New text/SMS app: Silence or QKSMS?



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


signal should definitely removed from the set of preinstalled applications ASAP!

even if users don’t want to make use of any of it’s more advanced features, it’s still calling home and irritating by annoying update announcements etc. :frowning:

from my point of view that’s absolutely incompatible with the main goals and promises of /e/!


I really don’t think Signal should be ditched that way. On my side, I never received any annoying update announcement or any unsecured SMS warning. The only thing I received from them was the confirmation code by SMS. And like @Vaughan and some mentioned it, I think that we should encourage people to use secured channel to communicate instead of not try. Signal is a very easy to use, nothing to setup as soon as your contact use it too. And that users base could grow as /e/ adoption will grow.


Too bad signal is definitely my most used messenger. Now the hope dies that when /e/ goes through the ceiling, that the few non-signal users in my community will finally cut their whatsapp. Then I could again reach all people with just one messenger. That Singal was acted as default was the line on the /e/ homepage that first convinced me :slight_smile: Number registration with a SMS app okay. I read that they are almost completely rid of the metadata(*). Telegram would be absolutely unnecessary, at least for me (no encryption by default, so nobody encrypts!) . Silence I actually use only with my mother :smiley: But that can change here, so in any case (if Signal has to be dropped) Sig … uh Silence **!

(**) because its encryption and that is important. For a project like /e/ especially, data privacy and sovereignty goes side by side with encryption. So it would be very good if Mom and Dad and the children and all non-tech users have a device with encryption out of the box!

edit: I didn’t knew QKSMS before, looks like a normal SMS-app, nothing special except “millions of colors to theme”.


I just want to add that I cannot make mms messages work on my device under /e/ 0.5 with it’s default QKSMS. I finally gave up and went back to Signal, which works well.
A quick web search found others in the past that had trouble with mms in QKSMS. Otherwise, I found QKSMS to be simple and worked fine.


The first thing I saw when I wanted to give a try at Threema is that one has to pay the app or to buy a licence. Stop right there. Not that I don’t want to pay for the work done but when there is already good and free solution out there that I use, I will not change.
Another thing annoyed me, I read their ‘advantages’ report and they say that there is no unencrypted chat as fallback. Definitely not for the Mum & Dad if you need to have all your community under Threema to be able to chat with them


Signal tried to call Google, so there are good reasons to throw it out. I blocked Google immediately after installation of /e/ v-0.5 so phone number registration failed in Signal:

Because secure messaging is important and I’d like to convince my contacts to start secure messaging, I’m now trying out Silence.Screenshot%20at%202019-02-14%2010-23-33


Hi, the integration of google services and the availability only in the play store of Signal and its predecessor were discussed a lot. So both were skip! @pjmbraet what about this version ?

Sadly the also skipped encrypted sms, but this was the birth of Silence :wink:

As far as I know, when it comes to encryption signal is the state of the art.


i think, it really makes sense to reduce the mandatory system components resp. apps to a bare minimum and let the users install additional software of their own free will.

but concerning signal in particular, it could perhaps make sense to also consider [matrix] protocol based apps, which use in practice nearly the same cryptographic techniques as signal for end to end encryption, but support a much wider field of interesting bridging, decentralized hosting and open API capabilities then most similar competitors.


replace signal with silence and telegram with signal :wink: as default (sorry :slight_smile: ), so sms and chat is encrypted by default.

Letting the user choose on first start is not a bad idea. But maybe for the first impression of non-tech-users it could be to confusing? But maybe this could be solved with a good (kiss) installation dialog.

Matrix is really interesting, but is there a non-tech user base (at the moment)?
One should reach as many people as possible outside of the /e/ ecosystem with the default apps (at least in the beginning of /e/), imho.


The thing that bothers me with Silence is that it isn’t on the Apple Store unlike Signal. I use Signal with some people who are on iOS. It will not be possible with Silence.
And I continue to think that Signal should be the app installed by default. See how it goes with iMessage on iOS for example. SMS fallback and iMessage when the two users have the app :smiley:


With Silence one has the same fallback option, from encrypted sms to normal sms.

I’m a big fan of Signal and using it since even before it was named Signal. But I don’t use it for sms anymore. When you use it for both messaging and sms, the fallback is/was quite complicated because when a person in your address book stopped using the app (for any reason) and didn’t delete her/his account, Signal thinks you’re still using it and you have to manually think about the sms fallback. (In the beginning this was only possible by deactivating the internet on your device to force Signal sending a sms.) So now it is as comfortable as in Silence to switch between the options by just long pressing the send button (Whitin Silence one can also switch between sim-cards). But you still have to remember who is on Signal and who quit. So you have to remember otherwise you’re sending your messages to nirvana. In Silence it is easier because the person you’re sending your encrypted text still receives it and so has the possibility to say that she/he can’t read it.

Maybe it is good to have a sms app which does only sms. So if a user doesn’t want to use one specific messenger eco-system, she/he is not disrupted by it in the standard sms app.

edit: Or force your friend who quits Signal to quit it clean by deleting the account on the server.


Oh I didn’t know this issue! Ok I understand some of your points now :slight_smile:


I just found an old article from people who are really into “your data is your data”, where secure communication is discussed and which messenger to use, threema, telegram, XMPP/jabber or signal/textsecure.
It’s back from 2014 and in German but still good :wink:
Part 1 (about secure communication in general):
Part 2 (about threema, telegram, XMPP/jabber, signal/textsecure):


Before Silence can send an encrypted short message to a buddy, both Silence apps have to exchange keys via SMS. So if your buddy hasn’t Silence, you’re unable to exchange keys and therefore you cannot send encrypted messages to him, even if you want to. But of course you can send plain messages to anybody.


Hello! First of all, thank you for your response! :slight_smile:
But I already know what you explain.
I think you miss my point. What I was saying is that: OK we choose Silence over Signal as the default SMS app but we aren’t going to talk to just people using /e/. Therefore how do you promote encrypted discussion if users on iOS can’t even have access to Silence?
The parallel I made with IMessage was just to say that an app doing SMS and data messages don’t have to be seen as a problem either.


Anyone look into Wire? Not only does that app work on other platforms but it is open-source to fix any bugs it may have and allow us to add nifty features. It sounds cool; especially if we make it like a combination of Signal, Textra, and Mood Messenger.


Keep Signal as default app.


yes I agree
Signal seems better to me


I don’t like Signal because it transfers data to the Amazon cloud: I don’t need this.