Message app


#1

What is a good free no ads/tracking app for sending messages to/from android phone.


#2

The best there is Kontalk. But is the least spread. So usually people chose one that their friends use


#3

no ads/spyware etc? i want one for me and someone i work with that is free and not phoning home/tracking so it does not matter not many have it

Carrier fees for internet traffic may apply? What does that mean? you have to be on a network? I want something to replace sms texts


#4

No app on F-Droid has spyware and apps with ads are clearly marked with an anti feature. So: No.


#5

https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.smssecure.smssecure/


#6

ok thanks for the help


#7

oF2pks ok that looks better. but says it may cost. are’nt things like viber free to send messages. i want something like that but open source


#8

Conversations and one of these free servers that accept registrations: https://compliance.conversations.im/

SMS will incur costs indeed.


#9

so no free like viber but open source non google?


#10

There is also Tigase messenger (though that version is old, current one is 3.0.2: https://tigase.tech/projects/tigase-mobilemessenger/repository/revisions/15bf44c71fd2e68e9b6a8c96d95c2f70f734e6f3/diff/app/build.gradle). You can use tigase.im/sure.im server


#11

Free and open source, yes
Not depending on Google or a phone number, yes


#12

does viber have sms charges?
Licaon_Kter what is free open source not google and no sms chares


#13

All SMS apps have SMS charges, yes


#14

There are a million options for messaging these days, so the best answer really depends on how and with whom you want to exchange messages. Without any more information, I would recommend Signal. Signal supports iOS and Android devices (as well as several desktop OS like Mac, Windows, and Linux). While it does rely on a centralized service (the Signal Foundation), as most messaging apps do, the Signal apps are all open source and verifiably secure by extensive peer review due to its popularity. On Android, Signal acts as your SMS/texting app. If the contacts you are messaging also have Signal, then the messages are automatically end-to-end encrypted and use your internet data connection. If anyone in a group chat is not using Signal, then the messages are not encrypted and become regular SMS messages through your cell service provider. The transparent way it handles identifying other Signal users and encrypting information is quite impressive, and if you are curious at all about how such things work I recommend reading some of their help pages, such as this one.

Personally I mostly use Riot (you’ll have to search for it because I’m only allowed two links per post). It is not only open source and user-friendly and supports most platforms, it is also a decentralized system, meaning that I can (and I do) run my own server yet can still communicate with anyone on the federated network. You know, kinda like how email works, but without being stuck in 1998 :slight_smile: I have been able to convince enough of the people I want to chat with to use it, but it does not integrate with SMS or act as an SMS app. I am hoping that if they stick with it, they will see that Riot (and other Matrix clients) will still be around and flourishing while all these other centralized, proprietary, and typically unethical services come and go.


#15

But not the server, right? Open source yes, unusable yes. :frowning:

Food for thought, as F-Droid is mentioned too: https://drewdevault.com/2018/08/08/Signal.html


#16

the Signal apps are all open source and verifiably secure

Not sure why plural, but the Signal app is not entirely open source. It includes proprietary code to communicate with Google’s notification server. That’s why it’s not on F-Droid.

Also Signal’s author promotes the Google Play:

The safest and easiest way to install Signal for Android is through the Google Play Store.

Needless to say that Google Play Services on your phone totally ruin your privacy and freedom. I wouldn’t trust Signal.


#17

I agree with you about Google Services and also disagree with their preference for Google Play. However, I run Google-free LineageOS and install Signal via https://signal.org/android/apk/ .

As for the proprietary Signal infrastructure, everything I read indicates that the end to end encryption makes it unimportant from a privacy perspective how messages are delivered.

That being said, I am not a strong proponent of Signal per se, but in my experience it is the most realistic option for increasing the privacy of conversations compared to the often preferable alternatives because it strikes a balance between dead simple ease-of-use and the kind of verifiable security you can only get with open source. Running my own Matrix homeserver is great, but the difficulty people have with checking a “custom server” box and typing a “weird URL” should not be underestimated. And that doesn’t even get into the significant problems people seem to have with managing yet another username and password. These issues are driven primarily by cultural forces being shaped unfortunately by powerful profit-driven corporations and are not likely to change easily.


#18

The server is also open source & licensed under AGPLv3 (https://github.com/signalapp/Signal-Server).

This used to be a problem, but now the apk from https://signal.org/android/apk/ uses WebSockets for push notifications instead of GCM and also has an integrated search for updates, so you don’t need Google Services to use Signal properly anymore.

The biggest problem with Signal is that you still have to trust the centralized servers and are not able to use servers from a federated network, like with Conversations.
However, their end-to-end encryption has time and time again shown to be very strong and since everyone can check the source code for client & server (even though you don’t 100% know that the servers actually run on the source code, since you can’t easily build your own servers, which means there will be a bit of trust in them needed) and their service is much easier to use, making it more likely to get friends and family to switch over to Signal instead of something more complicated like Conversations/XMPP.


#19

It’s not because Moxie doesn’t want it (see the article above for a TL;DR), basically even if you build it they might not allow your client to connect (and more so when you distribute it to many users if in the repo)

Nice quote: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2014/05/10/we-kill-people-based-metadata/ right? Encryption solves one part of the issue.

Because they signed up for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Gmail, Amazon, Netflix and countless others…but see… NOW it’s hard to add another one.

They never fixed it, right? I’ve reported it for Android Riot client ( https://github.com/vector-im/riot-android/issues/393 ) in 2016(!!) and now even with miniVector I can see it, really awful. :frowning:

The hardware requirements make it harder than XMPP, still a long way to go. Look, joking and all, they admit it: https://twitter.com/matrixdotorg/status/1038418265595359232

They don’t federate, what do you do with that server exactly?

Complicated? Do tell…


#20

Delta chat is quite easy for people to set up as you only need to fill in your own email account settings. When a conversation is started with someone else it will look like a chat session. https://delta.chat/en/