Apple and Jabber

- Reading time: 6 minutes -


Due to the restrictive specifications of the operating systems, it is even more difficult to maintain a permanent connection in the background and to display notifications about new messages correctly and promptly with iOS than with Android, for example.

The operating system tries to reduce the power consumption of the device by putting supposedly unused apps into sleep mode/terminating them. When using end-to-end encryption across multiple operating systems, it is also possible that this must be initiated by a “non-Apple device”.

In addition, Apple has defined framework conditions/requirements for the development of an app:

  • An Apple computer (desktop/laptop) is mandatory.
  • The developer must be registered on the Apple platform.
  • Apple charges service fees.


These difficulties in programming are reflected in the significantly smaller variety of apps (including chat apps) on Apple operating systems. Nevertheless, there are various chat programs - each with their own strengths and weaknesses:

  • “Monal” is very well suited for normal chats and telephony and also has a German user interface.

  • “Siskin “ does not yet have a German user interface. The developer company “Tigase” offers the servers “”, “”, “”, “” and “” for the registration of chat accounts (all server locations: USA). However, it is also possible to use a chat account from any server with Siskin.

Notifications (external) has carried out a detailed test of the notifications on various iOS clients using different server software: “I did a quick test of three popular iOS #XMPP chat app (regarding notification reliability)”. Here you can see in which constellations notifications work - or not.

However, too much attention is often paid to the tinkling of notifications, because the supposed obligation to reply immediately means you definitely lose self-determination.


A chat account can be used in several apps at the same time. It can therefore be helpful to set up a chat account with a server provider and then install both apps. This gives you an impression of the respective user interface and you can then decide which app you like better.

The development of Apple clients is currently progressing rapidly. This is primarily being done by volunteers. However, it is also possible to award a development contract for certain functions, as was the case with the audio/video call function in Android clients. As a result, everyone benefits!

Functional comparison of iOS/MacOS Jabber (XMPP) clients

Platform iOS


Program/App Chat-Secure Monal Siskin (tigase) Adium Beagle
Monal PSI+

- German user interface yes yes no yes no no yes
- English user interface yes yes yes ? yes yes yes

- Manage multiple chat accounts yes yes yes yes yes yes no?
- Create chat accounts directly via the app yes yes yes no yes no yes
- Text highlighting in the chat (bold, italics, comments) no no no ? ? no ?
- Audio/video telephony no yes/no yes ? yes yes/no ?
- Renaming contacts in the contact list no yes yes yes ? yes yes
- Chat status notification (XEP-0085) yes yes ? ? ? ? ?
- Show when someone was last online (XEP-0319) no yes ? ? ? ? ?
- Blocking contacts (XEP-0191) yes yes yes ? ? ? ?
- Correct last message (XEP-0308) no yes yes ? yes ? ?
- Withdraw message (XEP-0424) no no yes ? yes ? ?
Receiving and sending files / sharing

- App appears with "Share" function (sending) ? yes ? ? ? ? ?
- Receiving / sending pictures yes/yes yes/yes yes/yes yes/no yes/yes yes/yes ?/?
- Receiving / sending videos no/no yes/yes yes/yes ?/? yes/yes no/no ?/?
- Receiving / sending voice messages yes/yes yes/yes no/no ?/? no/no no/no ?/?
- Receiving / sending other files no/no yes/yes yes/yes ?/? yes/yes yes/yes ?/?
- Receiving / sending position data yes/no yes/yes no/no ?/? ?/? yes/yes ?/?
Message delivery

- Immediate delivery (no noticeable time delay) yes yes yes ? yes yes ?
- Notification via push messages yes yes yes ? no yes ?
- Push messages with display of content no yes no ? no yes ?
- Message distribution to several devices (MAM / MUC-MAM) ? yes/yes ? ? ? ? ?
- Group chats via "MIX" ? no yes ? yes ? ?
Encryption (OMEMO)

- Encryption in individual chats (one end device each) yes yes yes Plugin yes yes Plugin
- Encryption in individual chats (also multiple devices) ? yes yes ? ? ? ?
- Encryption in chat rooms/groups yes yes yes Plugin no no Plugin
- Encrypted file transfer ("AESGCM") ? yes yes ? yes ? ?
- Display of "AESGCM" encrypted images yes yes no ? ? yes ?
- Display your own fingerprint as text yes yes yes ? yes yes ?
- Display your own fingerprint as a QR code no yes no ? no no ?
- Display own devices yes yes yes ? yes yes ?
- Display all keys of the contact yes yes yes ? yes yes ?
- Display fingerprint (contact’s key) as text yes yes yes ? yes yes ?
- Display fingerprint (key from contact) as QR code no yes no ? no no ?
- Trust other devices / withdraw trust ? yes yes ? yes ? ?
Administration of chat rooms/groups

- Change topic yes no ? ? ? no ?
- Manage user rights no no ? ? ? no ?
- Manage settings ? no ? ? ? no ?
- Delete chat rooms/groups ? no ? ? ? no ?

Tabelle: Stand Nov. 2023 (blau markierte Texte = Änderungen seit Feb. 2022)

Clients not listed

  • Astra-Chat - program version 2017
    + Version for iOS and MacOS
    - Anti-Feature: Closed Source / non-free
    - No OMEMO but own encryption (from AstraChat to AstraChat)
    - No notifications
    - Image sending/file/voice sending only from AstraChat to AstraChat

  • Movim (MacOS) BETA version 0.13.90 (as of 08/2019)

  • PSI (MacOS) - no info yet

  • Spark (MacOS) - Version 2.8.3 from 17.01.2017