State of the App (Spring 2023)
Our road map for the next 6 months
I wanted to give you an update on where Beeper is at right now and what our road map looks like for the next 6 months.
As a quick refresher, Beeper is a universal chat app. Beeper connects to 15 different chat networks and aggregates all your chats into a single inbox. We have apps on iPhone, iPad, Android and Desktop (Mac/Windows/Linux). Our mission is to build the best chat app on Earth.
Today @ Beeper
Beeper is ready for you to use! It’s fast, free, trustworthy and fun. Over the last 2 years since our initial product announcement, we've focused on building a solid and reliable foundation. Today, Beeper has all the features you need to switch to using it as your default chat app.
Huge progress over last 6 months
We launched Beeper iOS on the Appstore
Upgraded our server infrastructure
Published software updates every week for iOS, Android and Desktop
Still in waitlist mode
We are currently still in waitlist mode, which means that you need an invite to download and use the app. We are sending out new invites every day, but obviously this is not ideal - we want as many people as possible to get the chance to use Beeper! Over the next 3 months, our goal is to finish everyone on the waitlist. At that point, anyone who downloads Beeper will be able to start using it immediately - no more waiting.
Who is Beeper for today?
We've designed Beeper for 3 types of people:
People who want to check one chat app instead of 5+ different apps
Android and Windows folks who want full iMessage functionality (blue bubbles and more!)
People who want to use features that Beeper offers that go beyond the capabilities of other chat apps, like auto-archiving chats after you read them, scheduling messages to be sent in future and being able to search your entire chat history across all networks
Expect all chat features you would use in an average day to work great in Beeper:
Text, image, video, and audio messages
DMs, group chats, and channels
Blue bubbles on iMessage (for everyone!)
Replies, threads and emoji reactions
Sent confirmation status
Who is Beeper NOT for today?
Over time, we have an inclusive mission to build the best chat app on Earth. Today, in order to build a powerful and useful app, we've had to focus on a narrower set of capabilities. That means that Beeper is not for everyone, just yet.
If you expect 100% feature parity to all other chat apps, you're not going to have a great time. Beeper works great alongside existing apps, not replacing them entirely. 99% of your daily usage will be in Beeper, but from time to time you may have to go back to the original app for a rarely used feature.
Slack and Discord power users - Beeper is not designed for you. We're currently focused on DMs, group chats and small channels, and don't support super-busy 1000+ person communities. On the other hand, Beeper is fantastic for casual Slack/Discord users (ie if you’re forced to use it to chat with friends or colleagues)
For example, here are a few features that Beeper does not support (yet!):
Receiving audio/video calls (you will be notified though)
Creating new group chats
🫂 Beeper works great alongside other chat apps 🫂
Most people will place Beeper on their smartphone home screen, and move all other chat apps into a folder. You should keep all chat apps installed, just in case you need to use a feature that is not supported yet in Beeper.
You must disable notifications on the other apps, or else you will get duplicate notifications!
WhatsApp and Signal apps MUST be kept on your phone! Do not delete these apps while they are connected to Beeper.
6-Month Road Map
As always, our top priority is to make Beeper reliable and trustworthy. If you spot a reliability issue (message not arriving on time, persistent problems sending messages), let us know and we'll work to fix it asap.
Here’s what we’re working on over the next 6 months:
Ditch the waitlist - soon anyone will be able to download and use Beeper!
Speed up the app
Interacting with Beeper is not as fast as we want it to be. Our mobile apps shows a loading spinner too much. Performance in poor internet connectivity (ie 4G or in a subway/train) is not great. Expect major improvements here.
Mobile app design refresh
Our mobile apps don't look fantastic yet. We're working on this. Spoiler alert: you will be really excited to see what we have in the works here
Improve iPhone app
Our iOS app has improved tremendously over the last year. It's basically an entirely new app, rewritten piece-by-piece. But it's still missing a few key features. We have a 4-person iOS engineering team pumping out improvements. Checkout the full list of iOS improvements in the pipe.
New search interface
Right now, things are a bit confusing - we have separate 'search' and 'start new chat' buttons. We're integrating these two things together into a much improved unified interface.
Improve media experience on Beeper
Beeper can send and receive media like photos, videos, links, voice messages and more. But the experience is not beautiful and feels a bit clunky. We're going to make it fast and feel awesome. Expect full sticker support (plan is to import all Telegram stickers), faster uploads, iMessage live photos and more!
Add missing features
There are a bunch of smaller features that we are working on that should be ready later this year, like:
Being able to delete chats and block spammers
iCloud contacts on Windows
Whatsapp typing status
Better, more granular notification settings (eg mute all chats from a specific network)
Chat with your friends on Beeper
As we wrap up 'the basics', we're going to be building features that make it fun to chat with your friends on Beeper. Did you know that you can chat with other Beeper users directly? Beeper is built on top of Matrix, an open source chat protocol. Every Beeper user has a unique identifier (@username). If we detect that you and the friend you are chatting with are both on Beeper, we'll make it easy to send messages via Beeper rather than a legacy chat network.
How to help us make the Beeper even better
As of today, you should find Beeper to be extremely reliable. If you notice even the smallest issue, please do not hesitate to let us know.
We take reports of reliability issues very seriously. For example, if you report that one specific message was not received immediately (within a few seconds), we actually drop what we are doing and investigate. That is how important reliability is to us - luckily it happens very infrequently. If you see something, say something.
We also want to hear from you about how you use Beeper. How does it fit into your life? What do you want us to build to make Beeper the best chat app in the world for you?
Come work with us!
We are looking for 3 new colleagues to join our 20 person fully-remote team. If you’re interested, please apply through our website (please mention you are a Beeper user!):
Senior Frontend Engineer - join our 3-person team building Beeper Desktop (maybe…web app too some day?)
Customer Experience Hero - help us continue to deliver amazing customer service and troubleshooting help!
Eric + Beeper Team