IMPORTANT: Announcement for Telegram and Signal users

Following recent discussions about Telegram and Signal in /e/OS, we came to the conclusion that we wouldn’t anymore include Instant Messaging applications pre-installed in /e/OS. There is no consensus on which IM app should be preinstalled, and there is not yet a “universal” Messaging app that could address the largest number of people, while offering a very high degree of privacy.

On the other hand, any of those applications can be installed from the /e/ application installer very easily, and users are free to install the application of their choice.

As a result, we will stop integrating Telegram and Signal in new builds starting from July 10th, 2019.

:warning: Beware: users of the Signal messaging app, please make sure that you enable backups, or you will lose all your conversations after an OTA update without Signal.

More about enabling backup in Signal at:

Support

Backup and Restore Messages

Signal messages, pictures, files, and other contents are stored locally on your device.

Android
iOS

Android
Use a backup to move your local Signal…

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I think a message of this type should be put in the update so it’s clearly visible, for example with a pop-up because someone might not read this warning and find a nasty surprise

2 Likes

Signal backup isn’t working on my phone so i have to delay update until i can do it… :frowning:

[REMINDER] :mega: Following recent discussions about Telegram and Signal in /e/OS, we came to the conclusion that we wouldn’t anymore include Instant Messaging applications pre-installed in /e/OS. There is no consensus on which IM app should be preinstalled, and there is not yet a “universal” Messaging app that could address the largest number of people, while offering a very high degree of privacy.

On the other hand, any of those applications can be installed from the /e/ application installer very easily, and users are free to install the application of their choice.

As a result, we will stop integrating Telegram and Signal in new builds starting from: July 10th, 2019

:warning: Beware: users of the Signal messaging app, please make sure that you enable backups, or you will lose all your conversations after an OTA update without Signal.

More about enabling backup in Signal at:

Signal Support

Backup and Restore Messages

Signal messages, pictures, files, and other contents are stored locally on your device.

Android
iOS

Android
Use a backup to move your local Signal…

3 Likes

if anyone had the same problem as me… I found the solution, which isn’t on the Signal web site and which I have already reported to them:

  • disable chat backup
  • re-enable it (new security code is given)
  • click Create Backup
    This way it works, I solved (for me the other method on Signal web site didn’t work).
1 Like

Warning to Signal users trying to restore a backup made by this app: you may either not be able to restore at all - my case :rage: - or if you have a large datebase, get stuck half-way through and not be able to recover the rest.
I realise that this may not happen if you are just updating an /e/ installation as my failed restoration of a previous backup was made on a Huawei phone with the OxygenOS using Android version 9 and I was trying to restore the backup on the most recent /e/ which uses version 8.1.0. However the versions of Signal were both the same 4.43 and so my reinstall of Signal (since it is no longer built into the /e/OS) should have worked using their backup passphrase. I repeated the backup procedure they detail on their site, each time with a different passphrase and the unlocking of the backup file failed each time.
After spending a good part of a day searching for a solution as I had family chats I didn’t want to lose, I discovered the signal-back program and was able to extract most photos but none of the actual text messages. From various chats with the creator of the program it appears that the MAC identifier - key for encryption - is sometimes corrupted and causes the backup to fail. Fortunately I didn’t have hugely long exchanges so I was able to laboriously copy and paste into the Joplin note-taker I use and salvaged a fair bit of what I wanted to save. However, there is no way of restoring it to my new installation of Signal as it’s all unencrypted. I consider this a serious flaw in a messenger app that I had come to rely on, so am considering a move to Threema which, though not entirely open-source and also a paid app, at least seems to have a serious backup tool which can also be synced to a cloud storage.
Hope this warning might save other users of Signal the hassle and annoyance I had.

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@gael - I can agree that Telegram probably shouldn’t be installed by default, but I’m bummed that Signal won’t be. I really feel like a lot of people just aren’t aware of Signal, and having it pre-installed (removable) would help get the word out about it, as an alternative to WhatsApp. Not only is it fully open source, but it integrates nicely with the OS as a default SMS app, and enables security by default (unlike Telegram). I get what you’re saying about it not being the most “user friendly”, but if there are aspects of Signal that are not “user freindly”, perhaps /e/ could work with the Signal team to improve it?

I feel like if you’re going to remove Signal and Telegram, then Magic Earth should probably be removed as a default app as well, since no one really knows how it works. I will say that I am happy to have found it though, as I wasn’t aware of it before, and I do like it. That being said, perhaps it would be good to have some kind of curated list of recommended/suggested apps by the /e/ Foundation, which the users can optionally install after installation. I think this would help bring exposure to alternative privacy-respecting apps that aren’t mainstream, without forcing them on everyone.

2 Likes

Hi @rsi9x we are planning on removing some of the ‘system’ apps from the /e/ ROM in the builds to come. This is a process that requires certain preparations from the user side including taking backups or identifying other apps as possible replacement. The Telegram, Signal removal even with all the announcements caused issues to a few users. We will update all well in advance when ever any such removal is planned.

Is this thread only for those who created their accounts with the bundled Signal from the prior /e/OS? what happens if u install signal fresh from the /e/app store, is there still issues with having to backup your Signal data files?

This announcement was for users who had signal and telegram as part of the /e/ ROM. Post July 10 ( date we removed Signal and telegram) those who have installed these apps should not have this problem.

Maybe consider including Delta Chat?

It’s an Email client with Telegram UI and built-in Autocrypt. It can fit /e/ ecosystem and utilize e.email account and can solve both problems. It’s private and secure as long as all conversation members has Autocrypt support in their mail clients and it has the largest amount of users (because you can communicate with any email user).

1 Like