yet. So, as a user, you will have to wait it out.

But, for any developer who wants to test out the improvements can do so with the help of a Matrix 2.0 client, which is where Element X comes in.

You can also choose to explore other Matrix clients when they support it, for now, Element X is the test ground for Matrix 2.0

element x screenshots

Element X is a work-in-progress successor to the Element messaging app that we know. It aims to outperform messaging apps like WhatsApp, iMessage, and Telegram 🤯

element x rich editor

Highlights of Element X include:

  • End-to-end encrypted multiparty VoIP and video calling
  • Simplified UI and fast performance, thanks to the core written in Rust
  • Rich-text editor UI
  • Location sharing and poll support
element call
Element Call integration within Element X

Definitely, a big goal there. As per my experience with the Element app, it managed to provide a good experience, but not something I could replace WhatsApp/Telegram with.

So, it should be interesting to see how they improve Element X while utilizing the Matrix 2.0 protocol. I gave it a quick test on my Android mobile, and it seemed like an improvement in terms of performance 📈

Unless you want to be an early adopter for the app and want to provide feedback to the developers on their progress, you might want to wait.

Of course, it is too early for me to reach a conclusion as Element X still misses out on many features, and would only get better as they continue to test and implement the Matrix 2.0 protocol features.

But, I am excited! 🤩

For all the technical details on Matrix 2.0, refer to the official announcement. And, if you are keen to explore what's planned for Element X, head to its official blog post.

💬 What do you think of Element's next-gen version and Matrix 2.0 initiatives? Share your thoughts in the comments down below.

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