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Sandes Indian Government’s WhatsApp Alternative: All You Need To Know

WhatsApp has faced massive backlash after it revised its privacy policy. But now the Government of India has launched Sandes, an Indian government alternative to WhatsApp and other similar instant messaging apps. The app was launched by the Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS) and has been developed keeping in mind WhatsApp.

Also Read: Top WhatsApp Alternatives And How Safe Are They?

Just like WhatsApp and many other social messaging apps, even Sandes (it means message in Hindi) will be proving end-to-end encrypted communication. Users will have to log in using either their mobile number or email ID. Upon signing in, users can send and receive messages, create new groups, or even send multimedia content such as images and videos.

The government is also said to be working towards the development of another app named Samvad. Both these apps are said to be instant messaging app just like WhatsApp to take on the existing social media apps.

Sandes And WhatsApp

Sandes has been launched to take on WhatsApp in the instant messaging department of apps and provide an Indian alternative to the existing available options. Most of the features provided by Sandes are identical to what was in WhatsApp as well, but there are several features not provided exclusively in the Facebook-owned instant messaging giants.

Sandes allows the users to signup using their email ID as well. Although this feature is limited exclusively to government employees having the extension of @gov.in in their IDs. But for other users just like WhatsApp, users can sign up using a mobile number as well. The app also gives government employees verified account status. On WhatsApp, no users can have a verified account.

Sandes App Screenshots

Another interesting feature in Sandes is the ability to backup chats to a user-preferred external location as well. In WhatsApp users are allowed to just back up their chats to iCloud for iOS users and Google Drive for Android users. But in this new government launched an instant messaging app, users can also send a backup of chats to other locations as well including emails.

A surprising feature offered by the Indian Government-developed app is that users cannot change their mobile numbers ever. There is an option to delete the account but not to change the number. WhatsApp has a dedicated special feature allowing users to change their numbers on the app.

How To Use And Sign Up For Sandes?

Sandes app is now live for users to download and use throughout the country. But how to get the app? Find out here

If you own an Android smartphone then you will have to download the APK file of the Sandes app from the government of India’s GIMS portal. But the app can be downloaded and used by devices running on Android 5.0 and above only.

Things are slightly easier and familiar for iOS users as if you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch then you can simply go to Apple’s App Store and download as you normally download any other app. The app works only for iOS devices running on iOS 12.0 and above.

So downloading of the app is done, now to use the app, all you have to do is register on the app using your mobile number or email ID (if you are a government employee and have an official email ID). Upon doing so, you will receive a 6 digit OTP for authentication of the account.

Now you are ready to start using the latest instant messaging app, Sandes developed by the Government of India on your device. It is very identical to WhatsApp and hence easy to use and migrate as well.


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Jay Kapadia

A Wannabe Computer Science Engineer, Tech-savvy individual and a Sports Geek.

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