From receiving timely warnings about air strikes to encrypted messaging, Ukrainians have used a variety of technology platforms to stay informed and stay connected.
Here are some important apps for Android and iOS used by many Ukrainians.
Ukrainians believe that secure communications are key. This is why Signal had over 700,000 downloads in Ukraine in a short period of time (February 24 to March 20, 2022), an increase of more than 1075% month-on-month.
With Signal, users can send and receive text messages, photos, videos, documents, and more, all using End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) encryption, a method that only the sender and receiver can send. can understand the encrypted message. This means that even the owner of the data transmission channel, Internet service providers or hackers can hardly know the information the communicator is transmitting.
Users can also set a self-destruct timer on sent messages so that they disappear after a certain period of time.
Air Alert helps the people of Ukraine by providing important information on civil defense warnings. Even when the phone is on silent mode, the app will emit a loud sound to warn of an air strike or chemical attack.
While civil defense sirens in cities are effective, they are often not useful in remote areas. As a result, Air Alert stands out because all residents need to do is download the app and set up the location.
Diya, an official application of the Digital Transformation Department of Ukraine, allows anyone to access important documents such as passports, Covid-19 certificates or driving licenses. However, as soon as the conflict started, this application has been in turmoil ever since because users cannot access their documents. Recently, however, an eDocument feature was introduced that allows citizens to create a temporary document.
The app had over a million downloads in March 2022. Ukrainians used Telegram as a news channel to update information and warn about war. Even the Ukrainian government has official media channels set up on Telegram.
The app allows encrypted messaging and sets up channels with unlimited users. In addition to news and warnings, locals also use Telegram to share photos, videos, and other updates on what’s happening in their area.
Ukraine’s communications infrastructure has been in disarray since the start of the fighting. Internet loss became a big problem until Starlink, a satellite Internet service provided by billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, helped restore Internet access to Ukrainians.
The Starlink app is estimated to have been downloaded nearly 100,000 times in Ukraine, allowing users to establish wireless Internet connections with thousands of SpaceX satellites launched into low Earth orbit.
There is no denying that the people of Ukraine have made the most of technology to get through the tumultuous period. This becomes more apparent when we look at social media apps like TikTok and Instagram. Ukrainians have strategically used social media to spread awareness of the ongoing conflict to the outside world and rally support around the globe. For example, thanks to social media appeals, more than $50 million in cryptocurrency has been donated to Ukraine since the war broke out.
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