Following on a little from yesterdays post about the possibility of replacing my mobile device, I thought I'd break down some of the apps I use and maybe see what you guys are using too.

Signal

You all know what it is, what it does and why you should use it. But for those of you that don't, here it is. Signal is my primary app for messaging. With full end-to-end encryption for you chats and calls between Signal users, it's a no-brainer. It also serves as my general SMS client (because yes, that is still a thing in the real world where you need to communicate with a range people).

Most of my messaging is all wrapped up in this app which I can use on the go or at my desk.

Do yourself and your contacts a favour and move to a more privacy focussed messaging app here: https://www.signal.org/download/

Conversations

Conversations.im is a Jabber/XMPP client. I haven't really had a use case for this yet but I'm hoping I will some day. So it's sat there, at the ready.

It supports end-to-end encryption for chats and it's possible to share files.

You can read more here: https://conversations.im/

Keybase

I think most people would have heard about Keybase by now due to the recent acqusition by Zoom. I had a little rant about it here. Due to the concerns I (and many others have) with Zoom, I'm being a little cautious regarding Keybase for the time-being. While I'm not going to completely delete my account, I'm certainly working on figuring out what I truly use it for and removing it from my workflow so I'm no longer dependent on it as a service. Which is a shame.

If you still hadn't heard of Keybase, then quite simply, it was (is) an end-to-end encrypted service/application that provided a range of services such as a great looking place to prove your identity for a variety of services, chats, teams chats, file sharing, git and most recently XLM wallet.

On a side note, the value of my XLM has been all over the place since the announment, stable it is not.

It's well worth a look. However, I wouldn't advise creating an account at this time until we and the Keybase team know where the product is heading: https://keybase.io/

Revolution IRC

I had a requirement for IRC on my phone at one point, not so much any more as Mozilla moved over to a Matrix server. However, there are still some IRC rooms that I lurk around in. There's some fantastic knowledge hidden down there in the depths. There's also vasts amount of shit... But I guess that's the internet in general.

This client fit the requirements at the time, although it doesn't seem to be under active development anymore: https://github.com/MCMrARM/revolution-irc

Riot.im

Ah Riot, the (most?) popular client for Matrix. I guess the easiest way to describe this if you've never heard of it is the Discord of the open source privacy aware world? It is a swiss army knife of collaboration and communication.

Saying that, there are occasions where it certainly isn't as easy to get working as Discord. Sometimes connecting to servers can be finnicky and Mozilla's was one of them.

Anyway, you can chat/call/conference/share files with end-to-end encryption and you can even bridge other chat applications in to it. I had a brief nosey at this after stumbling across this covo on Mastodon:


One thing I wanted to try was Facebook bridging for a local Running Club group. I couldn't really figure out how to get it working though so I've left it for now. Certainly something I need to re-visit.

Check out https://about.riot.im/ for more info.

Session

As far as I'm aware, this is a fork of Signal but with some fundamental changes. The most notable of which is the ability to create an account without your mobile number. There is also little to no metadata collected and messaging delivery is routed through their "onion routing network".

Unfortunately, it's not something I've had chance to test or play with yet as it's taking long enough getting friends and family away from things like WhatsApp (which I refuse to install) and over to Signal. Asking them to make another move just wouldn't happen.

You can read more about it here: https://getsession.org/


What do you think of this list? What apps do you use on a daily basis? Are there any apps you've been wanting to try out like me but don't really have a use case right now?

Carry on the conversation with me over on Fosstodon