Video calls and messengers

Hi everyone!

Have just installed e.os on the familys second phone, being en route away from big-corp datamining and tracking. Being neither a techie nor very interested in digitalisation as such (rather how to keep my peace of mind and freedom staying away from it:) it has been a little challange, but with great support from this forum amo!

Now trying to find good app alternatives for messangers and videocalls (instead of whatsapp, messenger, skype, facetime)

Have scanned the forum for alternatives, but could need some more input.

  1. Video calls
    This is mainly for staying in contact with grandparents far away, so must be brutally easy to install, setup and use. Today we use WhatsApp.

  2. Chatgroups/messenger
    Mainly for smaller groups to stay in easy contact (book circle, sportsgroup) Today a multitude of applications for different groups (WhatsApp, Messenger, infoping, among others) Good thing to keep it seperate from SMSapp and email. Not a big thing for everyone to change to another application, but again needs to be easy install, easy set up, intuitive.

a) Signal. Tried it out. Didnt like to have all contacts uploaded to their server.
b) Wire. Read about some concerns about being sold out to less confident company, and some misbehavior when in use?
c) Elemnt. The “matrix” setup sounds interesting, but way to complicated.

Please help me find a way in this jungle!

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone


Maybe “shelter” is what you are looking for.

Try Jitsi Meet: You can get it from Apps, Aurora Store or F-Droid

Try Telegram

I can recommend Conversations (free in Apps and on F-Droid). Works using independent XMPP/Jabber servers of your choice.

Doesn’t even need a phone no. or SIM. Easy to use, you can set it up for your friends and relatives. Another app that works the same is aTalk.

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Thanks for help and reply! shelter looks like a perfect transition option. Found your [howto] with good and clear steps. But failed on the step “push old backup with filetransfer to workprofile”
How do i do the pushing?

Thanks! The telegram seem to be exactly whats i was looking for. Have installed and tested on family with good outcome. Until the whatsapp groups are convinced and transfered to telegram, i will try to get whatsapp to work in shelter as states above.

Conversation looks like messenger app right? Will try out later. Why would you prefer it over telegram?

I used to do that, but it caused problems with TWRP backups. (Either the backup or restore of data partition would fail, can’t remember which now :frowning:) Now I use it without Shelter, but I don’t give it access to my contacts. It works fine with existing groups and individuals. New people can call me, bit I can’t add a new person or group.

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I use Conversations mainly for video calls (does Telegram do them?)

The advantage of XMPP is that you can choose your own server and don’t have to use the ones set up by Telegram or Signal.

Even if Conversations were to change in ways you don’t like, you could simply move away to another app such as aTalk, keeping the same XMPP identity.

Sorry Martin, i can’t help you. I’ve never used that option. Raise the issue on the HOWTO discussion (which BTW was not mine !)

But I suggest you to stop using whatsapp and migrate to signal or telegrams

You can make video call with Telegram now

Tried it out with my 70+ mother the other day. Easy and no problem! Will continue as first choice for videocalls.

Sorry if misunderstood. Telegram seems to do videocalls as well now, but havent tried out. Like the Jitsi meet supersimpel setup.

I raise the question in HOWTO section as suggested. Sorry for giving credit wrong way :slight_smile: I will strive to come off the whatsapp asap!

Just looked into Jitsi Meet, it seems to be geared towards video conferences between several people, and doing this very well. Apparently it is also possible to have alternative servers, even your own using a Raspberry Pi!

Will stick with Conversations for one-to-one calls, as it is set up nicely now.

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You may be interested in this, I am currently in the process of converting over to this:

Jitsi for video meetings.

Conversations for both text messages and for group chats. (On the linux desktop can use something like Gajim, and can also use a web browser to log into the server, in order to continue texting, all text conversations are synced across all those platforms.)

Linphone for phone calls. (Eventually plan to switch over to Conversations for phone calls as well.)

Using to get a phone number for the phone. With a phone number from, I can call/receive calls and text/receive SMS/MMS texts to/from anyone using Conversations and Linphone. Also, with this plan I will be attempting to get by on a data only plan (0 minutes calling, 0 texts each month) of 2 GB per month for $10/month from a wireless carrier using the Verizon network.

Yes Telegram does Video Calls, Video Messages, and Video Chats.

Telegram servers are distributed among multiple countries and legal jurisdictions.
So are the keys. So Telegram is decentralized while all Signal servers are centralized in the U.S.

If you don’t like Telegram but want to stick with the Telegram/MTProto protocol, there are 12 more apps based on Telegram to choose from.

You can also self-host Apps like Nebula which use the Telegram/MTProto protocol
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Telegram does Video Calls, Video Messages, and Video Chats.

Voice Chats & Groups Chats

Telegram servers are distributed among multiple countries and legal jurisdictions.
So are the keys. So Telegram is decentralized while all Signal servers are centralized in the U.S.
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Right. You can find a good comparison in terms of privacy and security among whatsapp, telegram, signal and wire here.


Hi. Apart from Telegram that was suggested by someone else, there’s Signal as well. Its look and feel is similar to WhatsApp and Telegram, but is one of the outstanding tools in terms of privacy. Since recently, Signal is allowing group (video) calls as well.

Quicksy for messenging!