-ability to give out your alias or username to people to reach you on whatsapp instead of a phone number, something you can change later after banning the contact.
-transcribe voice messages to enable search among them.
-ability to hide the fact that i have listened to their voice message.
-ability to hide the fact that i am on whatsapp network and receive 'add to contact' requests from people where i can accept or reject without them knowing i actually rejected.
-hide the 'online' in conversation window when im reading the message.
-save my chat history in the cloud so that i dont lose everything when i move from iOS to Android or vise versa.
-ability to save incoming and outgoing media attachments to the cloud for access later
-full desktop support for video and voice calls
-ability to record the calls, and have their transcribed texts easily searchable.
-ability to ignore certain kind of messages from certain people such as 'allow text messages only, no calls, no pictures, no videos.'
- open protocol and open source clients and servers, with network working independent of any particular provider to be able to ditch any misbehaving one.
- no expiration on software versions. Why are we being forced to update versions to view old messages?
Damn is software becoming user hostile.
Implementing this could make key management either less secure, or more difficult for users. If the user still had access to both devices, it wouldn’t be too bad. But if you want the users to be able to ‘recover’ their message history on any device, then you’d need to use something like the mnemonic seed phrase, which isn’t an improvement in UX, or security.
The audio transcribing sounds difficult too, as you’d have to do it all client side if you wanted to preserve the security model.
>Once enabled, your device will maintain a secure copy of its keys on your server. To ensure those keys can only ever be accessed by you, they are encrypted on your device, with a key that you either store yourself or secure with a passphrase and upload to your server. It is important to understand that to protect your privacy your keys will never touch the servers unencrypted.
To back up the keys, you either need to manage a server yourself, or store them with a 3rd party that you trust.
To protect the backed up keys, you either need to manage another key, which just kicks the can down the road, or use a passphrase. If you give your users the option to protect their keys with a passphrase or with a mnemonic word list, a lot of them will pick the passphrase because it’s easier. It’s also less secure, especially if your users choose a weak passphrase, which a lot of them will.
I really like the whatsapp solution, because it has all the security under the hood and doesn’t let the users revert to less secure behaviour. It has an obvious UX tradeoff (with lost message history), but the alternative is to downgrade the key management UX to that of managing a cryptocurrency wallet.
Any desktop support would be nice. WhatsApp web is not a real solution.
I usually leave my phone at random places in my house and have to find it and 'wake it up' so that it connects to the wifi and I can use Whatsapp web.
> -[..] video [..] calls
> -ability to record the calls, and have their transcribed texts easily searchable.
> -ability to ignore certain kind of messages from certain people such as 'allow text messages only, no calls, no pictures, no videos.' etc.
Apart from these I believe Telegram offers already the other features (voice desktop calls are a bit unreliable often)
the key is that the data has to be encrypted. currently i think whatsapp uploads your chat history as plaintext. this basically allows the corps. to get your data.
Is there something in the existing WhatsApp cloud backup feature that prevents you from bringing those backups between iPhone and Android?
What are your specific concerns? I could list things like: lack of bold and italic , poor voice message UI, lack of video conferencing , lack of group names, ...
Note that WhatsApp was wildly popular for over half a decade before it got most of those features.
In other words: I don’t get the point of talking about these cosmetic blemishes. * Signal today feels like WhatsApp at its inception. I.e. a messaging app with the potential to be used by everyone and their dog.
Or is there some fundamental problem you’re encountering that I’m blind / oblivious to?
* edit: let me clarify: “... talking about these cosmetic blemishes as if they’re fundamental blockers to adoption. “
* no search (big one for me)
* no web client ( another big one)
* app gets stuck in "retrieving message..." if there is a poor signal like travelling under a tunnel
and there are many cosmetic ones like the ones you pointed out.
you ignored all my complaints saying you don't experience them. wtf.
The original comment was a blanket "much more inferior in terms of functionality and usability." I hope to elucidate that, in the context of a DARPA grant, it might be worth the effort to look to the future, and differentiate between fundamental problems and fixable issues.
I wouldn't say the same for an XMPP client, for example. But WhatsApp and signal are very, very close.
Perhaps even closer than a horse and a model Y. ;)
1) It's open source, so if you can code and have time, you can help.
2) Some small friction adders seem like a small price to pay to not have a facebook product installed on my phone and suck all my metadata down.
Don't like? Well, nice words for activ blocking.
It was pretty easy to compile your own desktop version. I had to change some colors because white was hurting my eyes and i was able to do it easily.
Building it reproducibly and with 100% FOSS is very hard and you can’t fork it, otherwise they’ll stop you from using the official servers.
You'd think. And this is often true, but not always. I am frequently surprised by how bad applications from major companies can be when it comes to usability.
Sticker, channels, bots and supergroups are essential to attract communities.
Not necessarily. You can easily have all kinds of shitty usability without it having anything to do with security.
- Signal is a lot less "polished" - FB has spent tons more resources on making a slick streamlined easy to use interface. Even though signal looks similar its missing all the little things.
- there is no easy to use backup. Whatsapp can backup to google drive or icloud and restore it on another phone. Signal you have to figure out how to deal with and transfer your backup file. This isn't easy for regular folks, Signal needs to be able to connect to cloud storage (preferably of your choice).
- Whatsapp deals with and displays media better/faster
- calling works better. last time I checked whatsapp has easy group video and audio calls, Signal had neither.
There is actually lots more. I prefer the idea of using Signal over whatsapp, but I found it not close enough yet. Especially for non-techy ppl.
As long as it's Android to Android or iPhone to iPhone. Oh, and Windows phone backup transfers never worked, not even to another Windows phone.
I don't know anything about signal, I just assumed it was exclusively p2p based on 30 seconds of googling. But assuming it is all p2p, my above statement should be correct.
Interestingly, WhatsApp uses the same e2e encryption protocol under the hood... or at least it used to I know Facebook is trying to merge it with messenger which certainly means removing the e2e encryption.
Good news is this means Signal could probably be on parity with WhatsApp with a little government grant money love.
Ever wonder how Siri got her name? From SRI International, a research org largely funded by the DoD. DARPA is the origin of much of the tech, including secure Internet tech. Just one recent example: Tor. It's developed at taxpayer expense and either given away to private industry or "transferred" for a pittance.
"Siri, the first virtual personal assistant, arose from decades of SRI research in artificial intelligence (AI). The technology was developed through the SRI-led Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes (CALO) project within DARPA's Personalized Assistant that Learns (PAL) program, the largest-known AI project in U.S. History, and joint work with EPFL, the Swiss institute of technology.
SRI spun off Siri, Inc. in 2007 to bring the technology to consumers, raising $24 million in two rounds of financing.
In April 2010, Apple acquired Siri, and in October 2011, Siri was unveiled as an integrated feature of the Apple iPhone 4S."
I'm not verifying that - I just found it via google search "sri Siri"
I like the link to Logan's Run :-), it could be also true.
If anyone wants to be on XMPP with minimal fuss, try https://quicksy.im/ . This is an XMPP client, with registration based on your phone number.
I bet this requirements implies working seemlessly between online and offline networks. In which case this project is not just building another XMPP/WhatApps/Signal/etc. They are building another Cabal (https://cabal-club.github.io/) :-)
(As an aside, it is always a bit unsettling when a federal function is represented by something that looks like a link farm. I mean, I know you elected Trump and all, but "FedBizOpps" probably predates him by a decade)
1. Threema. Swiss based but not Open Source AFAI
2. Frozen Chat. Android client based on Jabber XMMP/OTR
There are many benefits in helping an existing project with active developers. If dealing with the politics of managing existing project is annoying, just fork it and make their own branch. The original owner can deal with the merging if they want the contribution.