16 votes

Recommendations for Android messaging app, please

I've been using Textra for years, but there's some new protocol whose name I don't remember that Textra isn't compatible with. This results in some messages (primarily from other LG phones to my LG phone) going only to the LG Messaging app and not Textra, which is annoying. Any recommendations?

21 comments

  1. [13]
    suspended
    Link
    Signal
    28 votes
    1. [4]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      +1... basically everyone in the bay area has it because we're all tech workers or know tech workers and it's both secure and just works well

      +1... basically everyone in the bay area has it because we're all tech workers or know tech workers and it's both secure and just works well

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        Signal was the choice when it was barebones and only had security to its name. Now that it's become feature rich there is absolutely no reason to not be using it.

        Signal was the choice when it was barebones and only had security to its name. Now that it's become feature rich there is absolutely no reason to not be using it.

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          twisterghost
          Link Parent
          It has definitely gotten a lot better. It also makes it really easy to go cross platform, between the desktop app, phone app and iPad app. It took them a bit, but you can now sync messages between...

          It has definitely gotten a lot better. It also makes it really easy to go cross platform, between the desktop app, phone app and iPad app. It took them a bit, but you can now sync messages between those three form factors (with phone as the base), so that's made it really comfortable.

          My main issue is adoption. I have it set as my SMS client as well so that's convenient. My spouse and a handful of friends are on it, but it'd be nice if more folks considered alternatives besides defaulting to iMessage and FB Messenger. Still, it has better adoption than it used to by far.

          1 vote
          1. Loire
            Link Parent
            I hear you. I've been using it since 2016 and it's been an uphill struggle convincing people to use it. But it's worth it right? Thats how we increase adoption. I recently checked my "Insights"...

            I hear you. I've been using it since 2016 and it's been an uphill struggle convincing people to use it. But it's worth it right? Thats how we increase adoption.

            I recently checked my "Insights" tab and apparently 93% of my messages are now end to end encrypted. There wasn't an Insights tab back in 2016 but I imagine thats a huge jump.

            4 votes
    2. [8]
      Deimos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm wrong, see replies.

      They're asking for an SMS/MMS app, which isn't what Signal does.

      I'm wrong, see replies.

      5 votes
      1. [7]
        Loire
        Link Parent
        Signal has the ability to be used as an SMS/MMS app. I don't use any other app for messaging. If the contact doesn't have Signal installed it sends the message the traditional way. If the contact...

        Signal has the ability to be used as an SMS/MMS app. I don't use any other app for messaging.

        If the contact doesn't have Signal installed it sends the message the traditional way. If the contact does have signal but you wish to send a standard SMS, for whatever reason, you can long press the send button and the option will pop up.

        13 votes
        1. [3]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          How does Signal handle group messages if some of the contacts have Signal and some don't? Does it gracefully fall back to MMS for everyone? I haven't turned on SMS/MMS support in Signal yet just...

          How does Signal handle group messages if some of the contacts have Signal and some don't? Does it gracefully fall back to MMS for everyone? I haven't turned on SMS/MMS support in Signal yet just because I'm worried it could get messy.

          7 votes
          1. Gaywallet
            Link Parent
            Combination of both, you'll see read receipts, etc. for signal participants, but everyone else gets plain sms/mms

            Combination of both, you'll see read receipts, etc. for signal participants, but everyone else gets plain sms/mms

            7 votes
          2. whbboyd
            Link Parent
            It falls back to MMS for everyone. No other approach really makes sense, and there's no real impact on security since any insecure participants would be leaking the entire contents of the group...

            It falls back to MMS for everyone. No other approach really makes sense, and there's no real impact on security since any insecure participants would be leaking the entire contents of the group chat anyway.

            I have not noticed anything being messy; there's occasional slight oddness (like the fact that SMS have a single-message length limit, while Signal messages do not), but nothing severe enough you'd notice if you weren't looking for it.

            3 votes
        2. [2]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          The new protocol that's intended to replace SMS is called RCS. It's supposed to be an open standard, but the carriers weren't buying into it, so Google started rolling it out in their own...

          The new protocol that's intended to replace SMS is called RCS. It's supposed to be an open standard, but the carriers weren't buying into it, so Google started rolling it out in their own messaging app last year. I don't think Signal supports it?

          Signal is gaining popularity but I don't think this is what they're asking for.

          2 votes
          1. p4t44
            Link Parent
            I'm pretty sure that with RCS not being e2e encrypted it's unlikely to end up in Signal.

            I'm pretty sure that with RCS not being e2e encrypted it's unlikely to end up in Signal.

            5 votes
  2. [4]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    The only app I have experience with and can recommend is QKSMS. I have never encountered the issue you mentioned, so I do not know if QKSMS will also have the same incompatibility. It is free and...

    The only app I have experience with and can recommend is QKSMS. I have never encountered the issue you mentioned, so I do not know if QKSMS will also have the same incompatibility. It is free and open-source software though, so it doesn't hurt to try.

    However, depending on what the issue is, Textra might soon be updated and start working fine. I would recommend investigating exactly what the issue is (such as the name of the new protocol) and figuring out if/when Textra will support it, or what other apps already do.

    Good luck!

    6 votes
    1. acdw
      Link Parent
      Came here to suggest QKSMS. It's great!

      Came here to suggest QKSMS. It's great!

      3 votes
    2. [2]
      zptc
      Link Parent
      It seems like it might be RCS, in which case my options are Google Messaging or nothing. QKSMS does look nice, though, thanks.

      It seems like it might be RCS, in which case my options are Google Messaging or nothing. QKSMS does look nice, though, thanks.

      3 votes
      1. what
        Link Parent
        There’s a Github issue to add RCS support to QKSMS. Last update was November: Looks like Google’s app is the only way now. Still, if you only need SMS/MMS, QKSMS is fantastic, very clean and easy...

        There’s a Github issue to add RCS support to QKSMS. Last update was November:

        I'd love to implement it as soon as it's possible to, but unfortunately we're still waiting on the public API from Google

        Looks like Google’s app is the only way now.

        Still, if you only need SMS/MMS, QKSMS is fantastic, very clean and easy to use, and it has lots of features.

        2 votes
  3. [2]
    p4t44
    Link
    If the new protocol is RCS, I don't think any of the suggestions (Signal, QKSMS) support it afaik. The only other app I know of that does support RCS is Google Messages.

    If the new protocol is RCS, I don't think any of the suggestions (Signal, QKSMS) support it afaik. The only other app I know of that does support RCS is Google Messages.

    3 votes
    1. synergy-unsterile
      Link Parent
      No third party app will be able to support RCS on Android until Google provides an API. https://twitter.com/signalapp/status/1199464913921425409...

      No third party app will be able to support RCS on Android until Google provides an API.


      https://twitter.com/signalapp/status/1199464913921425409

      RCS isn't end-to-end encrypted. Android doesn't provide any APIs that would enable third-party apps to support it, and iOS doesn't support it at all.

      https://community.signalusers.org/t/rcs-support-feature-request/3887/125

      RCS also requires the downstream device be RCS as well. If I have an RCS client and the other person has a client, then messages will go IP and the customers will get features like “read receipt”, “is typing”, etc. If the downstream device is off, roaming or not in a place where RCS is available, then the message will fall back to SMS/MMS and deliver that way.

      https://community.signalusers.org/t/rcs-support-feature-request/3887/132

      It’s worth reiterating that Android still doesn’t provide any APIs that would enable third-party apps to support RCS.

      This is a capability that Google uniquely possesses. Even with that level of control and early participation in the rollout process, Google still wasn’t able to exert enough influence to shape RCS into a modern messaging standard or to ensure that security was built-in by default.

      If SMS is like walking, RCS is like someone trying to position an extremely slow and dangerous 7 horse-drawn carriage as the future of ground-based transportation in a world that has already developed supercars (with seatbelts and airbags!).

      We recently introduced the Insights dashboard to try and raise awareness about SMS usage within Signal. We want people to send as many secure messages as possible. That’s the future we’re building. That’s the future we want to be living in.

      7 votes
  4. zptc
    Link
    I noticed that in the LG Messaging app the messages that don't get sent to Textra are labeled "chat." Is that something to do with RCS?

    I noticed that in the LG Messaging app the messages that don't get sent to Textra are labeled "chat." Is that something to do with RCS?

    2 votes
  5. psic4t
    (edited )
    Link
    I would suggest Riot for matrix. You can use the server the developers provide or deploy your own.

    I would suggest Riot for matrix. You can use the server the developers provide or deploy your own.

    1 vote