One of the main reasons I’m attracted to Delta Chat is that it doesn’t require all my friends and family to go download yet another messaging app. I am getting really tired of the, “Download this messaging app, because it’s way better than that messaging app!” conversation. I think I might punch the next person that tells me to download another messaging app that doesn’t interoperate with anything else besides that app.
With Delta Chat, people can use their already-installed email apps to communicate with me. I don’t have to try to convince anyone to use my new favorite app. But there’s one major problem: Delta Chat messages are not designed for traditional email users. So it’s not really realistic for me to think I can communicate with my traditional email friends through this app. They’ll probably ask me to stop using my “annoying” chat app before I am able to convince them to download Delta Chat.
I don’t know the fine details of how Delta Chat works, and I’m still not very clear about the internal workings of the email protocol, so please forgive me if I suggest something impossible:
- When I send a message to a traditional email user, I need to specify a subject that doesn’t change with every message, and is designed for humans reading traditional email. Most of the suggestions in the existing Subject topic lean toward having a standard format. But I’m talking about allowing me to write my own subject line for each conversation. This helps traditional email apps properly group messages into threads, and doesn’t make users think, “What the heck is Phil doing with his emails? This is an unhelpful subject line.”
- When I change a group member list, or change the group name, Delta Chat shouldn’t send emails out to every traditional email user telling them that I changed the group. This is spam, and leaves a bad taste in my traditional friends’ mouths. Later if I tell them what app I’m using and why I sent that spam, they’ll think, “Oh, OK I’ll avoid that app, cuz it sure is annoying.”
- When I respond to an email, it needs a subject line of “Re: [Original Subject Here]”
In other words, I would like Delta Chat to have a “Traditional Email Mode” for all non-Delta recipients. Where by default it produces well-behaved emails that blend in seamlessly with other emails in friends’ inboxes. And later when I convince my friend to use Delta Chat, only then switch to the verbose Delta Chat Way, just for that friend.
More concrete suggestions:
- When starting a new chat, Delta could do a couple things:
- Assume they are traditional email users, and then if they respond with an email that has a Delta Chat-specific header, then switch to “Delta” mode.
- Give the user an option to use “traditional” mode or not.
- For the email subject, I think this could look like having a text box at the top of the screen that allows you to type a subject line, and every message that gets sent would have that subject line. When Delta detects that the recipient is also using Delta Chat, that text box could go away.
I know I must be over-simplifying something, or asking for something unreasonable. If so, I’m sorry. Please let me know.