/e/ services compared with Librem.One


#1

Hi all,

Recently Puri.sm announced the crowdfunding campaign for their Librem.One services package. This is interesting to compare against the /e/ package of online services because 1) some are similar, whilst others are different and 2) it might give an indication of what pricing the market will tolerate.

Key differences are that /e/ services are intended for use with the /e/ OS on Android-compatible smartphones, however I see no reason why they couldn’t work with all kinds of device since they all use open, standard protocols AFAIK. Librem.One is primarily intended for people using Puri.sm’s hardware products like the Librem laptops and forthcoming Librem 5 phone, but again they can be used with other devices.

Both provide email (thought it’s not clear that Librem.One provides webmail interface), file storage and associated picture storage (though it’s not clear the Librem.One includes an online gallery app) and online contacts storage and synchronisation.

/e/ is already providing calendar, notes and tasks, as well as the Spot search engine and may provide a VPN in future (but I don’t really understand why, except as a revenue stream or to make VPN’s more easily and widely usable by the mainstream consumer, in which case should /e/ OS include it enabled by default?).

Librem.One intends to provide social networking based on Mastodon, chat using on Matrix, a VPN, an online backup service (I feel like this is different from file storage), a payments service and a phone number with VoIP service.

Should /e/ also provide these additional services? I’m not sure, I don’t necessarily feel like the Puri.sm offering is good value for the consumer and there are many other good and privacy-respecting alternatives already available. e.g. ProtonVPN for the VPN, Mastodon itself for Mastodon! Riot.IM for Matrix. /e/ could easily provide the latter two as pre-installed apps configured to join /e/ instances of each using the /e/ account, and /e/ have already said they may offer a VPN.

The backup, payments and VoIP/phone number service are interesting though. Could backup be easily provided using an existing NextCloud app? If backups could be made simple and easy for the mainstream consumer to use then that would be a nice thing to add.

A payments service is something that I’m personally not interested in, but are others? Puri.sm say it will include a crypto-back-end, does this mean linked to a crypto-currency account or something else? Will the mainstream consumer be interested enough in this for /e/ to consider it?

What about a phone number and VoIP service? This could be very interesting for people that don’t trust the normal network operators, but for the target audience of /e/ I think that is unlikely.

Clearly Puri.sm and /e/ have different target audiences so the services need not be the same, but I found it interesting to compare.

What do you think?

Cheers :slight_smile:


#2

Hi,

I think it would be interesting if /e/ provided an integrated backup system that automatically saves at least the sms and call log on the user’s /e/ cloud. Something that would be a little similar to the system integrated by google in android, if technically possible …


#3

That’s a good suggestion and a good point because I know that /e/ backs up settings, it should not be difficult to add call and SMS/MMS logs.

For such a backup I would like the database format to conform to an existing standard so it can be easily imported to another OS or app in future. One of the biggest problems I have playing with alternative OSes for smartphones is that I can’t share the call and SMS/MMS logs between OSes (at least I’ve not worked out how).


#4

Funny, I just put this as a feature proposal to the git this morning: https://gitlab.e.foundation/e/management/issues/305