[HOWTO] Using WhatsApp under shelter

The new version of Aurora with ability to install apps straightly to the work profile is now available in F-Droid. I have experienced it, and this feature really works, but there is one condition: you have to activate the root installation method in Aurora’s settings.

Unfortunately, it is really not possible to update applications installed this way. (Aurora just can’t see them when they’re installed.)

When cloning aurora in shelter work profile the app update works same way as in main profile :wink:

Thanks for the tip! I really managed to achieve this, but after I decided to remove Aurora (both main and clone) to check if it could update its own clone in the work profile (yes, it could), for some reason I was no longer able to get Aurora to see the applications installed inside the work profile. Strange behavior…

Is it just contact info you wish to protect? you can send text messages with this one (no calls sadly)

Open in whatsapp is the name of a app for use with the normal whatsapp which enables the user to text without sharing the contacts.

Their descriptions reads as follows:

Open chat in WhatsApp without saving phone number to your phonebook

** This app uses WhatsApp public api ‘click to chat’ feature to open a chat with any number without saving to your phone book.**
** You can create an url link that will open WhatsApp on the specified number. This is a WhatsApp feature, you don’t need this app to open the link, only to create it.**

*available from the /e/ app store privacy rating 10 out of 10

Hope its useful info if looking to text message, Calls i`m guessing u still need shelter. perhaps this app can be adapted for calls? i think its opensource

interesting,about what app are you talking ? And are whatsapp user able to conatact me?

The name of the app is “open in whatspp” its on f-droid here:


or search the /e/app store for “Open In Whatsapp” the /e/ app store gives it 10/10 for privacy

the gitlab link is here https://github.com/subhamtyagi/openinwa

What it does:
when u launch it, it brings up dialog to enter the phone number or Pick from contacts , you wish to send text to, and then u can chat. found some screenshots online plz note those screenshots are from older version. i dont know how to take screenshots of my phone, but there is a button to choose contacts from the phones address book, which wont share your whole phone book with whatsapp

As you have a registered number with whatsapp etc its able to text with other registered users without it having access to your phone book, they should still be able to text you normally from their end.

I think you can make calls also, but not sure
The only issue you will have is that you wont know who`s texting/calling as whatsapp doesnt have access to your phone book to tell you. So all you will see is their telephone number. The person calling texting will have u saved to their contacts so they know it you, but you wont know its them, unless you recognize the number.
If you have 900 contacts this could be hard to identify the incoming text/call…

Screenshot from the version installed from the /e/ App Store


Thanks for the detailed info. I will try soon.

Regarding the screenshots. I think you are on e. So you can enable the enhanced shut down menu with reboot options AND screenshot. When you have enabled it you will have an screenshot icon in your shut down menu. Long press on it, you can make partial screen shots. short press the whole screen is copied.


OK, I have tried. And I like it. I will edit my first post with a link to your post.


That last screenshot i posted was from my phone, ( i came back to edit post when i figured it out)
To take screenshots with /e/os hold power and volume down together for 1-2 seconds. Got it!

Great glad that Open in whatsapp worked!! yay!!

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The is a better way for screen shot.

  1. Go to Developer Options and activate ‘advanced restart’

  2. Go to ‘Buttons’

  3. and than to ‘Power Menu’

    there you can enable ‘Screenshots’

If you will now press the power button you will see a little menu with ‘screenshot’ icon. short press on it a screenshot is captured. Long press on it you can select what an area for capturing


@harvey186 , I have a question for you.

EXACTLY what information does Shelter isolate? When I read about Shelter, I can never figure out what information if keeps away from applications.

For example, if I install a browser in Shelter, but not an email application, but if I click on a link in the browser in Shelter that is meant to start an email, will that fail because the email app is outside of Shelter?

Or, if I use a browser within Shelter but do NOT sign in to my google account on that browser within Shelter, but I DO sign in to my google account on a browser outside of Shelter, will Google associate my browsing on my browser inside of Shelter with my Google account?

If a cookie is loaded on my phone because of browsing I did in the browser within Shelter, will that cookie also track the browsing I do in a browser outside of Shelter?

The app description says this: “Run apps inside the isolated profile so they cannot access your data outside the profile”, but I don’t understand what information it is talking about.

It’s easy. Shelter is a ‘container’. All apps which are installed inside this container have no access to data outside the container.
If you have a picture insite shelter but no gallery app, you can’t open the picture.

Or other example. Yoy are in your bedroom (shelter) and you can see everything whats in your bedroom. But you can’t see what is in your dining room.

And this goes both ways. All.apps outside shelter do not have access to the files/data insite shelter. That means, the gallery app can’t see / open the picture from insite shelter.

I hope this will clarify. If not, let me know

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Thank you. A few followup questions, four main questions, I hope you can answer each one please:

If I install an app both inside and outside the shelter, how do I keep each one current? Do I need to install the app store both inside and outside the shelter as well?

IF I were to turn on location on my phone, all apps INSIDE the shelter would NEVER know my location, because, as you said, apps inside the shelter do not know any data that is outside the shelter. Is that correct?

If an app needs other, “helper” apps to work, then in the shelter I would need to install all those helper apps. Is that correct?

Finally, I am having a hard time envisioning the case in which a person would use Shelter. May I ask, what do you use it for? How does it help you? What are you doing with it?


If you have a store inside shelter comed, you only need whatsapp installing with this store.
otherwise you can install whatsapp in Main and clone it into shelter. Don’t start whatsapp in Main. After it is cloned you can delete the app in Main.

If you enable location access for your shelter apps, they will have access. If you go into ‘settings’ / apps’ you will see also your shelter apps, but they have an lock in the icon. There you can give or restrict access same way as in Main.


At first I use it to support others :slight_smile: And at second I use it for whatsapp, because there are 5 nice beauties which won’t swap to telegram :wink:


@harvey186 Thanks for the very useful explanation.
What other apps do you use with Shelter? Facebook Messenger, Skype, etc.?
What about the banking applications?

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your are welcome. FB I’m not using. I’m using under shelter Instagram.

You should use all apps from FB under shelter. Or twitter. But keep in mind, as much apps you are using under shelter as more information about you are collected.

for Banking apps you can check this HowTo [HOWTO] Installing Banking Apps

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How do you transfer data between personal and work profile? Since none of both profiles can see each others, I cannot figure it out…

once I tried something : I have installed Dukto (which is a free tool to transfer files via wifi to another device like pc, laptop, orelse) in my main profile (personal).
Then I installed Dukto in my work profile (using aurora which I installed too in my work profile) and also, I have Dukto installed on my linux laptop.
So I used Dukto on my personal profile to share files to my laptop, I launched the second dukto of my work profile then I shared back the file from my laptop to my work profile.
I don’t know if I explain clearly but it worked… Only thing : all the devices must be connected to the same wifi network (don’t work well with vpn though)

Is the Shelter’s built-in “file shuttle” not enough? I know it’s not always perfect, but man, your solution is one of the craziest things I’ve seen here!

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Hi there,
I have installed /e/ about a week ago, and work profile stting using shelter app does not work (I mean I can not even begin shelter configuration), using either BlissLauncher, LibreChair, or OpenLauncher…
Any idea ?
Thanks for your help !