The UNIHELD Student ID

Not keen on paperwork?

Take a photo of your student ID and save it to your UNIHELD profile so you’ll always have it on hand. You will benefit from numerous discount and special offers, the UNIHELD benefits. All offers are available for students only.

Save your student ID to your UNIHELD profile. Instructions:


  1. Open your „Profile“
  2. Choose „Edit“ (top right corner)
  3. Click on „Student ID“
  4. Pick your student ID from your photo library or use your camera and take a picture
  5. Click „Done“ (top right corner)
  6. That´s all. If you experienced any problems, you can repeat the procedure anytime.


  1. Open the context menu
  2. Choose „student ID“
  3. Take a picture of your student ID
  4. Confirm your selection (ok, done)
  5. That´s all. If you experienced any problems, you can repeat the procedure anytime.

Please note: Your student ID will only be stored on your device.

Note for using the energy saving mode

Please keep in mind that enabling the energy saving mode might cause problems with regard to push notification transfer.

What is benefits?

No mon no fun? Nope. We have some quite extraordinary deals for you! Unforgettable vacation, lit sport’s club membership or some drinks for free?
Sign up now for benefits to get the best deals!

I am not able to sign up for benefits with my e-mail address. What to do?

No probs, most probably your university is not yet listed with us.

Please send us a short mail from your university e-mail (not gmail or so), including

  • The university’s name and
  • the name of the program of study

to our UNIHELD support team. We get back to you as soon as possible!

How to add a contact?

Why are my friends and contacts who already use UNIHELD not listed?

We do not know any phone numbers or email addresses of you or your communications partners. When you send invitations via SMS or E-Mail, this happens outside the scope of our system, so we do not know, store or transmit the phone number or email address of the people you invite.

How to add a contact:

How to add a contact ( iOS / Android )

Choose one of the following options:

Send your invitation via

    1. SMS
    2. E-Mail

or invite a contact per

  1. Code
  2. or „Nearby“- Mode

Invite per SMS & E-Mail

You can send a SMS or E-mail invitation to one or more recipients.


Open the SMS or E-Mail invitation and click the included link. A browser window will open up. Please choose “accept invite” to confirm the invitation. UNIHELD will now open up and your newly friended contact is added to your friend’s list.

Scan / Accept

Invite per Code

One user picks the option “scan”, the other one “generate”. Now you can scan the code to become friends. It is also possible to manually fill in the invitation code.

invite per code

Add a friend by using the “Nearby” mode

  1. Activate the “Nearby” mode (please make sure that you and the invitee are located in the vicinity of approx. 100 m)
  2. Open your contact’s user profile (click on avatar image)
  3. Select „add as friend“
  4. Confirm the invitation in your UNIHELD account

Nearby / invite friends

Delete & Remove contacts


Please open the user profile (click on avatar), select “edit” and choose “delete contact”. In a second step you will be asked if you would like to keep the chat history (keep data) or delete everything for good.


Please open the user profile (click on avatar), select “edit” (pencil icon) and choose “delete contact” (trash can icon). Now the connection to this contact is deleted. To delete the remaining chat history, click the “delete icon” again.

What to do when receiving no push notifications or experiencing great delays?


In case that you do not receive any push notifications or you are experiencing great delays check the following settings and options:


  • Google Play Services are installed and up-to-date
  • “Show notification” is activated in your phone’s settings > apps > UNIHELD
  • For WI-FI usage: The ports 5228-5230 are approved
  • Make sure that other apps (i.e. Energy management, App management, firewall etc.) do not influence the App’s or GCM’s performance, if you use apps that optimize battery life, which manage performance of other apps in the background, GCM push notifications can be affected. Please exclude UNIHELD from those apps.

Given that all above named-points do not do the trick, please activate “polling” in the app’s settings (UNIHELD > settings > polling).

Polling – an alternative to GCM

The “polling” setting should be activated in case

  • you are facing troubles receiving push-notifications
  • Google Play Services are not installed on your device
  • UNIHELD is running on a Blackberry


What are push notifications and GCM and how does it work?

UNIHELD uses GCM (Google Cloud Messaging) to announce the arrival of a new message by “waking” up your phone via “push”.

While UNIHELD is running in foreground, your client is directly connected with the UNIHELD server and new messages can be passed through immediately. After five minutes in background, the connection to the server is determined. To now announce the retrieval of a new message, the client needs to “wake up”. This is done by using GCM.

An alternative to GCM: Polling

You can use polling as an alternative or supplementary feature to GCM. Choose an interval between 5 and 15 minutes for contacting the server to find out if new messages are available. In case there are new messages, a notification is then sent to your phone.


UNIHELD uses APN (Apple Push Notification Service) to send out push notifications in order to announce new UNIHELD messages.

If you do not receive any push notifications or you are experiencing great delays, please check the following settings and options:

  • Check your device’s settings > notifications > UNIHELD
    1. “Allow notification” is activate
    2. Option “Banner” or “Alerts” is chosen
    3. “Sounds”, “Badge icon” and “show on lock screen” are
  • In WI-FI networks: Make sure that the TCP Ports 5223 and 443 are not blocked
  • Restart your device

Where are my contacts?

We neither want to access your address book nor your personal data. That’s why your chat and contact list is empty the first time you open your messenger. Get started and invite some friends to chat!

I cannot send SMS invitations. What can I do?

Please restart your phone and try again.

How do I accept a contact request?

Click on the link given in your invitation mail or SMS. You can also scan or enter your friend’s invitation code to connect. Friend’s requests by nearby and group acquaintances are signalized in app.

Do I have to submit a phone number at any point?

Nope. We want as little information as possible. Therefore, you neither have to submit your telephone number nor your email address or any other sensitive data.

What is the fingerprint?

The fingerprint is a control sum of your public encryption key. For extra security, you can compare this fingerprint with the fingerprint seen in your contact card on your friend’s device and mark it as verified.

Expert information: The key ID is the SHA256 hash of the public key truncated to 8 bytes (16 digits hex).

How do I delete single messages or whole conversations?

Deletion of single messages
Click two seconds on a message or an attachment and select “delete” in the appearing menu.

Deletion of a conversation

iOS: A whole conversation can be deleted when opening the corresponding chat and clicking on the action button on the upper right. Chose “delete all xxx messages” to delete the whole conversation. Files previously saved to the device’s storage remain unaffected.

Android: Delete a conversation by clicking two seconds on the chat to be deleted (in tab “Chats”) and confirm action by clicking “delete”.

On which platforms can I use the messenger?

Our app is currently available for all devices running iOS7 or higher (iPhone, iPod, iPad) on the Apple App Store and for Android smartphones with Android 4.0 or higher on the Google Play Store.

What about Windows/ Blackberry/ Symbian support?

Currently our app is available for Android and iOS. Blackberry 10 devices – being able to run Android apps – can install our messenger by downloading the APK from our website.

Windows and Symbian are not yet supported but as we are quite ambitious, there will be a lot to come in the future.

What is “Nearby”?

“Nearby” communication is our spontaneous data sharing feature. No need to connect to unknown peeps: you can interact with all users who reside within a radius up to 100 meters around you and also use the nearby mode. Texts and attachments will be transferred safely – just how you are used to it. Plus: messages and attachments can be sent and received gesture-controlled.

Start Nearby mode
Change to the nearby tab to start the nearby mode. The app will immediately start searching for other users nearby enabling you to start a conversation and spontaneously exchange data with anybody around you also running “nearby”.

Add nearby contacts as friends to stay in contact or create a permanent group from nearby group to stay in touch even when people leave nearby or deactivate the nearby mode.

Nearby mode is deactivated the moment you switch tabs again.
Find more information on nearby in our privacy and security statement.

Is it safe to exchange messages in “Nearby”?

The transfer of all texts, pics, videos or other attachments is secured with our end-to-end encryption.

Please note: When exchanging messages in the “All Nearby”-Group a new user can appear in the group at any time and will be able to receive your messages. Make sure to share confidential content only within a “normal” chat.

How does “Nearby” work?

When you activate nearby mode, your client sends location data to our servers. This data is encrypted during transportation and will be decrypted and stored on the server until you deactivate nearby mode or disconnect. The location data is processed to temporarily connect you with other users close to you, who also have the nearby mode activated.

In Nearby mode you can participate in conversations without actually being friends with these users. Your location data will be deleted from our servers as soon as you leave nearby mode.

Why is our messenger that safe?

The messenger uses several factors, which combined, result in a highly secure service. Here are the most important ones for you summed up:

  • Data minimization. We respect and therefore, protect your privacy as you do not need to indicate a telephone number, your email address or any other sensitive data to our messaging service.
  • Transport and end-to-end encryption are protecting your messages
  • Servers: Our servers are all located in Germany and are therefore subject to the German data protection law. All messages and attachments are encrypted and only stored on our servers as long as they are in transmission. Afterwards they are deleted immediately.

Will my contacts be scanned?

No! The app accesses your address book and your location data only to create encrypted attachment data and no information from your address book or location data is transferred to our servers in a form we can decipher.

Can I use my account on multiple devices?

Not yet, but we are working on it.

Can I migrate my account information between iOS and Android?

Yes! Here’s how it works:

for iOS

Export account data

    1. First, open iTunes on your computer.
    2. Open our messaging app on your device and tap on your profile and “edit”.
    3. Scroll down and press “export credentials”. You will be asked to pick a strong password.
    4. Then connect the device to iTunes and go to the device page.
    5. Then select the Apps tab and scroll down to the file sharing section and select our messaging application. In the right hand list you will find the file credentials.json.
    6. Drag and drop it to the desktop.
    7. Now your log-in data is saved on your computer.

Import account data

  1. To transfer your account information to a new/other device, you need to connect that new device to iTunes.
  2. Select the device and go to the Apps tab again.
  3. Select our messaging service in the file sharing section and drag credentials.json from the desktop to the right hand list.
  4. Now launch the messenger on your new device and go to your profile.
  5. Tab edit and press “import credentials” and enter the password you have chosen at the beginning of this process.
  6. Relaunch the app and enjoy.

for Android

Export account data

    1. Open our messenger on your device and tap on settings and „export credentials“.
    2. You will be asked to pick a strong password and tab „OK“.
    3. Then connect the device to your computer or use a file manager app.
    4. You will find a file named „credentials.json“ in the root directory of your device.
    5. Copy that file to your computer or to another device.
    6. Now your log-in data is saved.

Import account data

  1. To import your credentials to an other/new device, transfer those credentials to your new phone and make sure that it is located in the root directory.
  2. Start the app again and go to “settings” and tap “import credentials”.
  3. Enter now the password you have memorized beforehand and tap “OK”.
  4. Now the credentials will be loaded from the imported file and all your contacts will be synchronized.
  5. To be sure, please restart the app and enjoy!

Please note: You cannot run one account on multiple devices yet!

How long are files saved on the server?

We store messages as long as they are in transmission. Once a message reached the designated recipient, it is deleted immediately.

Webserver – Import and forward “other” files

Webserver (Attachment Access)

You can access and save all received attachments or import any file in order to forward it by using the web server feature.

  • Access all received files
  • Save received files on your computer
  • Import any file regardless format or size
  • Securely share .pdf, .ppp, .html and many more

How does it work?

  1. Connect to a private network
  2. Open the app settings > Webserver (Attachment Access) > activate (slide control)
  3. Open a web browser (Firefox, Chrome, etc.) on your computer and insert the http:// address indicated in your App
  4. Fill in the indicated username as well as the named password in the dialogue window (Have a close look on punctuation!)
  5. Manage your files using the web interface
  6. All imported files will be visible under “media” on your phone. Click on “media” and “edit” to share any file with your contacts.

Please note, that it is not possible to import folders. Furthermore, you have to keep your app running in foreground in order to use the web server feature.

For security reason: Do not start the server when connected to an untrusted public WIFI-network.

Some features do not work on my Android phone. Why?

Our apps are programmed to comply with the latest state of the art. Many features are dependent on Android-Service-Apps and the latest Android software. To eliminate errors due to outdated applications and Android versions, your Android device should have all the latest software and Google-Service- updates installed.

„Nearby” does not work. / No GPS signal can be found. What to do?

  • Please check if the location services are activated and available.
  • Please update your Android system regularly, so that your device always runs on the latest firmware.

Can I secure my app with a passcode? What is a mugshot?

  • Access control / Passcode request
  • Touch-ID control (iOS user only)
  • Mugshot (iOS user only)

Access Control

Protect your app and all its contents with our access control feature:

  • App settings > Access Control > Passcode timeout

Set the passcode timeout and enter a passcode. This passcode is now requested when opening the app.

Please note: Memorize your passcode well as it cannot be recovered. iOS users can also activate touch-id for access control (iPhone 5s, iPad air, iPad mini 3 or newer).

Mugshot (iOS only)

Besides the passcode protection, you are now able to activate the mugshot feature:

  • App settings > Access Control > Enable Mugshot

When entering a wrong passcode a photo will be taken with the front camera. This photo is saved in your app under Media > Visual

(The mugshot is intently not saved to your phone’s library as an unauthorized user would have access and be able to delete it.)

When this feature is activate and no passcode is set, a mugshot is taken every time you open the app.

Which permissions are needed on Android and why?

Icon Identity Identity
To open the Google Maps view, it is necessary to have this permission. Google Maps is solely used to open a location attachment.

contacts Contacts & Calendar
This permission is used to send an invitation via text message (SMS) or e-mail as well as v-card attachments. All data remains on your device and is not transferred to our servers.

Icon Location Location:
Your location is needed only when using the „Nearby“- Mode or sending a location as attachment. Your data is of course end-to-end encrypted, also in nearby mode.

Icon Photo-Media-Files Photos / Media / Files
This permission is used to manage your message attachments (e.g. images, videos, audio). Furthermore the permission is required to access images for your personal avatar upload.

Icon Camera Microphone Camera / Microphone
Your camera is switched on in case you want to scan a QR code to pair with a friend or send an image attachment directly taken from the camera.

WIFI Wi-Fi connection information
This permission is used for communication via Wi-Fi or cellular networks. Moreover, it regulates up- and download limits in case the user has modified this setting.

USB Storage icon USB Storage
To save and manage all sent and received attachments from our messaging app on a SD card.

Accounts / Service configuration Icon Find accounts on device / read Google service configuration
This permission allows to send and display push notifications.

Control vibration Icon Control vibration
Used for incoming push notifications

sleep mode icon Prevent phone from sleeping
Prevents the phone / tablet from sleeping when driven in nearby mode

Account backup & recovery (iOS Tutorial)

Making a backup is pretty useful from time to time. Your app’s credentials or messages and attachments are not automatically backed up and only saved on your phone’s or tablet’s memory. Learn how to save your account data here.

Account backup & recovery (Android Tutorial)

Making a backup is pretty useful from time to time. Your credentials or messages and attachments are not automatically backed up and only saved on your phone’s or tablet’s memory. Learn how to save your account data here.

Multiple text message invitations using Google Hangout

In case the recipient does not use “Hangout” the MMS setting for group chats needs to be deactivated. This can be done as follows:

  • Group messages Google Hangouts – contextual menu / „people & options“
  • Go to settings in the „people & options“ menu
  • Choose SMS in settings
  • Select „advanced“ and deactivate „Send MMS to group“

Now all invites will be send to a group via SMS and can also be opened and read by non-Google-Hangout users.

Rooted Devices

Our service is optimized for all Android versions starting at 4.0. „Rooted devices“ are not included. Please note, that our messenger could crash due to lacking permissions on rooted devices. Performance issues can also occur.

How to report crashes on Android?

Android user can send us feedback immediately, by allowing crash information to be sent. The HockeySDK for Android collects the following non-personal data:

  • Package name, version code, and version name of your app.
  • Device OEM, device type, and version of the operating system.
  • Timestamp when the crash happened.
  • Exception data like exception message, package, class, file names, and line numbers of the crashed thread

How can I delete my account for good?

To keep our service running, we need to store some user information on our servers:

  • a persistent random number representing your client id
  • the chosen nicknames
  • the chosen avatars
  • relationship to other clients and group memberships

To delete these information for good, you need to delete it from our server. As a result, you will not appear in your friends’s contact list, will be deleted from your active groups and you won’t be able to login anymore. Deinstalling the application does not do the trick. So here is how it works:

Delete account from server

  1. Open your profile
  2. Edit profile
  3. Select “delete account from server” and confirm

Please note: Once you have deleted this information from our server, the account is deleted for good. No backup or credential import will restore this information. The server will refuse any login from an unknown user and that’s what you are once the account is deleted.

Can all files be sent safely?

We have no insight to contents that are sent with our app. We regard ourselves as a data transport service and offer users the freedom to transfer all non DRM-protected files safe and fast and without any restrictions of form or size. Needless to say, users have to note third-party rights to the shared files.