This is about installing, setting up and using the XMPP messenger aTalk for Android. This very feature-rich client from an apparently Asian developer has been around since 2014 and is definitely worth a mention!
aTalk describes itself as „an encrypted instant messaging with video call and GPS features for android“ and has certain advantages over other well-known clients that use the XMPP chat standard. In addition, the source code can be viewed (“open source”).
Once you get used to the user interface, you get a very feature-rich client and can not only create chat rooms but also configure them in detail. This is otherwise only possible with the desktop program “Gajim” (the “Swiss army knife” among clients).
Very good and detailed descriptions as well as answers to regularly asked questions (FAQ) (external) are provided. For example, why a first login after creating a new chat account sometimes does not work immediately (for security reasons).
When using aTalk for the first time, it is advantageous to know the basic structure and basic operation. There are several “pages” that are virtually next to each other and you can switch between them by swiping to the left/right:
A page can also be empty and initially display no content.
As a general rule, you can simply tap or long-tap on almost all displayed elements anywhere in the app to display the corresponding context menus.
From aTalk’s description of user guidance:
aTalk uses the android ViewPager concept to present multiple menus. The user slides left/right to access other menus of the same category. ViewPager navigation is used in the main UI and during chat sessions for 1:1 chats and group chats.
Each menu is usually accompanied by additional user-selectable options. These options are accessed via the tool icons displayed in the navigation bar or via the pull-down menu for overflow options. On some older Android devices there is a dedicated menu button.
Access to Chat/Info:
Some of the information or aTalk features can be accessed by short tapping/clicking on the item or icon displayed on the view page, e.g. presence status icon, call buttons, profile picture, etc. Clicking on the contact or chat room starts the chat session.
All aTalk context menus are called up by long clicking/pressing on the element. A long press on a contact element in the main menu opens the context menu, e.g. to activate Text->Language for incoming messages during the chat session.
A heads-up notification is displayed for an incoming call or message. The heads-up notification is used by the user to accept or reject an incoming call. In the case of an incoming message, the user can mark the message as read or reply directly to the message without opening the chat session. You can set the incoming message to snooze mode for half an hour.
aTalk implements systray notifications for many of the incoming events, e.g. incoming calls (busy, missed, secured), incoming messages etc. There are custom notification options for many of these events, e.g. pop-up, sound playback and vibration. aTalk notification events
Here is an excerpt:
One of aTalk’s unique selling points is the option for room owners to configure the settings provided by the respective server.
Possible settings are, for example
-> So for group owners a precise tool for more possibilities than is “normally” possible.
Project page: http://atalk.sytes.net (external)
FAQ from aTalk: https://atalk.sytes.net/atalk/faq.html (external)
Source code: at Github (external)
Installation: F-Droid (external) or PlayStore (external)
Video: YouTube (external)