New text/SMS app: Silence or QKSMS?

I am also on the keep it simple side, as my own mom and dad do show signs of interest for the project but are certainly not on the techi side.
I do believe making /e/ competitive will all be a question of usability, at least if the aim is to have a majority of typical smartphone users consider making the switch.


I think we should be working to consign insecure sms to the history books. Therefore whatever hastens the transition to secure messaging in the easiest way possible for non-technical users should be the first choice for /e/. I think Signal is currently the best choice although I am well aware of the difficulty some users have with it.

If we’re to have a secure alternative to the smartphone mess we have then let’s go with Silence. It’s worth the extra steps to make it work properly. I’m sure someone will come up with a better skin for Silence at some point.

Personally, I don’t send important texts over SMS. I use Keybase for important communication and since most of my colleagues seem to think Google Hangout is “good enough” I use that. although limit everything I say on it.

How about giving a choice of two or three “default” apps? Would that complicate things a lot for developers?

Thanks for the amazing work you guys are doing. I’m about to flash my Samsung S7. I switched to Ting and visiting my relatives on Xfinity, I noticed big ads that take up the entire screen space before I make a call or text. Those companies are beyond redemption :slight_smile:

You could possibly merge something like QKSMS with a custom telegram app. Use telegram api for secure messaging when possible and use normal SMS otherwise.

QKSMS, let’s keep the basics simple.
If people wants encryption then they can turn to Telegram or Signal.

1 Like gives an advantage to QKSMS it seems? Anyone tested the vcard support? An /e/ contribution adding vcard support to Silence would be great too actually :wink:

I 'd loose almost all of my contacts. Hardly anybody uses encryption. People just wait for the law, the government, to protect their privacy and security and keep using the most common apps for messaging. It doesn’t help to invite people to use secure apps, they just wont do it.

I believe that we must distinguish between the protection of his privacy and the encryption of his communications. For me, these are two different things. In my opinion, /e/ aims to protect our data, in the first place, in relation to applications (in particular “GAFA”). The purpose is to provide a system whose applications do not use our data, particularly for commercial purposes. It is another thing to want to encrypt our communications to prevent any access. Personally, I use encrypted communications as often as possible, but communications do not need to be encrypted for their privacy to be respected. For me, /e/ must provide a VERY simple and accessible service for everyone. Then, if the user wants to go further and prevent any access to his data, he can easily install an application for that.

I think we need a basic SMS application, as simple as possible. Whoever wants to use and knows how to use encrypted messaging will be perfectly able to uninstall this basic application… Moreover, choosing Silence or Signal would put /e/ in the position of forcing the least advanced users to use a service (Silence or Signal), which is contrary to the spirit of freedom that seems to drive the project.

(sorry for my bad English)


I’ve tried all three and so far I think Signal should stay, it’s a good app that works for SMS and handles encrypted messaging just fine also, and this is important: Signal is the better known of the 3 amongst those I’ve asked, they can find it easily and like that it handles SMS normally.

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Hi the problem with Silence is that is not compatible with Pushbullet but QKSMS is.

Have tested silence. It does not appear to support multiple sim cards. Multiple sims is a nice feature of leeco le2 and also of qksms. Will post to forum as well…

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That’s a great idea indeed! A choice between both apps could be offered during the first installation (regular VS secure). It could mention some benefits for sms encryption while warning user that it requires a little more steps. Optionality, an interactive guide could be made to explain the process.

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Hmm, is this a personal preference of using Pushbullet or a hint of things to come to the OS??

I tried Silence and found that it was not compatible with dual sim.
QKSMS is compatible with dual sim.

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Sorry for the late reply. You say hardly anybody uses encryption but isn’t that the point? People should be using encryption but are largely ignorant of the fact. You say people just wait for the law, the government, to protect their privacy but isn’t that the point? People are relying for protection on probable violators of their privacy. These, and the fact that Signal does SMS and E2E messaging, are the reasons it is so compelling. People are able to use SMS, as many currently do, but as more of their contacts start to use Signal their messages gradually will be come E2E by default without having to make any extra effort. It will just happen. All of the other options suggested either stay in the realm of plain text messaging or require a conscious effort on the part of the user to become aware of the E2E capabilities of other apps, start using them and then persuade others to start using them. I’m keeping an eye on developments in the E2E messaging space and may choose something else one day. But for now nothing else is so well set up to drive the eventual obsolescence of SMS. For a privacy driven project such as /e/ this must surely be a goal.


This means encryption should be easy, something that works “out of the box”.

Exactly! This is why I recommend Signal as the default SMS app for /e/. It is the most frictionless means of getting E2E widely used.

My vote is for qksms…but I also really like the idea of a choice on initial startup.


My vote is for Qksms I use since I’ve seen the creation of this topic.

I m not sure that all apps need to be ultra secured. In the way to do things simpler and available for average user, /e/ should keep essential functionnalities simple and let more skilled users chose for more technical solutions (for example sms app with crypted messages).

My opinion is that i f I want to secure my conversation I do not use sms but secured instant messaging app as Threema, wire or signal

Keep /e/ simple is the fastest way to ensure a lot of people use it. And from what i understood about /e/ vision, what we try to achieve here is to built a mass consumers solution who respect privacy. For those who want an advance privacy solution os, my vision is that they should more five a look librism project than /e/


Maybe we should have a look at Threema
The Threema Advantage
Some notes in french