Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Elegant New Messaging App Wire Embraces Extreme Minimalism

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Elegant New Messaging App Wire Embraces Extreme Minimalism

Article excerpt

There's WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, the list of messaging apps goes on. This week, another one was added to the mix.

Wire is a sleek new communication app created by Iconical, a Switzerland-based group of designers including Skype co-founder Janus Friis. Wire allows users to send messages, make voice calls, post pictures, share music, and pass around videos. The app even allows users to share YouTube videos and SoundCloud files through embedded players. The app is available on iOS, Android, and OS X.

"We asked ourselves how modern communications could look and work," Jonathan Christensen, Wire's co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement. "How could we take full advantage of the latest devices and advances in cloud computing to deliver something that is really simple, very useful and truly beautiful?"

Wire is focused on having "high fidelity paired with elegant design." The app is sleek, with a dark background and white font.

"It has one of the most minimalist interfaces we've seen, in fact - so much so, that we had a tough time getting used to the Mac client's controls and figuring out how to switch accounts," wrote Engadget's Mariella Moon. "Navigating the mobile app felt more natural and entailed mostly swiping and pulling to access different screens."

Wire says it has a star-studded team behind it. The team includes former leaders from Apple, Skype, Nokia, and Microsoft. Mr. Christensen has worked at MSN Messenger and Lync. After Microsoft bought Skype in 2012, Christensen began working on Wire. He says the team's experience allowed them to solve the persisting problems of communication apps.

"There are hundreds of features in the product, and a lot of refinement from being in this space for many years, and knowing where the pain points are," Christensen told The Guardian. "We want to solve all those little, nagging problems that have been persistent for years and years in digital communications. …

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