A bit like Telegram has a Telegram X for highlighting new beta features (no neither have anything at all to do with the X network), so has Element now “ignited” their Element X messenger. It will eventually become the main Element app.
The reason it is different, is that it uses the new Matrix API called Sliding Sync, and they are not joking when they say it is 6,000 times faster than the classic Element app. That slick speed is immediately noticeable. They have also integrated Matrix’s own voice and video chat (or will be later on in X) instead of using Jitsi meetings as an external service.
The other thing is that the UI is much improved too. This is all with the aim of making Element X become a preferred instant messenger for everyone. Yes, there is Signal and other E2EE messengers, but have you noticed you still require a phone number and / or e-mail to register with Signal? Element has been re-developed natively using Rust for both Android and iOS, so updating it will be easier in future.
Matrix, as a service, is starting to become really interesting. Apart from the one big server most of us know, it is also a service that is self-hosted by many organisations, individuals, as well as governments to ensure maximum privacy as well as control. This allows those organisations to fully verify who connects, and to enforce E2EE in rooms and chats.
But where Matrix really differentiates itself, is its ability to do numerous types of bridges, and to interconnect with WhatsApp, XMPP, IRC, Telegram, and many more services. This is why Beeper uses Matrix to power their services.
So with this move to Element X, Matrix is clearly being strongly positioned for the future, and it is also clear that Matrix was not satisfied with just incremental adoption and advances in their technology.
Just note that although the iOS and Android apps are available now in the official stores, the Android APK install file can also be obtained directly from the linked GitHub project location under Releases.