Default Instant Messaging app in /e/OS: time to remove Telegram and Signal

No to Delta Chat… Please, no, not until it matures a lot more.

It is not instant. This will confuse people.

Also, I found out the hard way it does NOT work with all email providers; e.g., Outlook related email systems (Hotmail, msn.com, etc.).

It is not ready for prime time, it will ruin the reputation of /e/ if it is preinstalled.

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I totally agree with this…

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So if it’s complex to implement the uninstallation of default App, it’s another good reason to implement as less as possible default Apps. And put a section on the /e/ App store “recommended App”
So the minimal App should be phone, contact, sms, AppStore (and maybe microG deactivated)

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There is an /e/AppStore combining F-Droid App + the most popular App in PlayStore

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It is hard to find suitable chat program to everyone. I’m using Telegram and my vote goes for it.
There are alternatives available:
for Telegram https://alternativeto.net/software/telegram/?license=opensource&platform=android
for Signal https://alternativeto.net/software/signal-private-messenger/?license=opensource&platform=android
Certainly you can search also other program alternatives.

For QKSMS there are not much alternatives.

Certainly it would be nice to have at least one instant messaging app installed but as there are impossible to choose the only one suitable to all needs then I would propose the following ideas:

  • you can create a web page where you suggest applications, give an overview of available apps, etc.
  • during installation you can offer “minimal” choice without any default apps but a link to web page with overview, suggestions, e.g. “after installation options” or similar icon on the desktop
  • full installation will be same as minimal but in addition there will be installed default apps with an option to choose those default apps one by one before installation and also a choice not to install at all. So basically an option to set all default apps no then it is like minimal installation.

Certainly if no web browser is installed then “after installation” instructions should contain direct links to F-Droid or whatever is default app store and allow install apps from there. I guess that at least one web browser should be installed. This should also be more to secure, private, free/libre and open-source oriented, e.g. Brave. There can be also other alternatives considered.

There should be a choice that during installation user can set with one switch button all defaults to no - this is like a fallback to minimal. There would be appreciated if there can be go back during installation and choose minimal. Also an switch button option to set all choices as default and user can look before start installation.

When new device with preinstalled /e/ or after factory reset then initial setup should ask which apps would user like to use as default app for each category (web, email, chat, etc.) and after choices have been done, install the apps. There should be also an option to turn off default apps so there will be no apps installed. Certainly then cannot be used these activities like web browsing, email, chat etc and then /e/ could offer a website URL where are suggestions, an overview of available apps in each category.

Result: user will get apps what she/he really needs and would be much more user friendly and flexible.

Also if user prefers not to install these apps through that wizard then this should be not enforced. User may prefer to install each app manually and set each category default app later one by one - this should be also possible. Setting up default app would be useful and much more clear for users, especially in case when there are more than one app installed in same category. Sometimes users would like to install more than one app per category but always would be useful to have control over default apps.

By choosing default apps, the system could suggest new apps based on popularity and possibly even show per each suggested app, how many times other users have been installed them. Or show popularity by stars based on users rating.

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It works with Outlook, you just have to manually enter IMAP servers settings as auto config gives an error.
IMAP server name** outlook.office365.com
IMAP port** 993
IMAP encryption method** TLS
SMTP server name** smtp.office365.com
SMTP port** 587
SMTP encryption method** STARTTLS

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I’m the project lead for Matrix, and if there’s any appetite for adopting Matrix I’d be happy to answer any questions or try to point folks in the right direction. We’re due to release our 1.0 (after 5 years of dev) tomorrow, which declares the protocol itself out of beta. Meanwhile we’ve got stuff like full cross-signed E2EE device trust on the horizon, as well as edits, reactions, low-bandwidth (100bps!) Matrix and all sorts of stuff coming up shortly.

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It works with Outlook, you just have to manually enter IMAP servers settings as auto config gives an error.
IMAP server name** outlook.office365.com
IMAP port** 993
IMAP encryption method** TLS
SMTP server name** smtp.office365.com
SMTP port** 587
SMTP encryption method** STARTTLS

I don’t know about Office 365.

And, I haven’t spent time with Delta Chat for a couple months now, so perhaps things have improved.

I can tell you this: Back in April or so I was pointed to this site, which is Delta Chat’s “Provider Overview”, https://support.delta.chat/t/provider-overview/56/2 . Search for Outlook in the middle of the list, and it clearly says that outlook.com and hotmail.com do NOT work with Delta Chat. (It was explained to me that this also means that msn.com will not work either.) That page will send you to this page,

https://github.com/deltachat/deltachat-core/issues/561 , which is the issue reporting the problem to Delta Chat. According to that github issue, this problem is still not solved.

Delta Chat is not ready for prime time.

This is an English speaking forum, thanks!

My mistake.
Haven’t tried the encryption feature.
Had just tried sending and receiving messages to/from another mail address and it displayed fine in the app.

I’m not sure I see the point. An OS should have by default only what is necessary (i.e. a browser, an appstore, a mail client, a camera, a calendar, sms, etc). But every user has very specifics needs in terms of IM. The problem with IM apps is that you don’t really choose them. If your family & colleagues use Whatsapp, you will have to use it to keep in touch, and a preinstalled Telegram would be kind of bloatware. So any preinstalled IM app would be useless for many users.
For my part I use Signal, and tried to convince my family to use it so that I can get rid of Whatsapp. They accepted, but now they have Signal installed only to talk with me, and Whatsapp and Messenger to talk to other people…
As for DeltaChat, it looks OK, but it’s not universal at all, it’s only one more alternative. If you have contacts who don’t use it, they won’t understand why you send them an email instead of contacting them with their favourite IM app.
Preinstalled apps that can be removed is a very complex thing (and what happens if an unexperienced user like mom & dad uninstalls the browser and the appstore ?). Why not keeping it simple ? The bare minimum, and then you go to the appstore and download what you need. If people are not happy with the browser or the email app, they can disable them and replace them by whatever they want. I don’t see the problem, it’s quite normal when you configure a new phone.

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I agree with those who say it’s difficult to choose an IM application to pre-install on the OS.
Personally, I use the QKSMS fork for SMS, it has everything that is necessary for this kind of use, and Telegram and Whatsapp for IM.
I have tried many times to convert my family and friends to Signal and Telegram, but few of them have followed me and I don’t know for how long. I don’t use Facebook messanger and I’m almost the only one in the family. I also tried to explain to them the issues of personal data and privacy, but each time I am seen as the family’s fool.

I can switch to Delta Chat, but my contacts who don’t use it will find it strange to receive my IM as an email because they use little or no email communication.

I think it is important to give the end user the choice to choose which applications to install or not or to offer him a panel of privacy-friendly applications when he is installing one of these applications.

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My vote for this one! Perhaps in a slightly different form: Option 1, default app of the OS; Option 2, list of all the usual suspects you can pick your favourite from.

I suppose the mass movement to privacy-respecting IM alternatives will begin only when something disastrous that will be felt in one’s everyday life happens. Unfortunately. Before that… in small steps.

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I agrree :wink:
But DC seems to be on the right track and the main reason for choosing DC is the decentralized server structure that you can select and use.

I’m so frustrated by this that I almost wish it would happen :black_joker:

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I am charmed by this idea too, but I think it does not make sense:
In this case /e/ should propose a comprehensive list of messengers including the less desirable options (such as WhatsApp). So, most people might opt for the well known apps such as WhatsApp. But technically less savvy people might be will be overwhelmed with the options at the moment of installation.

So I think /e/ should either use the opportunity to promote (just) one of the better options by preinstalling it (there are good arguments for each of the three - Signal, Telegram, Delta Chat) or simply leave out messengers as standard apps.

Personally, I tend rather to the last option (no messenger at all), but to use the AppStore to actively promote Signal, Telegram and Delta Chat.

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Perhaps some focus-group or other kinds of consumer research has been done, already? Anyway, I think it might help in choosing wisely.

What are the actual reasons against Matrix/Riot?

In my limited experience with it I’d say the concept of everything being a room takes some getting used to. Maybe if I knew anyone else who was using it then I’d learn to use it properly but it seems like a very different paradigm to anything else I’ve seen.

I agree with Julien on point to “recommended App”, where such recommendation must be trusted.

I will prefere /e/OS build up in Linux-style with:

  • just a “kernel” of apps to have the system running at the base;
    +groups of apps to be [also] installed as a bundle for specific goals, keeping any of the as a single app to be installed.
    At /e/-ignition time user my choose which bundle to ask for installation or none.

    For communication apps, in my opinion it’s not an option to have:
    a) multiplatform support: not just a phone apps but desktop also;
    b) 100% FOSS for apps is not an option: if a server-component exists, it must be FOSS.

About a):

  • deltaChat (never tried) runs on Linux as an AppImage.
  • https://jami.net/ may be also an option for instant communication area.