When comparing Disa vs Riot, the Slant community recommends Riot for most people. In the question“What are the best messaging apps for Android?” Riot is ranked 3rd while Disa is ranked 14th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Open source plugin API
Everyone can develop their own plug-ins.
Pro Easy to use
Disa is very easy to use and has an open source API, so many new services will be added soon.
Pro Customizable notifications
Ability to set different notification sound/vibration/led based on the plugin.
Pro Unified conversations
Ability to merge conversations from the same contact on different services.
Pro Does what it's supposed to do, without bloatware
Pro Friendly developers and generally good G+ community
Fast, decent replies to questions, even if they've been asked before.
Pro Many requested features
The developer team does actually listen to the community and adds requested features.
Pro Pushbullet support
Disa works great with Pushbullet, allowing you to answer from your PC.
Pro Many languages
Help and support in many languages.
Pro Disa takes privacy much more serious
Currently, the Disa team knows less about you than the website you're currently visiting.
Pro Great material design
With color-changing design with custom colors for each service.
Pro Uses Matrix, the open communications protocol
Pro Supports text, voice, video
Integrates with Jitsi for multi-party video chats
Pro Web and mobile (iOS, Android) versions available
Pro Very good and simple interface
Riot has a very simple interface, adding the ability for more unexperienced PC-Users to use it.
Pro Widgets support
Want to watch that flick at YouTube and discuss it at the same time? Have Grafana graphs stacked above your DevOps team chat? Collaboratively edit Google Docs and chat over without switching applications? This is possible with Riot.
Pro Bridges to other networks
You're not confined within Riot's or even Matrix garden, and you don't have to make users of other networks switch to Matrix.
Con Does not support Google SMS
Con doesn't support MOST messaging apps
Con Disa doesn't follow the Google Design Guidelines
Hamburger Menu/Navigation Drawer (Side Menu):
Maybe a Launch screen?:
Con Closed source
Disa is closed source, so the development speed is capped of their team, no external developer can help or add features that are not on the route of the team.
Con Doesn't support WhatsApp at the moment
Con Smaller development team leading somewhat slow implementation of requested features
Though the main development (framework, etc) is moving along fine, things like quick reply and sending multiple images at once should've been in quicker.
Con Constantly asks to re-authenticate WhatsApp
Con Doesn't let you customize notifications per conversation or contact
Con Still in active yet early development
There is clearly a User Experience issue esp. in web version which the developers are aware of and are working hard to improve. They've got the concept concrete, so UX won't be an issue in no time. Most often used parts are functional, but some are yet not.
The success of riot depends on how fast the development is, or it'll get outdated too quickly as developers of Signal and Telegram have predicted.