Session Release Roundup #9: Closed groups grow up! Plan a party, message your squad, or nail down that next office meeting

Session Release Roundup #9: Closed groups grow up! Plan a party, message your squad, or nail down that next office meeting

October 08, 2020 / adminRelease Roundup

After spending some time in the wilderness, closed groups are now living their best lives. To celebrate, closed groups are having a party, and they’re inviting you and up to 20 friends! That’s right, closed groups can now handle a whopping 20 people at once. 

On top of that, this update is packing push notification improvements — now fast mode notifications will be…well, fast! 

Let’s get into it!

Put on your party hats: Huge improvements to closed groups

Closed group improvements. We’ve put a lot of work into this one, and we know it’s going to be super important to lots of you. With the implementation of our shared sender key system, closed groups will now perform better, be more reliable, and support more people.

  • Increased closed group size (iOS, Android, Desktop)

  • Improvements to closed group performance and reliability (iOS, Android, Desktop)

The push notification haunting is over! This update should cleanse your Session app of all ghost notifications, stop notifications showing up after you’ve already opened a message, and banish all empty notifications.

  • Improved push notification reliability and performance (iOS, Android, Desktop)

  • Push notifications will consistently display message previews if they are enabled (iOS, Android, Desktop)

  • Push notifications will not deliver after a message has been opened (iOS, Android, Desktop)

  • Push notifications will only deliver if a message has been received (iOS, Android, Desktop)

  • Improved background polling reliability (Android, Desktop)

A lot of Android users were running into an issue causing Session to stop dead in its tracks. We’ve resolved this, so you shouldn’t see Session crashing to the home screen any  more. 

  • Crash fixed (Android)

In 2020, profile pictures are the purest form of expression, so we’re rolling out some fixes and improvements for profile pictures. 

  • Jazzicons removed, replaced with new multi-coloured avatars (iOS, Android, Desktop)

  • Open group profile pictures now display correctly (iOS)

  • Closed group profile pictures display member profiles instead of generic ‘group’ image (Desktop)

Nobody likes getting left on ‘read’. Now you can avoid the awkwardness and turn off read receipts.

  • Added read receipts toggle in in-app settings (iOS)

In open groups, selecting messages lets you reply, copy the message, copy the Session ID, or report a user. All very useful — so we’ve fixed up an issue that was stopping Android users from selecting open group messages properly. 

  • Messages in open groups can be selected (Android)

  • Copying a Session ID in an open group now works correctly (Android)

Tapjacking is a known Android hack that can be used to monitor your phone usage. We’re not a fan of snooping, so we’ve implemented some new security features to keep your Session messages protected even if your phone gets tapjacked.

  • Implemented tapjacking protections (Android)

  • Previews are hidden in the app switcher by default (Android)

Whether it’s a blanket hog or a battery hog — hogs are the worst. We’ve made some changes to make sure your phone can last all day and all night while you’re using Session. 

  • Reduced background battery usage (Android)

Hooking up all your mates on Session was a bit cumbersome, so we wanted to streamline the process. Now, you can copy your friend’s Session ID straight from the conversation settings, so you can easily share their contact info. 

  • Added ‘Copy Session ID’ button to the conversation settings (iOS)

So you’ve sent your friend a funny meme, but don’t want to scroll all the way through your conversation to find it again? Never fear — now you can easily view all your shared images, voice recordings, videos, and file attachments in your conversation settings.

  • Added an ‘All Media’ button to the conversation settings (iOS)

When you received new messages in a conversation you already had open, the new messages were being marked as unread. We’re assuming that if you’ve got the convo open — you’ve read the message. So we’ve fixed this up. 

  • Open conversations will now mark new messages as read (Desktop)

I think we’re gonna need a bigger attachment!

There’s a lot on the horizon for Session, but the immediate future holds two big improvements: support for larger file attachments, and more granular path rebuilding. At the moment, Session’s onion requests system makes it hard to send big files. This is because when you send a 2MB file, that file turns into around 10MB of onion requests before arriving safely and anonymously at its destination. We’ll be reworking onion requests to slim down those numbers and streamline onion requests. What this means for you: way bigger file attachments.

In regard to path rebuilding, some of you have noticed that Session is often trying to connect to a very large number of IP addresses — this is because Session is constantly rebuilding its onion-routed path around Session’s decentralised network. In an upcoming update, we’ll be reworking the path rebuild system, so Session clients won’t need to rebuild paths as frequently — resulting in a more reliable and consistent messaging experience.

Thank you!

Session is getting better every day, and we couldn’t do it without you. We’re doing everything we can to push the envelope in the world of encrypted messaging — but operating on the bleeding edge means that your help with experimentation and testing is hugely important to us. Your dedication as Session users and advocates keeps us going! Well, that… and coffee.

See you next time!

The Session team

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