3 new apps that protect your online privacy
A closer look at the three winners of our FlutterVikings contest
This past November, we had the honor of participating in the world’s largest Nordic Flutter conference, FlutterVikings. At the conference, we presented attendees with a challenge: develop a simple mobile application on the @platform in just three days.
In spite of the contest’s tight deadline, we were overwhelmingly impressed by the submissions we received, and ultimately awarded three very deserving winners €500 each. Read more about the winners and their respective apps below.
When full-time Flutter developer Joe Muller first heard about the @protocol, he knew that it would be a perfect fit for an app idea he’d been mulling over.
“It’s really romantic to think that the things that you’re putting into the @protocol are only visible by the two people who are authenticated with the @protocol,” said Joe.
Att@ched, the app Joe would eventually create for the contest, takes advantage of the intimacy that the @protocol enables. Couples can interact privately, sending exclusive notes and sharing memories that cannot be viewed by anyone else, not even a third-party server.
In Joe’s own words: “[Att@ched] was something I would have eventually tried to do in some other way, and now that I know about the @protocol it seems like there would not be a better way to do it.”
Since he had exams at the time, Souvik Biswas spent even less than three days working on PRI@morse, a messaging app that translates your messages into Morse code. The Flutter developer completed his app — which included a custom Morse standard — in a mere 11 hours.
“The international standard of Morse doesn’t support all the lower and uppercase letters of the English alphabet and it also doesn’t support special characters,” said Souvik. “So I invented a custom Morse standard to support all those things, including emojis.”
Souvik was inspired to create his app when he first learned about the @protocol and its focus on data privacy. The app translates messages into Morse code as an extra layer of security against prying eyes.
“in public places, you can open a chat and people beside you can look over your shoulder at your private messages,” Souvik said. “What I did is convert or translate the messages to Morse code, so that only the messages that you want to read are translated to English.”
Upon learning about The @ Company’s challenge, Loughborough University student Alejandro Santiago plunged into action. He contacted his longtime collaborator and high school friend Lucas Melian to see if he wanted to submit something to the competition.
Lucas, who studies film and television production, recalled, “Immediately after I was told about the concept — I was in the library studying at the time — I just said, ‘Okay, I’m going to pack and go home and think about this.’ On the way back home I thought about a trillion ideas.”
With only three days to spare, the pair settled upon Thoughtsky. As the name suggests, you can use Thoughtsky to populate your personal “sky” with your thoughts. An alternative to public mediums like Twitter, Thoughtsky lets you share your musings with only those that you trust. (If you choose not to give anybody else access, you could even use Thoughtsky as a private notes app.)
During the short time period, the duo continued to make improvements to their initial idea. For example, each thought you post must be accompanied by an emotion of your choice. Alejandro explained the rationale behind this addition, saying, “The process of you having to attach an emotion to your thought really makes you reflect on what has happened. It’s not just, here’s this thought, end of story.”
Through their creations, both Lucas and Alejandro hope to change how we interact with technology. As Lucas put it, “All of our ideas towards technology — at least mine — come from a place of hoping to make digital spaces as open as I want real-life spaces to be. I’d like to think that I’m someone who makes an effort to make everyone feel included, so if we can as developers make networks that actually encourage people to behave in that way, then that’s simply amazing.”
Att@ched, PRI@morse, and Thoughtsky are currently still in development. Follow us on Twitter to be notified when they are released.
Learn more about The @ Company from our GitHub repo.