Session Release Roundup #14: Who gave you this Session ID?
March 30, 2022 / Harris
Welcome back to another edition of the Session Release Roundup. We’ve been hard at work chopping and changing the codebase on Session since the last time we spoke, and we’ve got a lot to talk about today.
We’ve got global search, we’ve got unsend requests, we’ve got performance improvements, we’ve got tons of quality of life changes, but the big headliner for this roundup is message requests. We’ve had quite a few reports of spam from Session users, so we’re bringing you a brand new way to ignore it. More info on all of this below, plus some news about voice and video calls at the end — let’s get to it!
Big changes ahead — read on below!
Unsend Messages (All platforms)
Sometimes you just regret sending that message, maybe you’ve overreacted and made yourself look a bit silly, maybe you’ve given away more than you meant to, or maybe you’ve shared some sensitive information that you want gone from the chat history. Now with a right click or a long press, you can unsend any message to remove it from both chat partners’ devices.
Message Requests (All Platforms)
We’ve had reports from some users of spam, as far as we can tell people are using open groups to find contacts and message them on Session. Our immediate fix for this is to add an extra step before people can slide into your DMs — the message request. We’ve added a folder for messages from everyone not on your contacts list, and you can go in and approve or delete them at your leisure.
Improved bug report abilities (All platforms)
We’re not going to lie to you, Session isn’t perfect. Onion routing is hard and things tend to go wrong sometimes. To this end we’ve added an option in your settings menu to download/share a debug log. For better troubleshooting and bug fixes, you can share your debug log with us if things go wrong.
Database improvements to the Session Open Group Server (All platforms)
We’ve been hard at work on the Session Open Group Server (or SOGS as we affectionately call it) for quite a while now, and we’re constantly improving, tweaking, and boosting performance. For specific information on changes you can follow our Oxen Lab updates, but suffice it to say for now that open groups are running smoother than ever.
Better privacy defaults for new users (All platforms)
At Session we pride ourselves on being private by default, and while we’re also very proud of a lot of the features we’ve implemented throughout the course of developing Session, privacy comes first. So by default we have now turned off typing indicators and read receipts. We’ve also made it so that users can’t directly message open group members (see message requests above).
Global search for you messages, contacts, and groups (All Platforms)
This feature represents a huge quality of life improvement for all Session users. Instead of having to scroll endlessly to find messages you’ve sent or even contacts if you’re popular, you can now just search for them. There’s not too much more to say on this one, I’m sure you’ve all seen a search bar before.
Better synchronisation across multi-device installs (All platforms)
In the past we’ve had some issues with multi-device and information being synced when a new instance is installed, as well as when changes are made to settings. We’ve looked into it, tinkered around, and made some changes that should have you settings, contacts, blocked contacts and more all playing nice on every device.
Big performance increases (All platforms)
You might think that we slip this one in every time, and the truth is we definitely do. But we also wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. We’re constantly hard at work improving Session’s performance, almost every update we ship comes with some upgrades in that area. You might not notice the change if you use Session every day, but if you went back in time just a few months you’d be shocked at how far we’ve come — and we don’t plan to stop here.
Improving conversation screen to match desktop (Android, iOS)
We’ve brought the mobile experience up to date with the features offered in the Desktop app, specifically with regards to images, replies, and link previews.
Improving UI to match the design on mobile more closely (Desktop)
Now going the opposite direction to the last point, we’ve brought the UI of the conversation screen on desktop in line with the mobile experience. You may remember from the last roundup that we overhauled that screen on mobile, well now desktop can join the fun.
Call me, beep me, if you wanna reach me
If you’ve been following along at home you may already know this, but just before Christmas we started running a closed beta for voice/video calls on Session. So far it’s been a huge success, we’ve ironed out a bunch of kinks and we’re pretty happy with how it looks right now.
We’re pretty close to flicking the switch to turn on calls for everyone. I can’t give an exact date (mostly because I don’t want to get beat up by the devs) but it’s safe to say that this is coming in the next month or two. We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into getting calls working on Session and we hope you have as much fun with it as we have been having.
We’re also still hard at work on onion-routed calls. A major step in this process is getting Lokinet integrated into Session, and if you’ve been keeping up with our dev updates you’ll know that we’re really putting in the hours on that one at the moment.
Aside from that we’ll keep chugging along making Session the best it can be. For more immediate and detailed information on the development of Session and other Oxen products, don’t forget to check out our Oxen Lab Updates on our website or on YouTube.
As always, it’s feedback, comments, and suggestions from users like you that keep us working on the issues that need fixing and the improvements our community wants to see. Keep the feedback coming, and we’ll keep working hard to build the best version of Session yet. Thank you for all your feedback and support!
Keep on rockin’ in the free world.
— The Session team
We’re happy to help with any questions you might have. Check out more information on our helpful features at the link below or reach out to us at [email protected]
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