Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 16:52

Ubuntu users now can use Element the new free group chat app. Element which formerly called Riot.im is a complete instant messenger for phones and computers with standard features like voice and video calls as well as special ability to connect to other instant messengers. This article introduces Element to everyone especially Ubuntu users still within the celebration of Focal Fossa. Let's go chatting and sharing once again!


Get Element, it is free!



Features


  • Free.
  • Beautiful.
  • Quick registration, no phone number nor email required.
  • No ads, no data mining, no eavesdropping.
  • Available on computers and phones.
  • Supports Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Unlimited accounts.
  • Private chat.
  • Group chat.
  • Notifications.
  • Collaborations.
  • File uploads.
  • Voice call.
  • Video call.
  • Privacy settings.
  • Federation.
  • Decentralization.
  • Matrix. 
  • Bridges.
  • Communities.
  • End-to-end encryption.
See complete features showcase at website

App


Here is how Element Desktop runs on Ubuntu computer.


Web


You can access Element Web via browser as well if you can't install app.

 
(Accessed via Mozilla Firefox)

Mobile


You can install Element Mobile on your Android phone or iOS. They are all seamlessly connected just like Telegram.

Identity


There are users and groups. User has @ and group has # identifiers. A user may have identity like mine @purplesky:matrix.org which means my username is @purplesky and I signed up my account at matrix.org. A group may have address like #ubuntu:matrix.org which means #ubuntu is group name and matrix.org is server where that group belongs.

Rivals


Element is the new challenger to popular instant messengers nowadays namely WhatsApp, Slack, and Zoom on the proprietary side as well as Signal, Telegram, and Wire on free side. There are so many others which are now challenged by Element.

Groups


Join groups Ubuntu, KDE, and Debian by clicking the links then you automatically open Element Web in your browser. Those are just examples. You can create a group by clicking Community button at top.


Collaboration


Element can upload files, pictures, documents, audios, videos as well as integrate with calendars and other tools to work collaboratively. Element is a complete solution to replace Slack the popular walled garden app for online collaboration (i.e. teams and offices) which is also nonfree software - controlled by somebody else other than the users.

Federation and Decentralization


Internet is a federation and decentralization technology. Nowadays instant messengers such as WhatsApp and Zoom tend to break away from that nature to centralization up to a degree people call them walled garden. When you think Element think as if WhatsApp user can talk instantly to Zoom user as well as to other messenger app users. Element does that. The federation is like emails - where you and I can talk even though we use different email services. The decentralization is independence - where you and I can choose where to register an account or create one ourselves if we want. Those are why Element users can talk to each others as well as to people in different apps.

Matrix


Matrix is the name of technology mentioned above. We say that all conversations in Element going via Matrix. Instant messengers outside connected to Element also via Matrix. We also say that any software works by Matrix is called a Matrix client. So I hope don't get surprised when you read news about Element you will also find Matrix. So please don't get surprised that basically Element itself is a Matrix client, an official one, among other Matrix clients such as Fractal.

Free and Libre and Open Source Software


Element software is licensed under Apache License 2.0 a very popular license that makes Free Software as well as Open Source license.

Tell Your Friends

Try it. Invite your friends. Make it your teaching classroom. Start sharing once again. Happy chatting!


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.