is a startup developing a low distraction mobile device. The initial product is built as an distro, on standard hardware ( Mi A1 32GB)

I love the concept, and I'd be excited to see a future BoringPhone built on GNU/Linux and more . But I recently had a frustrating party conversation with one of the founders, who was way behind on the progress of GNU/Linux on mobile, and wildly misinformed about key technical details of the .

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I'm also pretty sceptical of the decision to make the default SMS app. I'm aware that of the chat apps that support both text and voice/ video, all are either walled gardens (eg Signal, , ) or painfully bleeding edge (eg , , , .chat). But I've discussed the reasons for my mistrust of the Signal and the cult-of-personality around it's founder at length.

Hmm, I just realized my example lists included, which doesn't support realtime voice chat (only voicemail). Not sure if Keybase supports it either.

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@strypey #Conversations is planning to add video support; once that happens, it'll probably be the best option :xmpp:

(Well it already is best for me, but those who want voice/video will have to wait).

@badrihippo Does Conversations support realtime voice chat? AFAIK it only supports voice mail. Conversations also lacks good for starting group chats from within the app. The functionality is there, but ...

@strypey correct, it doesn't support it yet. But they've got funding and are now working on realtime voice and video 🔈 :xmpp: 📽️

#Groupchat has been polished recently; it seems decent enough for me. Haven't started groups that often though so wouldn't know. Have you run into issues?

It's my app of choice since I don't videocall much, so I was thinking it'd work for others once that's implemented. After all it's the only decent federated solution out there 🤔

> it's the only decent federated solution out there

Have you tried ? IMHO that has a better UX for group chats, especially ephemeral ones, while Conversations has better UX for 1-1 chat.

@strypey I tried #Riot a while ago, but the UX was still a bit ugly—I mean it looked great except for the "loading..." spinner that kept showing up on top and blocked me from doing anything else till it was done :loading:

But I guess it's time I took another look 🗨️ 👀

I'd prefer #Conversations on a#BoringPhone though: I'd be more likely to message individuals rather than groups :xmpp:

> I'd be more likely to message individuals rather than groups

Fair point, given that the target is a replacement for the app. But what Signal does that neither Riot nor Conversations currently does is default to SMS when the correspondent doesn't have Signal. Another app they could use is , a fork of Signal that just implements the SMS and encrypted text (Silence>Silence), but you'd need another app for encrypted voice chat.

@strypey ahh yes, that's an important point I didn't think of!

Ideologically, I'd prefer Silence in that case, since it doesn't rely on a centralised server. But it would be too expensive unless people had a good messaging plan (while others just need a good data plan).

@strypey I think if #Conversations and #Riot started supporting SMS, it'd substantially boost the usage of XMPP and Matrix respectively :xmpp: 🚀

Would take a lot of effort on the developers' part though 🔧

@badrihippo have you checked out the chat client being developed by folks at for the ? According to a blog post from late last year, they are trying to support both SMS and some internet chat protocols in one app:

@strypey ooh, #libpurple on mobile! That's just what we need 😁

I just hope MAM (message archive management, for synchronisation of messages) works properly. #Pidgin can't do it since it stores messages in flat-file format rather than a database; I'm just hoping that's a Pidgin thing and not a libpurple thing.

Waiting with bated breath for this to come out... 🤞 :xmpp:

@badrihippo I presume it's a Pidgin thing. AFAIK just handles message transport, with display and storage left up to each app that uses it.

@strypey okay, that's nice to know! Purple would be perfect then; it already has plugins for things like Telegram (and Slack and WhatsApp if one wants to go that way).

@badrihippo don't take my word for it though, maybe ask the devs at @purism who are working with LibPurple for ?

> Have you run into issues?

With launching group chats from inside Conversations, yes. Although part of the problem is at least one of my accounts being on an old and under-maintained server, lacking support for a number of newer XEPs.

@strypey oh yes, one of my friends has complained of that too. I thought it was a Gajim <-> Conversations issue, but I may be mistaken.

@strypey Isn't was email-based? I'd assume voicemail is just sending the audio as an attachment ✉️ 📎

@badrihippo @strypey It is. But realtime voice chat is something else and would require doing signaling to set up an A/V link. I don't see why this couldn't be done over SMTP as well, but they haven't done it yet.

@clacke I've suggested before that could implement the P2P voice chat protocol developed by , which would increase the of both apps. It seems to work pretty well despite requiring no servers.


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