Picture messaging has landed!
We've promised it for ages, so we're delighted to announce that you can now send pictures using Hospify! If you'd like to give it a whirl, you need to make sure that you've installed the latest version of the app - that's version 136 on Android and 103 on iOS (the version number is the last three digits of the code that appears at the bottom of the PIN login screen). If you haven't got that version yet, search for Hospify in your app store and click on "update".
When the new version has been downloaded go to the Settings page and check the slider button "Enable Picture Messaging":
Make sure any friends or colleagues to whom you'd like to send a picture message do this too! Not everyone will have upgraded to the latest version yet, and so we're asking that you all switch on pictures manually, to make certain that the functionality has been enabled at both ends of the conversation. You can send pictures to groups as well, but only people in the group who've upgraded and enabled picture messaging will be able to see the pictures, so make sure you tell everyone in your team to get themselves set up.
When you're ready to send a picture, click on the camera icon (the one the finger is pointing at in the picture at the top of this email). This will open your phone camera, but it will keep the pictures taken inside the Hospify app. Snap a picture, click the green tick accept button when you're happy with it, and then it will automatically go out to whoever you're talking to in whatever chat you're in.
Keeping your photos compliant
There's a couple of things to note about this picture you've just sent. Because it's held inside the Hospify app, it doesn't get shared to your phone's photo album. This is important, because pictures saved in your main photo album often get automatically backed up to the cloud via a service like Apple iCloud or Google GDrive. This means they can end up in the US or even on on the phones of other family members, thus potentially causing a data breachbefore you've even realised what's going on.
Secondly, when Hospify sends the picture to a contact or group, it first sends a thumbnail version using our text message servers which - just like Hospify text messages - is automatically deleted from those servers after 72 hours. The actual picture is meanwhile uploaded to our specialised picture servers, where it's held without any pesky metadata connecting it back to you. Only someone who gets the thumbnail can download it to their phone (which they do by clicking on the thumbnail), and after 30 days the picture gets deleted from Hospify's picture servers whether or not it has been downloaded by anyone.
Also after 30 days, thanks to our automatic in-phone deletion policy, the picture gets deleted from your phone and any other phone it's on as well. If you look on the Settings page screengrab above, you'll notice that the length of time any information can be stored in the app - whether pictures or text - is now shown. At the moment it is set to 30 days for everyone; we may introduce some options for increasing that time limit in due course.
This way, picture messaging complies with Hospify's stringent and compliant data standards and fits in easily with NHS Information Governance policies. If you click on the paperclip symbol above the camera icon, by the way, you'll find you can import and send a picture from your phone's photo gallery (we'll soon be extending this functionality to allow you to important documents as well). Once imported, a photo or document will be handled inside the app and our platform architecture just as if it was taken using the in-app camera icon. Do be careful though. Pictures taken outside of the Hospify app are not as compliant or secure as those taken by the in-app camera.
Goodbye to <ENTER>
All this extra clicking can be tiresome, so at the same time as adding the camera and attachment buttons we've taken a button away: the <ENTER> button on the PIN page. Now when you log in you just have to type your six-digit PIN code; the app then knows you've put in six digits and will go ahead and unlock Hospify (assuming the six digits you've entered are correct!). We'll soon be adding fingerprint scanning too - quite a few of you have been emailing us asking for this - so you can unlock the app even more quickly and easily.
Happy snapping, and share safely...
Co-founder and CEO