Snikket: Getting Started (iOS)
You received a Snikket invitation and want to get started using an iOS (iPhone, iPad) device? You are at the right place. Let’s get started. This tutorial is written as a short story which you can translate to your personal use case.
Mary, Robert and Kim are cycling enthusiasts. They want to communicate with each other using their smartphones. Mary suggests to use Snikket to communcate with each other. Kim and Robert do not know Snikket but they are always motivated to try something new.
Mary prepares Snikket invitations for the server snikket.eversten.net and sends them via e-mail to Robert and Kim.
Kim is an iPhone user and Mary tells her that she can choose between two apps:
- Monal (this is the app which Mary recommends to Kim)
We will now have a look at her onboarding process using Monal on her iPhone.
Chapter 1: Installing Monal
At first, Kim opens the App Store on her iPhone and searches for the app Monal. She clicks on the Download from cloud icon to install it. When she opens Monal for the first time, she gets a notification that Monal would like to send notifications. She allows it, since she wants to use Monal as an instant messaging app.
She now closes the app.
Chapter 2: Accepting the Snikket Invitation
Kim opens the e-mail containing the invitation from Mary. She clicks on the invitation link. Her browser (Safari) opens and shows the invitation. The invitation says that she should install Snikket on her iPhone. But she already installed Monal so there is no need to install Snikket. She simply clicks on the button Open App. Afterwards, she is asked whether she wants to open this link using Monal. She confirms this message and is taken to a partly filled register form.
The only missing fields are her username and her password. She decides to use the username kim and a secure password. Then she clicks the button Register with snikket.eversten.net. Her username is available and she receives a success message followed by a welcome message of the server.
Important: Kim used the username kim and she registered on the server snikket.eversten.net. This means her real XMPP address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. She can chat with anyone who is also using XMPP. The other person can also use a different server than snikket.eversten.net.
A message appears that she cannot communicate encrypted with the contact that sent the welcome message (it is no real contact, it is just a welcome message). She selects Disable Encryption and clicks on the back icon on the top left to leave this chat message. Monal then shows the current privacy settings.
She clicks the Close button.
Chapter 3: Getting started with Monal
Kim is now in the Chats view. The only available chat is the welcome message of the server. In this example Kim has the address email@example.com. Kim wants to set a display name for her Snikket account. This name is the name which new contacts see when she writes a message to them. She clicks on the gear icon on the top left, selects her Snikket account, and clicks on Display Name. Please consider: You have to click on the very right border of this line to change the display name. As a display name she enters Kim S.. This means that she will be displayed as *Kim S. in the contact list of others. She also wants to add a profile picture. She clicks on the icon and adds a picture. She clicks on Save and closes the Settings menu afterwards.
Kim is now back in the Chats view. When she clicks on the Contacts button on the top right she sees her current contact list which is not be empty. Why?
In this example, Mary is administrator of a Snikket server. She created a so-called Snikket circle Cycling Team. She invited Robert and Kim to join. Robert already joined Snikket. This means: When Kim registered for Snikket, she was added to the circle Cyling Team and all members of this circle are added to her contact list. Additionally, she sees a group chat in her contact list where she can write messages to all members of the Cycling Team. But there is an additional contact called snikket.eversten.net. This is not a real contact. It is just the server which sent the initial welcome message. Kim wants to delete this contact. She swipes the name of this contact to the left, selects Remove Contact and confirms the appearing message. The contact list looks better now. She now clicks on Cycling Team and writes her first message and gets her first answers. As you can see by looking at the icon on the top right, this group chat is encrypted by default.
She clicks on the back button and is in the Chats view. She opens the contact list again and selects Robert. Kim writes a message to send a private message to Robert. Afterwards, she clicks the Back button to get back to the Chats view. In the Chats view, Kim is annoyed by the server welcome message. So she swipes it to the left and selects Archive chat to remove it from the Chats view.
The Chats view looks better now to Kim.
Chapter 4: Adding Contacts from other Servers
The next day, Kim talks to her friend Michael and says that she now has a Snikket account. Michael is delighted and explains that he also uses XMPP. Kim asks for his XMPP address. It is firstname.lastname@example.org. She opens the Contacts view and clicks on the plus icon on the top right. She enters his XMPP address and Monal tells her that the contact will be asked for permission to be added to the contact list. She writes a message to Michael. He answers and allows to be added. He will soon be displayed as Michael instead of Michael1873 because Kim is allowed to see his display name and picture now.
Kim is happy that she can communicate with Michael using the same instant messaging app.
Chapter 5: Using another device
Kim also wants to use her MacBook to read and write messages. She installs Monal on her MacBook. When she starts Monal she simply needs to enter her credentials (username: email@example.com and password). Snikket (XMPP) is ready to handle multiple devices using the same account.
Chapter 6: Understanding Snikket
Kim is a bit confused. Mary said she invites her to Snikket. But Kim installed Monal. Michael uses XMPP and she can communicate with him. What is she really using: Snikket, XMPP, Monal? She asks Mary about it.
Mary explains in a few words:
- There is an instant messaging standard called XMPP.
- Everyone is allowed to implement a software which uses XMPP. They all can (if they want to) communicate with each other.
- When you use it, you have an XMPP address (used for chatting) which looks like an e-mail address.
- Snikket is a project which offers XMPP software for iOS, Android and a server software which Mary uses to run snikket.eversten.net.
- Every user has the freedom to choose which software he/she wants to use on his/her device and which server (provider) he/she wants to connect to. Mary likes Monal better than the Snikket iOS App. That’s why she recommends Monal to Kim.
- Snikket and Monal use the XMPP standard. This means that Kim can communicate with other people (like Michael) who are also using XMPP.
Kim is excited. She likes the idea that she (as a user) can decide which app and which provider she uses.
But now it’s time to start cycling.