Algorand Mobile Wallet – Test and Review
Here’s a short review for the Algorand mobile cryptocurrency wallet for Android and iOS. As a reference, I have tested the wallet with one of my older, low-end smartphones, a Huawei Y6II Compact running Android 5.1. The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, comes at light-weight 7.6 MB and is compatible with all Android devices from Android version 4.4 upwards. For iOS users, the wallet is available on the App Store for devices running iOS 11.0 or later, albeit at a bulkier 43.9 MB.
After installing and starting the app, we are greeted with a title screen that gives us the option to create a new wallet or import an existing wallet, using a seed phrase. When creating a new account, we need to choose a six-digit PIN, which we will need in order to unlock the wallet later. For devices with touch or face ID, the wallet can be additionally secured using one of these methods.
After setting and confirming our PIN and optionally enabling touch or face ID, we see our 25-word seed phrase for the first time. In case we forget our seed phrase at a later point in time, we can access it again from the app after unlocking it with the PIN. I probably won’t have to tell you that you should always keep your seed phrases at a secure place and never disclose it to others unless you want to give them access to your funds. I have therefore blackened out most of my seed phrase in the picture below.
Personally, I prefer the low-fi option of noting down my seed phrases using pen and paper, but if you want to store them digitally, the app also gives you the option to view your seed phrase as a QR-code. Also, the app requires us to confirm that we have secured the seed phrase. For this, the app presents us with a scrambled up set of words. After picking the correct word of our seed phrase three times, our wallet is all set up.
For the sake of testing, I have funded my wallet with 10 ALGO. Thanks to Algorand’s Pure Proof of Stake consensus algorithm, the funds start earning staking rewards immediately. This is also the reason why you should prefer holding ALGO in Algorand’s official wallet, rather than a third-party wallet, an exchange, or a staking service provider. Even if they have staking enabled and let you profit from staking rewards, they might not distribute the rewards immediately, causing you to miss out on compound effects.
(With the official Algorand wallet, you can watch your funds grow in real time.)
Now, let’s try transferring some funds to our second account. As expected from a crypto wallet, it can show you your public address, so you can accept payments from others. Since we have chosen to transfer from one account to another in the same wallet, the app fills out the receiving address automatically. Also, we can add addresses as contacts and associate them with a name if we want to make recurring payments to the same address.
As you can see, the fee for this transaction was just 0.001 ALGO (~$0.00023). Due to Algorand’s transaction throughput of over 1000 TPS with a block time of only 5 seconds, the transaction got confirmed near instantly on the Algoexplorer.
(Not even 24 hours later, my staking rewards have already paid for the transaction.)
One peculiarity that I have noticed when making transactions is that you enter the transaction amount from the right side of the decimal digits, so when you tap on your number pad, the key you pressed is entered as the sixth decimal digit, while pushing all other digits one to the left. Alternatively, when you delete the amount field, the first key that you press will be added as the first decimal digit.
This does indeed feel a bit awkward at first since like most people, I am used to entering numbers from the left-hand side. On a second look, however, it is not very hard to get used to and it makes a lot of sense in terms of transaction security. This way, you never have to touch the decimal point, which makes it less likely to end up making a decimal error and accidentally transferring ten times the amount you actually want to transfer. So I guess that this is an added security feature.
(In order to send 1 ALGO, tap 1-0-0-0-0-0-0, or delete the field and tap 1-0.)
To sum up this review, the Algorand mobile wallet is a very intuitive and easy to use crypto wallet. Although I tested on an older low-end phone, the app reacted instantly to my inputs at all times. ALGO funds that are held in the wallet are staked automatically and earn staking rewards in real-time. On top of that, transactions on the Algorand blockchain are lightning-fast and super cheap.
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