Siskin (iOS)

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This is about installing, setting up and using the XMPP messenger Siskin. Siskin offers the possibility to use a Jabber (XMPP) chat account on Apple devices. Like many other clients, Siskin is developed as open source software by volunteers and the project can be supported with donations or development contracts.

Project page: (external)


The installation is done via the Apple App Store (external)


Unfortunately, Siskin is not yet internationalized at the moment - i.e. there is no language adaptation for the (English) user interface.


After installation, the following settings should be checked/activated in the settings (“Settings”):

  • Accounts / select chat account / the functions “Push” and “MAM”
    Activating “MAM” includes the options “Enabled”, “Automatic synchronization”, “Synchronization” / “Last 365 days”
  • Chats / “HTTP upload and download” function
  • Chats / Messages / “Request delivery receipt” and “Encryption: OMEMO” function
  • Chats / Attachments / “File sharing via HTTP”
  • Experimental / The “Bookmark sync” function and possibly also “Markdown”
  • Contacts / General / “Auto-authorize contacts”

There is no automatic recognition of the push functionality. If push notifications are technically supported by the server, Siskin asks (only once) whether they are wanted. If you accidentally select “No” here, you can “reactivate” this manually in the chat account settings. Siskin also asks the first time when transferring files (uploading files via “HTTP”). The option for this can be found under “Settings / Chat”.

If the “HTTP upload” option is not activated in Siskin, you will be asked whether you want to activate this when sending a file.

A/V telephony

With Siskin, audio and video calls are also possible to Conversations (from Conversatins to Siskin only if both participants are online).

Tip: Save images

It is possible to save or share images received in Siskin although there is no special function for this. Not very intuitive but it works:
* go to the (i) at the top of the chat * then go to Attachments at the bottom * tap and hold on the corresponding image * select “share” or “copy”

Tip: end-to-end encryption

If the key exchange did not work, the following may help:

  1. deactivate “push” and then activate it again
  2. swipe the contact to the left in the contact list in Siskin, select “Edit” and deactivate and reactivate “Subscriptions Presence Send/Receive”.

Confirming the option causes the keys and status etc. to be exchanged, which is necessary for end-to-end encryption.

Developer information (as of 08/2019)

  • Notifications

    • connection to push-server only via s2s-dialback - not able to connect from all servers though
    • Push notifications from Ejabberd servers to “” are accepted
    • Push notifications from APNS do not seem to be passed through at the moment
  • File exchange / sharing function

    • Images (send) are uploaded via http after this has been explicitly activated in the settings
    • Images (sending) are stored unencrypted
    • Non-encrypted images are displayed embedded in the chat
    • Encrypted images are displayed as a link in the chat
    • Receiving encrypted audio is not integrated, but via a download link
    • Sending audio is not integrated into the app, but can be forwarded from another app to individual chats using the “Share” function\
    • Receiving geo-coordinates (“location”) :) is not integrated
    • Sending geo-coordinates is not integrated, but can be forwarded from a map app to individual chats using the “Share” function
    • Receiving other files (PDF) is possible via a link (“download link”)
    • Sending other files (PDF) is not integrated, but can be forwarded from another app to individual chats using the “Share” function
  • End-to-end encryption

    • In the settings, you can select whether encryption is active by default or not (“none” or “omemo”). The default setting is initially without (“none”).
    • Each chat starts with the setting stored there, but can be changed to “none” or “omemo”.

External instructions

French instructions: (external)

Note: Have you found a better/more up-to-date manual online? Then I would be pleased to receive a short information: >>contact<<_


A comparison of different Apple clients can be found >> here <<.