Hemlis update #2

by Heml.is

It’s Friday, the sun is shining and it’s almost time for that after work we’ve been thinking about all week. But before we let our minds wander towards thoughts of golden nectar, here’s another long overdue situation report from the Hemlis team.


Your messages are the center of this application and as a result your running conversations are at the top level of the navigation. By using smart defaults, logical flow and no unnecessary settings we are giving the app a clear sense of purpose and focus.


Colors will be used to help you find a conversation easy.

Beyond text messages
Messaging is not only about words. Lots of nuances are lost when you write short messages compared to actually talking with someone. One thing that we have thought of a lot is how people are using emotes to convey the mood or emotion of the message. We like the idea of conveying emotion in messages, but we do not think that endless pages of emotes and stickers makes for a simple and compelling usage. We want to improve this part of texting and are testing different ideas to see if we can take text messaging to the next level. Emotes and stickers should not only make messages look fun, but also have an emotional spectrum used to carry the emotion or mood of the words.


Initial sketches for one series of emotes with a broad spectrum of emotions.

Don’t get us wrong, your emoji keyboard and usage of  : ) ; ) : /  will of course be possible.

One of the main reasons for building Hemlis is to circumvent the mass surveillance that we now know several governments are taking part of.

As part of the ongoing mass surveillance, internet traffic is currently being stored and indexed in massive databases, allowing the data to be analyzed, searched and ultimately read at a later time. This affects everything we do online, from emails to search statistics and even our daily activities on social sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

While we wont be able to provide you with 100% privacy, we believe that we can make your conversations private enough to render mass surveillance ineffective. While most people seem to be concerned about the government reading the contents of private communications very few seem concerned about their ability to build sociograms. Our intent is that by encrypting and then tunneling all messages through the Hemlis network we are making it more difficult for them to data mine or build sociograms from your communications. The surveillance systems can see that you are using Hemlis but they can’t see what takes place inside the network.


As you can see sending basic messages is now working.

As we are still testing different ideas and implementations we are currently sticking to one platform. The initial development, is mostly done on Android, although the Android and the iOS application will be released at the same time.

Some people have suggested that we build Hemlis as a web application to make it cross platform by nature. In theory this might sound like a good idea but as we are aiming for stable and fast clients we have decided to use native code.

As a side note we are currently evaluating the possibility of extending our initial reach on to other platforms. But don’t get your hopes up just yet.

Over and out, lets go for beer!