Reliance Jio, an Indian-based mobile Internet company, has launched a free video-conferencing app targeting marketing shares of the likes Zoom, Google Meet and Skype.
The app has officially been in development for a while and was available on an invite only basis for the past months. It is not completely clear which countries will officially have access to Jiomeet. It can be downloaded in many countries and has, as of today, over 100K downloads on the Google Play Store, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
It is hard not to notice the stark influence of Zoom in the development and design of Jiomeet.
The blue tone might be a little different but the icon design and user interface are practically a clone of the Zoom app. This has not gone unnoticed by users and press alike. Twitter is full of tweets mocking resemblance and although most outlets are only comparing Jiomeet to Zoom as a rival, Android Authority’s headline is little more blunt:
JioMeet is a Zoom copy that allows 24-hour-long meetings for freeAndroid Authority
The app is free to download with no mention of in-app purchases. There is no mention of any business or premium plans on the web, so it is safe to say that everyone can use the full features for free. Since nothing is really for free, there is a fair chance that your data is the currency.
Security & Privacy
There is still a lack of clarity if there will be end-to-end encryption, or any encryption at all. As far as privacy goes, a look at the app permissions and the company private policy does not reveal any extra effort to protect users privacy or data.
The app requests access to
- Calendar: read and modify
- Contacts: read and modify
- Phone: read status and make calls
- Storage: read and modify
- System: Wi-Fi connection, network-access, location, screen and notification settings etc.
The company policy makes it clear that Reliance Jio will share your private data with third parties for promotional services as well as external organizations, or individuals, in case it is legally required, to protect the public or to “detect, prevent or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues”.
According to the company, all collected data will retained for a limited duration, without specifying how long limited actually is.
Once the purpose is achieved, all personal information is deleted in a safe and secure mode,Jio
Recordings will be stored on company servers for a period of 7 days. There is no mention where the servers are located but the chances are high that they are in India, where the company is based.
Not only does Jiomeet look like Zoom, it also practically has the same features BUT all of them for free. Aside from the expected features like invites, instant meetings, chat, waiting rooms and password protection, Jiomeet shines with its practically limitless meeting duration and the fact that you can host a meeting for up to 100 participants for free.
With their new app Reliance Jio is taking a serious jab at the video-conferencing market. If you do not mind the copying and the privacy issues, Jiomeet sounds like a worthy opponent for the rest of the competition. Time will show if they are good enough to steal a piece of the cake from the others.