Finally, maybe Signal as default application for text/SMS in /e/ was not the best choice.
The benefit as a SMS application is very limited, and an annoying “feature” is often reported: Signal is requesting number verification.
Therefore, as our /e/ application repository is close to be released and that users who like Signal will be able to install it in two clicks, we’re thinking about having a new default SMS application for /e/ at installation time.
Two open source apps seem to have gained to popularity:
1- Silence https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.smssecure.smssecure/
2- QKSMS https://f-droid.org/en/packages/com.moez.QKSMS/
Silence is a quite simple SMS application, that has an interesting, yet limited, extra feature: it can encrypt your SMS messages, after a few steps for exchanging keys between two devices. Very nice, for sure, if you really want to make sure that nobody is “listening on the line” and catching your conversation. Or if you don’t want that telcos store you messages for some time, just “in case of” (this is a legal requirement).
However, this feature is limited by the fact that if Alice is sending an encrypted SMS to Bob, Bob will be able to read it only if he is using Silence as default SMS app as well. Otherwize, he will only see some text garbage.
A secure SMS session using the Silence application.
On the other hand, QKSMS doesn’t offer this encryption option, but is a little more appealing in term of interface and design.
Silence interface vs QKSMS interface.
So should we replace Signal by Silence or by QKSMS as new default SMS application in /e/?
PS whatever happens, in V1 users will be able to uninstall this default application and replace by the one of their choice.