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Android 10 (android.com)
425 points by Aissen 18 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 505 comments



> Now, you can share your Wi-Fi details with guests via a QR code while keeping your password secure.

This is terribly misleading. The format used does contain the password so your password is still being shared:

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code#WiFi_network_login

* https://github.com/zxing/zxing/wiki/Barcode-Contents#wi-fi-n...

I'm saying misleading because there is an interpretation of that sentence that is technically correct: Some people might use short passwords so that they can tell them to guests. With this feature, they can use longer secure passwords. In this interpretation, "keeping your passwords secure" would refer to the entropy of the password instead of how shared it is. However, when you normally read this sentence, this isn't the interpretation that comes to your mind.

I guess that some internal document written by people who understood the difference had something like "with this feature you can have now secure passwords and you are still able share them with guests". Then someone without awareness of this difference reformulated it into the current form.


The feature is a bit more than this. In the WiFi share screen, the network password is actually displayed in plain text as well. It does require a fingerprint/pattern/pin to show anything though.


Security is and always has been a sliding scale, despite always referred colloquially as being either present or absent. "Keeping your password secure" in English really means, "improving the security of your password".


Except this feature doesn't add security, it just adds a tool for reducing the usability trade-off of having a long hard password.

I think it is very misleading phrasing.


If the feature makes folks more likely to use a 64 character random password for your Wi-Fi then I'd say it certainly does add security.

Presumably folks will be "sharing" the plaintext value of their Wi-Fi password with friends regardless of whether they use this feature or not, so it appears to neither increase nor decrease THAT aspect of Wi-Fi password security.


I highly doubt anyone is using 64 character wifi passwords because QR codes are an option.

Good luck typing that into your playstation with a controller and your chinese IoT product.

The best solution is still the middle ground between readability/memorability + strength. Or stored in a password library until needed.


Does the person who scanned the QR code have access to the wifi password after the fact on their phone? From what I remember, there is no way to access saved wifi passwords, you can just modify it but can't see the stored one.

This way, if you just have them scan the QR code on your phone (and don't let them photograph it), technically you have securely given the password without them knowing it, right?


If they use the most popular QR code scanner on Android [1], it shows the password in the scanner (IIRC), along with a button to connect to it. There's no acceptably secure way to give someone a WiFi password without ... giving it to them. QR codes are a simple graphical representation of text, they don't encrypt that text in any way. Sharing a password this way is not more secure than them handing you their device and you typing it in - and if you do that you should regard the other person as in possession of your password.

[1] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.zxi...


> Does the person who scanned the QR code have access to the wifi password after the fact on their phone?

Yes and this version of Android makes it easy to view saved wifi passwords without a third-party app.


Could they then go and create a QR code to share/decode?


I recently bought a Nokia 2.2, which in in the Android One program. Two main reasons: a removable battery and OS updates for two years and security for 3. At this point, there's very little difference between the hardware of flagships and commodity, especially considering the real-world use of smartphones. I mean, is anyone compiling programs on these things or doing anything particularly intensive? Not really. So given the choice between a $1000 phone and a $140 one, I choose the latter because in 2019 your really paying for the software.

Since Android 9, I really enjoy Android. It feels like a totally different experience with things like split screen, gesture nav, and smart replies. The Android team is doing a great job as of late. I look forward to getting this update. I hope we get to a point where the OEMs stop being the gate keepers of our phone's OSs and these devices become more like laptops, in the sense of being able to run whatever we want.


> a removable battery and OS updates for two years

This provokes me. Are we supposed to be happy with two years? The environmental impact of e-waste and the production of electronics should not be understated. I have a Nexus 5 as a backup phone. It works just as well as my main handset. I know how to duck the G-surveillance and I'm able to keep it alive because I have the knowledge to install roms. Not everyone does. Personally, I much prefer Android over iOS. But when someone asks me what phone they should get I always tell them to buy an iPhone. This is one of the reasons why.


> Are we supposed to be happy with two years? The environmental impact of e-waste and the production of electronics should not be understated.

Can you elaborate on this? Because I'm thinking of the amount of garbage I put in the bin over a period of two whole years, and the size of my phone, its packaging, chargers, cables, and manuals all together is just not even comparable. Even if you add in the environmental cost of the manufacturing I can't imagine it's even a drop in the bucket compared to other waste.

I'm sure it is a good idea to optimize for waste in some respect, but cell phones seem like they must contribute such a minuscule relative amount so as to be safely ignored for now.


plenty or rare earth element https://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobi...

Also plenty of other elements in your smartphone that you wouldn't find in your normal bin


That article meanders quite a bit, but it didn't convince me that the environmental impact from manufacturing phones is a huge concern, just that the price of some rare earth elements will increase as our current supply runs low, at which point we'll create new mines to increase the supply again.

And how much of that impact is mitigated from recycling phones after you upgrade?


This article reports that "producing a single iPhone (6) requires, roughly, mining 34 kilos of ore, 100 liters of water, and 20.5 grams of cyanide." Also, "a billion iPhones had been sold by 2016, which translates into roughly ...37 million tons of mined rock". https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/433wyq/everything-thats-i...

Those numbers are pretty substantial - we shouldn't underestimate the environmental impact of our smartphone and gadget addictions.


As with anything, any bit counts. It may not seem like it makes a huge difference but in general anything that mitigates the culture of consumerism helps prevent waste.

Yes your own immediate impact on global waste is much higher from your kitchen trash than your device purchases. But people buying a new device every year, regardless of what they do with it after, encourages companies to keep producing these products at tremendous rates, which in turn results in far more environmental impacts due to everything that comes with it.

It’s sometimes hard to see the effects beyond the scope of what we see on a day to day basis, but they are absolutely there at the societal level.


The lifetime of most electronics is much longer than 2 years. The only thing I need to replace regularly is headphones.


My Hifi system is 22 years old now, and going strong. Rotel and Infinity built some seriously good stuff back then.

I'm afraid of how much it'll cost me to replace it when it eventually breaks, if I can't fix it. Have already refurbished the speaker surrounds once, about 10 years go.

Guy at Speakerbits (Melbourne AUS) said the speakers would be worth more than when I bought them, as the mid range quality market just didn't exist anymore - either cheap throw away after a few years crap, or you'd have to go really high end.

I thought I'd check, and it seems like Speakerbits have now closed down. That's such a shame, they did a most excellent job. I guess that's a reflection of the times, people aren't willing to repair anymore. :(


Correction: Speakerbits went offline for a while a couple of years and that was talked about - then silently came back it would seem.

Great, at least I know where I'll go if I wear out the current surrounds or anything else.


Headphones should last a lifetime. Stop buying garbage and treat them well.


It'll be interesting to see how long Bluetooth headphones will last. You lose one vulnerability (the darned cable) and replace it with another (battery).


Good headphones have cables that you can detach and replace, with a universally supported standard (like mini-XLR) built in, so you're not locked into a cable made by a single manufacturer.


Just because OS upgrades stop after 2 years doesn't mean security updates stop. Also technically, 2 years of OS upgrades means 3 years of use since each upgrade last a year afterwards.


Garbage is garbage.


What's interesting is that most people that buy the 140 dollar phones tend to keep them for 3 or 4 years, and people who buy the flagship 1000+ dollar phones, tend to keep them for 1 or 2 max.


Yeah, I’m getting a new iPhone every year on the Apple trade-in plan.

Somehow I doubt that Apple just throws my phone away.


> Are we supposed to be happy with two years? The environmental impact of e-waste should not be understated.

Note it's 2 years of feature updates not 2 years and it turns into a brick. Everything will still work and you'll still get new apps and app updates for far longer than 2 years. Security updates go for longer, too.


Given that Apple are still managing to roll out operating system updates to iPhones that are 5 years old, a potent question is why Google and Android device manufacturers are either unable or unwilling to attempt to do the same. Planned obsolescence isn't just an attack on your customers, it's also environmentally irresponsible.


It's because of how updates work. A good overview is here [0]

Basically for an android phone to get an update, Google, the Carrier, the Manufacturer, etc. all have to update the OS for that specific model, of which there are hundreds/thousands of models of phones.

Apple doesn't let the carriers configure the OS, and is also the manufacturer. They also have only like a dozen models. So they basically get to skip all of the parts that slow down updating your IOS version.

[0] https://www.xda-developers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/HT...


That's just an excuse. The Nexus 5X got updates directly from Google, but it was discontinued a year after it was released. ~1 year after the last 5X was sold, it received the last feature update (Android 8.1). ~2 years after the last 5X was sold, it received the last security update.


Google doesn't make the CPU or hardware components that need firmware updates. Apple has far more control.


There's no way that hardware firmware on the CPU(?!) is what's holding back Android updates.


Yes and no.

If you're not getting updates from the chip vendor, you're going to have a hard time moving to later version of Linux, for example. It would cost a lot of money to port new software to the platform, and then the question is... who's going to pay for it?

If everyone still using a Nexus 5X chips in $50 USD to fund continued development, then maybe that could continue. But it is easier at some point to just buy a new phone.


The phone originally sold for $400. Is that really not enough money to fund software development for 4 years or more?


> The phone originally sold for $400. Is that really not enough money to fund software development for 4 years or more?

No, not really.

First comes the reality of retail pricing. The "leaving the factory door with everything amortized in" unit price of a $400 phone is likely around $250 or less. The rest of that is markup for the store, shipping, warranty returns, marketing, and a bunch else.

A good chuck of that $250 (if it is even that high), pays for the actual hardware, patent licenses, carrier testing, and a bunch of other stuff.

That doesn't leave much left to actually pay for development.

And since most consumers aren't thinking about operating system updates a couple years down the road, the lower selling price will generate more profits than long-term support will.


Yes and No.

1. If it was really $400, the problem is most ( pretty much all apart from Apple ) gives plenty of Retail margin and incentive to carriers. That means on average it is highly likely not even getting $250 out of it.

It is like those Flagship Samsung and Huawei phone, their pricing strategy is always $100 lower than comparative official iPhone price, except they are often retailing for 20% lower. Compared to Apple, you could hardly find any decent discount on iPhone, and iPhone has much lower margin for Carrier and Retail, from low end of 10s to even single digit percentage.

2. Only if it is sold for 100 millions unit +. And Google didn't even manage 10. You need Scale for it to work. That is why iPhone is unprecedented, when was the last time you saw a product in its segment taking 20% of shipment and 80-90% of industry profits?

The answer often to all these question is simple, paid up, and find enough people to paid up, in business terms this means market fit. Unfortunately apart from small bunch of people on HN, no one is willing to paid extra $50 - $100 more just for Software update, they expect it to be free, or they would rather not update at all.


And more to your point - The iPhone 7 is currently 450$ brand new and is nearly 3 years old. Not only has it received feature updates for those 3 years, but all it's predecessors down to the 5S have been receiving feature updates (ends this year unfortunately) - we should be able to expect the iPhone 7 to at least get another year or two of feature updates.


The 5X started out at $400. The iPhone 7 is not only still more expensive, but it started out far above the 5X's retail price.


Apple does also cut features when they roll out those updates though. Not all iOS versions are equal.

It is a shame Android's update story is bad, but realistically it also doesn't matter much. Non-enthusiasts tend to not even want major updates in the first place (it's a chore - especially if anything changed on them).

It sucks for app developers a lot more than it matters to the majority consumer.


> Apple does also cut features when they roll out those updates though. Not all iOS versions are equal.

Only when the hardware does not support the features.


It is widely established that Apple selectively disables features on previous generations to force people buy new ones.

Example: with ios7 siri was disabled for some devices. Worked just fine on jailbroken devices.


I checked https://www.android.com/one/ and see monthly security updates are promised for three years.


Note that this is the minimum requirement by contract.

Samsung for example is still updating 4 year old note devices.


> Are we supposed to be happy with two years?

If it was a laptop of desktop definitely not. And initially I wasn't happy with 2 years on a mobile phone because I thought they would age like their bigger brethren.

The reality is none of my mobile phones have aged gracefully. They've all slowed down to almost unusable some time after the 2 year mark, despite me fighting my way past the glue and tape to replace the non-replaceable battery. The really annoying part for me, a veteran embedded programmer who has rolled his own multitasking operating systems, is I have no idea what is causing this slowdown. Nothing I've done fixes it, up to and including including re-imaging the flash.

With my latest phone I've come to accept that I'll be replacing it in 2 years. My previous phone was a Nexus 6P which cost me around $1200, which I planned to have for about 5 years (but didn't). This time around it is a Nokia 8.1 which cost me a tad over $400, so even on a 2 year vs 5 year replacement schedule it would cost me less than the 6P.

The thing that did catch me by surprise is the Nokia 8.1 is a better phone than the 6P ever was - faster, better screen. Do things really move that fast in the mobile space? Maybe they do - everyone is adding bigger and bigger IPU's now. Compare that to desktop CPU's: I don't think they don't have IPU's yet.

Which brings me back to my original point. That 5 year expectation was set by my experience with desktop's. It seems for all sorts of reasons that experience doesn't translate to mobile phones.


> I know how to duck the G-surveillance and I'm able to keep it alive because I have the knowledge to install roms.

This is unconvincing. The Nexus 5 is prone to hardware failure. My ability to install roms didn't help at all when the phone stopped recognizing its own permanent storage.


This. 2 years (and 3 for security) is a joke.


Why do you throw it away after 2 years? It still gets security updates. Perfectly useable for more time.


My phone is going on 3 years. No removable battery, but I followed the iFixit guide and managed to replace the battery anyway a few months ago, since it had lost a lot of capacity. I intend to keep it for another 2-3 years at least.


>This provokes me. Are we supposed to be happy with two years?

As someone who buys a new phone around every 2-3 years, two years is perfect for me. I know the developers are focusing on making the update work as well as they can on just the last two years' worth of hardware, and not "wasting time" on making it work well on lesser/older hardware.

Take "wasting time" here defined as selfishly as possible. If I'm buying a new phone every 2 years, any amount of development time that goes into making sure that update works on 3+-year-old phones is wasted on me, and explicitly means less development time was spent on features that are actually relevant to me.

Honestly, I'd be just as happy if updates were guaranteed for just 1 year (though I'd probably just sit for a year without updates between upgrades), and I'd definitely be less happy if they were guaranteed for 5 years because I feel like a significantly larger portion of development time would go towards backwards compatibility instead of pushing tech forward.


> I feel like a significantly larger portion of development time would go towards backwards compatibility instead of pushing tech forward.

In what ways do you feel that cell phones need to be pushed forward? Phones have been capable of doing everything I want and more for many years now. My biggest complaint is how quickly they become insecure.


Do you just throw away your old phone? Mine become hand-me-downs.

Until her birthday this year, my mother-in-law was using my old iPhone 5S, a 6-year-old phone which still runs the latest iOS. Now she got my wife's old iPhone 6S (4 years old), and my wife has my old iPhone X (3 years old).

Throwing away a phone after 2 years is incredibly wasteful.


I usually sell or give them away to friends that need them, with anything that isn't wanted sitting in reserve in case I ever need a backup phone (I always keep an extra one in my backpack in case my current driver breaks).

The only phone/tablet I've actually thrown away was my 2012 Nexus 7 that finally completely died last year. Everything else finds a home somewhere. :)


I wouldn't mind the lower power that much, but camera is one of my main use cases for phone. Pixel is just so damn good at taking pictures. The cheap phones do have considerably worse cameras, no way around that.


At some point cameras are going to be commoditized as well though, partly thanks to all the investment in computerized photography.

I bought a mid range phone for my parents, they find its camera amazing.

It does not hold a candle to a pixel, but it is adequate. For users that don't feel the need for the best in class phone camera, it is already enough.

I wonder what will be the distinguishing factor in 5 years.


The Pixel 3a is fantastic for that reason.


The Pixel 1 XL has a good camera and you can buy a used one for under $200.


Not to mention they are still getting updates, I'm installing Android 10 now.


Does it still get regular security updates as well? I read they stop those after a couple years as well.


> Pixel phones get Android version updates for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store.

> Pixel 1/Pixel 1 XL: No guaranteed Android version updates after October 2018, no guaranteed security updates after October 2019.

https://support.google.com/pixelphone/answer/4457705

but I've been running Android 10 for a couple months now, since the beta. Pixels (all of them) are the only phones that could be enrolled in the beta. In general, they get new features first, for example the offline voice recognition in Gboard https://techcrunch.com/2019/03/12/googles-new-voice-recognit...

The new Pixel 3a XL has only slightly better Geekbench scores than the Pixel 1 XL (347 vs 307 respectively), so at least there shouldn't be any performance reasons to not support this phone for another 3 years.

So, officially, not anymore. Unofficially, I'd baselessly speculate for another year? But you're right, I take back my recommendation. Security updates must be guaranteed.


Mine got all the regular Android 9 security updates up until I installed Android 10, which I suppose is not bad for a phone that was released 3 years ago.

I'll probably replace it soon anyway since the battery life is starting to slip away. That's probably the worst aspect of the phone, since I bought it in Feb 2018.


I bought a Nokia 3.1 as a lower end test device, which also belongs to the Android One program. The device is so slow to respond to input in every way that it's become the device I use to test our apps absolute worst case performance on.

Even knowing it was meant to be a lower end device it routinely gets frustrating to use for even the most simple tasks, such as Chrome tab switching, keyboard response and even just plain navigation.

We have had similar, buy not as bad, reactions to other low end device we use for testing.

I genuinely feel sorry for people who use these devices as their primary phones.


I bought a few cheap (under $100) Nokia Lumias back when Nokia was Windows Phone's last, best hope, and it always annoyed me how a cheap Lumia with Windows Phone was in so many ways nicer to use than a mid-range Android phone -- much more responsive to input, less lag, etc.


Microsoft's latest revisions of the WinPhone were software engineering wise the best mobile phone OS on the planet. As you say, it was quick, silky smooth and yet ran on low end hardware with excellent battery life. I gather they achieved that buy tightly locking down how software developers could do things. Perhaps is why their app store was so thin which was major factor in their downfall, but still it was a remarkable effort. I take my hat off to that team.

It as even more remarkable because if you went back a few short years WinPhone was the worst phone OS on the planet. It crashed regularly, a misbehaving app could drain it's batter in no time, and the UI was horrible.

So much for "if you build a better mouse trap them will come" I guess, especially if your reputation is for making crap mousetraps.


Thanks to everything being AOT compiled using full optimizations with their cloud compiler, including .NET code.


Mostly Agree. But Microsoft fucked up both the desktop and mobile trying to make 1 operating system fit all.


> We have had similar, but not as bad, reactions to other low end device we use for testing

Let me guess -- Nexus 5X? I use one as my primary phone, and the slowness is noticeable but usually tolerable.


Hope you have it backed up, because they die sooner or later. For me it was sooner, for my friend it was later. Some soldering problem if I recall things right. A bootloop is the first (and sometimes the last sign).


> Hope you have it backed up, because they die sooner or later

Tangential to your point, but is there anything useful that isn't backed up more or less by default in the standard Android workflow? I get that the privacy-concerned wouldn't use eg Google Photos, but they also likely heavily overlap with the set of people savvy enough to set up backup solutions for important data.


Plenty of apps can't be backed up (Google's TOTP App for example), at least in my experience, recovering from Android's native backup is just as good as dumping your SD card and having sync setup for applications that support it, which isn't a lot.


I've run Graphene or Lineage without gapps on most phones. So, no auto backups.

I can confirm that. My Nexus 5X died with bootloop after the warranty was over and all the googling led me to make peace with the fact that it was a soldering issue, hence a manufacturing defect.


Yep same here, I didn't understand what went wrong at the time, but I did read here on HN a month or two ago that it was a known issue.


I do. This is my 2nd Nexus 5X from craigslist, but when this one dies I plan on replacing it with a Pixel 3a.


The 2.2 specs are better, with exception of RAM which is equivalent. I've never had any performance issues surfing, watching videos, or using apps. I couldn't recommend this phone enough. The review over at ars was good and that's what put it in my radar.


>At this point, there's very little difference between the hardware of flagships and commodity, especially considering the real-world use of smartphones.

Cameras.


Exactly. In 2019 you're paying for software and camera


Would you include screens? I feel like my decisions (between flagships) tend to be driven primarily by screen.


I recently started playing some games on my phone that require 3d rendering. Pretty sure it would struggle on an older phone. The 4GB of RAM I have feels slightly insufficient since the game gets closed by the OS if I switch to another resource intensive enough app.

I'm not going to say you should pay $1000 for a phone, but just because you have no issues with a $120 phone doesn't mean no-one does.


I wish they made something like that in an iPhone SE size. Every phone is just so huge these days.


Samsung DeX (or similar) is a very interesting use case for more powerful hardware. But if that's not something you'd use, then I fully agree with you.


I am setting myself up on DeX as a full blown Intellij IDEA multi language environment but their locked down Linux distro makes me very uneasy...


I am on iOS but if that happens I might migrate! Is this something available today?


It is a beta program, search for "Linux on DeX" for details.


Thanks!


Apps are going to use whatever CPU and memory is available. It's the same reason a chat app can use hundreds of MB of memory on a desktop. Why optimize that lower when laptops ship with 16+ GB these days?

In my experience that $140 phone actually does end up being laggier and less responsive which can be super annoying when scrolling and tapping with your fingers. I'm not a hardware engineer, but somehow this seems to hold true even if the memory is sized the same and the CPUs seem comparable. There must be something deeper in the specs involved that leads to UI slowness.


While I think your comment is accurate, I'd argue that optimization is a better use of money and time than changing icons every 6 months to a year just so that the app looks new.

Honestly, why do icons change so much? Is it some psychological thing? I'm going to get used to whatever layout it is anyway and most popular apps have gone through a few designs and figured out what works. Like HN has not changed its layout. Why change it? Job security?


I think it’s a signal that says “I run the newest OS, so I have fairly recent hardware, so I’m relatively wealthy”, and that sells phones.


But how does this help with applications like Slack? Why not make Slack as light weight as possible so you can get it on more devices? Or Skype? Or whatever app? Those apps still do the layout change thing too.


> I hope we get to a point where the OEMs stop being the gate keepers of our phone's OSs and these devices become more like laptops, in the sense of being able to run whatever we want.

I own a Lenovo x13 convertible. Bios updates come in Windows executables only and whenever there is a Windows update the GPT is reconfigured, wiping my options to dual-boot Linux. It's been a while in the Laptop segment that there was free choice and you really had the feeling to own your device, sadly.


I agree that performance is good enough on 100$ phones, but there are other things, namely camera, battery, screen.

By the way, have you considered the fairphone 3?


> OS updates for two years and security for 3

OS updates for 2 years assuming you buy it on launch day, for the vast majority of owners it will be significantly shorter than 2 years.

Also as a Nokia 3 owner, don't count on those updates actually working, mines been getting stuck in a boot loop when updating for a year now.


Of course one reason you’d want a faster processor is it will “race to idle” faster and increase your battery life (longer life with similar battery / equal life with smaller battery that’s charged quicker):

https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/race-to-sleep

Of course there is an optimum between price, workload and battery life that will differ per person.


Race-to-idle only means that it's often more efficient to run a processor designed for a given speed at that speed, complete the task sooner, and then power it down than to run it slower. That's because modern high-speed processors waste a lot of power via leakage just by being turned on. I think it's often still more efficient to design a slower, lower-power processor in the first place, and most modern phones have such processor cores.


https://i.ibb.co/DK0SB5h/Android-One-Removable-Battery.png

Wow that's really not a lot of phones (just 1) available with Android One and a removable battery.


I agree. I recently purchased the Nokia 7.1 on eBay ($200) and it does everything I need in a phone and has nice build quality. I feel that there aren't really many applications that utilize the powerful hardware of modern flagships, so I don't see why I should pay the premium for it.


Depends on what you do with your phone. I noticed that even mobile web pages often lag on my 3-year-old (Snapdragon 820) phone. I noticed that most native apps lag on a 4-year-old Galaxy S6. I'm not sure how well new mid-low tier phones do.


That's interesting. My old phone was the OnePlus 3 (I used it up until a few days ago) and it had a Snapdragon 820 running Lineage OS Pie. I can't say I really noticed webpages lagging too bad but I use Firefox with uBlock Origin so that could be it.


Do I need to reconfigure the entire OS + all applications after every OS upgrade back how it was prior? One of the main reasons I switched to iOS.


Camera on the 1k phone will be better than the 200 phone. Somewhat relevant to the instagram generation...


When phone cameras got reasonably better (Nexus 5X) I started to carry my DSLR less and less and after a while I completely ditched it. I was still clinging to my 5X before the Pixel 3a came out because there wasn't any reasonably priced phone with a decent camera.


The website assets are optimized in a rather strange way. The total page weight of ~20MB is huge for mobile. The images are heavily compressed using WebP lossy with quite noticeable blockiness and washed out textures and fine details, but squeezed into 1MB, yet the videos are only lightly compressed, and make up most of the page weight. Had they been compressed with libx264 at good quality, the page weight would be more than 70% smaller, and there would not be any need to ruin the image quality that much.


The images are awful (at least in Firefox). They are compressed even worse than Google Developer Insight usually recommends. The text in screenshots is barely readable.

The dark theme is uncomfortable for my eyes (ok, maybe it's fault of my poor quality TN matrix, but anyway I don't want to see it). I doubt anyone wants to read white text on a black background.

The letters are gigantic and are optimized for hi-resolution monitors.

Also, as I understand despite new release Google still haven't solved the problem of apps and Google itself siphoning all available data from the phone.

Also I hate how Google manages updates. I had to install a Hangouts app. First, it copied the Google Account details I entered into it, into the phone and now all other apps can access them which I never wanted. Luckily I was smart enough to make a separate account for this purpose. Second, sometimes when I start it it says that it is updating Google Play Services (so I have to humbly wait until Hangouts does its important business) without even asking if I want that or not. Why does the messenger takes a work of a package manager I cannot understand. Probably, because they need to install new telemetry modules even if the user didn't activate Google Play. Very unpleasant impression.


> I doubt anyone wants to read white text on a black background.

I do! Much less eye strain and easier to read for me. In fact, I read your comment in white text on a black background. My eyes are very sensitive to light in general though.


I hope you know that black color light doesn’t mean less light.


* "black color light" does not exist. Light cannot be black.

* Each pixel in an LCD has 3 subpixels (red, green, blue). There is a light source behind the pixels. To display black, white, or anything in between (gray), all 3 subpixels allow an equal amount of light through. What controls the shade is the amount of light allowed through each. For black, the lowest possible amount of light is allowed through.

* On an OLED display, like the one in my phone, each pixel emits its own light and can be controlled independently. A black pixel on an OLED display emits practically 0 light and even uses less power as a result. This is why blacks look way better on OLED displays.

* See for yourself. Use your phone in a dark room and fill the screen with white only and then try again with black.

* You know how black absorbs light and white reflects light? Black does not absorb light because it is black. It's black because it absorbs light.


That's not how light from a screen works


> still haven't solved the problem of apps and Google itself siphoning all available data from the phone.

New apps are required to request privileges like contact list access and location before using them. You can deny them. What other issues do you want to solve?

> Why does the messenger takes a work of a package manager I cannot understand.

It doesn't. You want to use hangouts. In this case GPS is effectively a library hangouts uses to auth/connect to servers. Since it's the critical building block, it updates itself.


Actually, if you stay on the page for a while and scroll up and down, it loads the light/dark alternates for all media on the page, bringing the total weight of the page to about 41MB. Yikes.


Interesting considering one of the top comments on reddit is how smooth and quick to load this page is


Presumably videos don't need to fully load for the page to appear loaded?


It somehow loaded instantly for me on mobile.


Could be using lazy/more intelligent loading on mobile? 20MB isn't great on desktop, but it makes sense you could cope with that where you couldn't on a phone.


wow... 20MB.. I thought my 5MB app was horrible!@


It is. This is just several more steps up the atrocity ladder. Web site weight has majorly outpaced the growth of the average internet connection speed, and we also live in a world where mobile usage is up and many people have usage caps.

I pay per gigabyte with a prepaid plan for my phone, because I'm not paying $40/month for phone service when I can pay less than half that, so blindly clicking a web page and having 20MB quickly used up sucks.


I hear ya. I find the "unlimited data" plans are just far too expensive to justify paying for. My current carrier (Verizon[0]) offers 4(!) different "unlimited" plans starting at $70/mo and going up from there. My Wife and I only have 2GB/mo plans which itself is $35/mo. Our two cellphones have a higher bill than our entire household electric/gas bill and we have a modest sized house with central air/heating and lots of TVs/games/etc.

[0] https://www.verizonwireless.com/plans/


Yes the site crashed my (old) Android phone running Firefox.

First time this has ever happened since I've owned the device... Which is many years!


And yet people still constantly champion WebP, VP9, AV1 or whatever Google pumps out for free.

And if one of the biggest Web company can't do web page well then I guess the rest of the Web Pages get a free pass for not well optimised.


I didn't notice these issues with images, I'm on a Pixel 3a updated to Android 10. Perhaps it's optimized only for Android 10 ;-)


Webp is web scale


They got to somehow justify the need for better hardware I guess... And it appears that the trend is to make everything more and more bloated. Take browsers for example, we used to browse the web just fine on devices that were as powerful as raspberry pi 2 for example, but nowadays we can barely launch a browser on such devices, let alone use it for real.


I wonder how many of the features advertised here will make it onto the Android 10 release of other OEMs. In Android 9 for example, the ability to select text via OCR in the recent apps screen was limited to only the Pixel devices for some strange reason even though all Android devices had access to that feature prior to the release of Google Assistant via the Google app.

In a similar vein, Digital Wellbeing was officially limited to Pixel devices and Android One devices although it could be sideloaded onto other phones (where it ran perfectly fine) running Android 9+.


Most of them are choice of the OEMs - e.g. Samsung held back Digital Wellbeing on their S9 phone updates so it could market their own reimplementation on S10 series.

Everything marketed here is available to all OEMs - Pixel specific features are marketed on Pixel marketing pages.


I wouldn't be so sure to blame the OEM. Read this article [0]. Google dismissed a support ticket claiming that the OCR text selection feature was available only to Pixel devices released after 2017.

The Android Pie page [1] advertises the feature here as a standard Android feature under the system usability enhancements section.

This feature was actually available to all devices before the Google Assistant was released via a feature called Google Now on Tap.

[0] https://9to5google.com/2018/07/05/text-selection-android-p-o...

[1] https://www.android.com/versions/pie-9-0/


... We're getting more and more into an age where mobile hardware doesn't matter anymore, because it's become so fungible. And Samsung will do very badly, because they're hardware is good, but their software sucks so bad.


Comparing Samsung's OneUI and stock Android, I would pick OneUI without blinking.

I used to hate Touchwiz.


It more comes down to the permanently installed crap software they bundle like it’s a 1998 emachine. And the lame Samsung account requirement. And Bixby. There’s that weird rewards program thing where you earn xp for using different features on the phone. The updates are slow. It feels more like spyware than standard google stuff. The whole thing is a pretty terrible experience.


So, if some apps are bothering you, disable them? I routinely disable everything I won't use, and it's not only the vendor crap, but Google crap too.

It works perfectly fine without Samsung account. I couldn't be bothered to make one, and I'm not missing anything. If you do not have Samsung account, Bixby won't bother you either. Just because there was a step to make one in the OOBE, doesn't mean you have to make one, you can skip it.

Updates are there at the beginning of every month, I have no idea why you think they are slow (and for some reason, S8 updates are there day or two in advance to S10 updates... go figure). Samsung doesn't insist on using cloud services, unlike Google, where Google Photos nag the user to enable upload to cloud, even if the user never intends to do so. Google apps do not know the answer "no", Samsung (or Sony) apps do.


I couldnt agree more, it has taken a lot of painful configuration to limit Samsung from butting I to every aspect of usage of my phone, and having damn near every update break that.

The bixby button is an endless pain, thankfully I found bxaction that helps stop it.


It's not just a question of design philosophy. Samsung software is often riddled with bugs, things don't work, features removed relative to stock android, forcing inferior version on us (like their keyboard...), then on top of it all the crapware, the fake android store, the lack of updates, etc. etc.


Samsung does either monthly updates for their newer models, or quarterly for the older. Galaxy S7 still receives security updates, for example.

It also has features, that will show in the next Android version. The dark mode, for example, has been there since they introduced Pie version. The only one feature that I noticed they removed, is the SIP client, which most users do not use anyway.

They do ship their keyboard, but you can still choose you own, the Android mechanism for that works. I also do not have any problem with it, it is on par with the Sony one, for example.

What I do appreciate though, is that their software doesn't push me into cloud services. Their gallery is perfectly fine with working just on device, without asking me to upload my photos somewhere, unlike Google Photos, which doesn't know the answer "No, thank you, don't bother me again". Samsung account is entirely optional, I still didn't create mine and it works perfectly well without it.

As the cherry on the top, the esthetic of OneUI is nicer than Google's. It makes somewhat softer impression, where Google apps are unnecessarily harsh.


Regular consumers appear to have other opinion about bare bones AOSP UI.

I find it quite ugly from design point of view, loaded with an amount of blinding white colour.


Another one: Motorola removed Android's native SIP support for VOIP from the Moto Gs user interface.


I recently found out that Samsung did the same.


Wait, Android has native SIP support? How did I not know about this?


Sadly the crazy useful feature of OCR selection was removed from my Pixel 2 XL which really unnerved me.


Question your OEM. Google actually prefers the phones have a standard set of features but the OEMs want to differentiate.


it's available in every platform as google lens app.


OCR text selection is available via Google Lens. What I'm talking about specifically is the ability to select out text from app pages where text selection is not usually possible. For example, say an app had button text or an embedded image, it is not possible to select these unless the app developer made those selectable. In Pixel devices, it's possible to go to the recent apps menu, and select these unselectable texts via OCR. This feature was previously available to all devices via Google Now On Tap but has since been limited.


The way they show and demonstrate gestures, along with the UI at the bottom, strongly suggests that they intend to eliminate the semi-"hard" buttons in favor of gestures. That would save space, give people a bit more control over fullscreen apps, and provide a less "modal" UI where the same gestures always work even if the buttons aren't available (such as when playing fullscreen video).

Also, "Get security updates faster." is huge; this is effectively saying "no matter who makes your phone, you still get updates".

Deprecating "Device admin for enterprise" makes it much safer to access work resources from an otherwise personal Android device, without giving your IT department the ability to remote-wipe your entire device.


> The way they show and demonstrate gestures, along with the UI at the bottom, strongly suggests that they intend to eliminate the semi-"hard" buttons in favor of gestures.

Yes, that's the case. When you're using gesture navigation the only visible UI left is the horizontal bar at them bottom. Apps adjusted for gesture navigation will also draw behind that line.

Gesture navigation is still an option which might not be enabled by default on all devices, but I strongly suggest trying it out. I used it quite some time with the latest release candidates of Android 10 and once you're used to it, you don't want to go back. Especially the back swipe is really nice.

How the final implementation came to be is covered by an excellent blog post from Google: https://android-developers.googleblog.com/2019/08/gesture-na...


Their own charts/graphs on that page show that the new approach is WORSE (by their own metrics) than the 3 soft buttons.

I hope there remain ways to hack the buttons back (in 9.x there was):

  #install a 3rd party launcher (nova)
  pm uninstall -k --user 0 com.google.android.apps.nexuslauncher
  settings put secure gesture_swipe_up 0
  settings put secure system_navigation_keys_enabled 1
  reboot


You don't need any "hack", right in System > Gestures > Navigation, all three options are openly available (100% gesture, 2-button + gesture, old 3-button style). I believe they intent on keeping it all available for sometime, if only for accessibility reasons.

Also, the charts show that it's either equal and better, and there's also the implicit fact that not showing buttons also means more screen space, so even if usability metric is the same, visually it's a win.


I don't understand how 'swipe from the left' can be used as a universal back gesture. Isn't it the case that most apps use that gesture already to open a menu?

Then again I still miss having physical back and home buttons since I upgraded to a newer android phone. It would be nice if manufactures added more buttons to the side of the phone so the other fingers have something to do.


You can swipe at an angle (around 45° up or down) to open the menu, and straight out to go back. Not very intuitive/discoverable, but works pretty well once you get used to it


> I don't understand how 'swipe from the left' can be used as a universal back gesture. Isn't it the case that most apps use that gesture already to open a menu?

That's also discussed in the blog post I linked. tl;dr: Only a small subset of users (3-7%) uses a swipe gesture to open these menus (all others use the hamburger menu) and these users have to adapt now to do different kinds of swipes for opening the menu and invoking the back gesture.


Android has 1.3 BILLION users. 3-7% is tens of millions of users


After reading your comment, I went through my most commonly used apps and found that they all have a hamburger button in the top left corner that brings up the same menu as a swipe from left gesture. Somehow I never noticed those buttons before, leaving me feeling a bit spooked. How is it that something I look at dozens of times a day could go unnoticed for so long?


I had the inverse reaction: I discovered that all these apps support swiping from the left. At least the hamburger menu is visible - there is nothing really advertising the swipe gesture.


> once you're used to it, you don't want to go back.

Your mileage may vary. I've never learned to get along well with gestures, although I did give them a solid try.


Try smart launcher, and set up your own gestures. I haven't been a fan of gestures either historically, but smart launcher has converted me. Single finger up / down / left / right; double finger up / down / left / right; double tap on screen, and a couple of others.


>Also, "Get security updates faster." is huge; this is effectively saying "no matter who makes your phone, you still get updates".

I have been hearing this for years.


Probably from clickbait sources. Recent talk in the area has been legitimate.

https://www.xda-developers.com/how-project-treble-revolution...

https://www.xda-developers.com/android-q-apex-biggest-thing-...

Android 10 lets you download and install certain security updates through Google Play as easily as an app. That is a first, and it should not be understated.


> Also, "Get security updates faster." is huge; this is effectively saying "no matter who makes your phone, you still get updates".

They say this with literally every release of Android ever. It's just posturing, I'll believe it when I see it.


> strongly suggests that they intend to eliminate the semi-"hard" buttons in favor of gestures.

If that happens, that's an OS that is unacceptable to me. It's bad enough that physical buttons were eliminated in favor of the soft buttons. That bothers me to this day, but I learned to live with it.

Eliminating even the horrible soft buttons, though, would be a bridge too far in terms of reducing usability.


It's a setting, you can keep the soft buttons if you like.


Good to know, but that does rather sound like they're on the chopping block...


I hope the gestures are better than when they first came out with the "pill". I tried it for a week and it was an awful experience. Maybe it's because I use the double tap on app switcher to quickly get to last app a lot and the pill was really bad for that (slow and would switch to wrong app half the time).


Yes, it's much much better. That one was unfortunately in a half-way between gesture and buttons and felt very unfinished. This one is much smoother and easy to quick switch between apps. It feels a lot more natural, and the bottom buttons are actually gone, saving space.


9 already implements the swipeable "pill" navigation. It isn't on by default if you upgraded from 8.


I tried the pill, couldn't manage to get used to it. I just hope they don't go "we know what's best for you" on this one.


This is orders of magnitude better than the pill one, which not only felt unfinished, it didn't even actually get rid of the bottom bar, which seems like the whole point of gesture navigation...


I tried the pill and eventually turned it off. Android 10's navigation seems a lot more fluid, though maybe a little less discoverable.

edit: to be clear, I now have the option for traditional 3 buttons, 2 buttons (pill), and no buttons (all gestures).


I use that today, yes; however, that only eliminates one of the three buttons. On Android 9, you still have a back button and a home button.


I used to really dislike work profile, but I gotta say it has gotten much better over the past few versions. For one, it seems like they're implementing a way for Calendar to share between personal/work in a single view, which was a huge pet peeve. They also allow for custom keyboard on your personal profile in Q which is great.


As a recent iOS user coming from Android, this almost makes me want to go back. I really do miss the Smart Reply and native Google Assistant features. But alas, iMessage pressure is real in my friend's group.


> But alas, iMessage pressure is real in my friend's group.

Man, in my extended family SMS text group, this comes up once every couple weeks. One of us will note they aren't getting a random message, or someone will send a video and the quality will be crap, and the iPhone users will all mention how if we all had iPhones, this wouldn't be a problem.

Cue a few of is getting kind of triggered because it's only Apple's co-opting of SMS on their phones that those people think that's really an Android problem and not some slick marketing on Apple's end to get their users to tell other people how their SMS texting is so much better. Not that we couldn't all just switch to some third party app (or hangouts even), and then we'd all have a comparable experience, but that's entirely lost on most of them, and not worth griping about after the first or second time or you come across as that weird relative that can't just do the easy thing[1]).

I can't wait for RCS messaging. I'm honestly wondering it Apple will support it, or try to segment the text messaging market even more.

1: As if buying a $750 phone is the "easy thing".

Edit: Changed $1000 to $750, since that's the lowest cost I could find for a 1 year old phone, and I don't think buying multiple year old hardware is something you can expect out of someone else, even if it might be my preferred strategy).


> Man, in my extended family SMS text group, this comes up once every couple weeks. One of us will note they aren't getting a random message, or someone will send a video and the quality will be crap, and the iPhone users will all mention how if we all had iPhones, this wouldn't be a problem.

IMO a reasonable compromise is WhatsApp. Rich features like iMessage's but portable and lots of people already use it.

I have never had a Facebook account and I've always been wary of them. I think it's fair to be concerned about privacy w/WhatsApp but I'm torn because it's a very practical solution.


Telegram is the best compromise imo


Please stop advocating for Telegram:

https://gizmodo.com/why-you-should-stop-using-telegram-right...

https://twitter.com/tqbf/status/987372998935105539

Signal is definitely the more secure choice, but Whatsapp is still king of the network effect at least in my neck of the woods.


You can pry Telegram from my cold, dead hands. Open source clients with cloud sync of messages plus the option of moving to encrypted end-to-end as needed is the perfect compromise.

My one wish is for the server codebase to be open sourced but given that Telegram is in the midst of a backend architectural change to the Telegram Open Network, I forgive them this, for now.

Every alternative is riddled with issues: WhatsApp is controlled by Facebook who let's face it may as well be the face of evil for Silicon Valley today; Signal is controlled by a power-tripping maniac who refuses to work with the open source commons on releasing to package repos like F-Droid, the app itself also has major deliverability issues; Wire would be good if they just sorted their notifications on mobile out but I've been waiting for that day for a few years now; Matrix is slow to deliver messages among networks larger than a handful.

There's your overview.


Yes, Signal is probably the more secure choice.

That said, I use it a lot less now that I know that it is neither self-hostable, nor really open to third-party clients.

I would like to get rid of Android at some point, and I am tired of relying on third parties not to discontinue their products.

Nowadays, I use Matrix. There are a few downsides (the python server implementation makes the biggest public server quite slow, E2E isn't turned on by default yer -- though it should be at some point, and the clients' UX is generally rough around the edges).

And yeah, whatsapp is king of the network effect, though messenger would take the crown in my circles. That said, by deliberately staying out of these services, and providing my reasons, people ask me for alternatives they could use.

One thing that I like about Matrix is its compatibility with multiple bridges, which lets me connect with people on networks such as IRC, Discord, Telegram, etc. (depending on bridge availability). There is no public whatsapp bridge due to their TOS, and I haven't decided to give them my social graph just yet (though they probably have it already, thanks to having access to my friends'address books). I'd really like to see an officially-endorsed Matrix bridge.

If people really want to contact me, they can still phone me, write me an SMS, e-mail or a letter. Many still bother, but I get it's a tough call for simple acquaintances.

I still feel it's worth it holding to your principles. That's what they are for, and small numbers make the big numbers in the long run.


Update 8/31/2019: After publication of this article Telegram’s creators implemented several changes that are recognized by qualified cryptographers as a vast improvement to its encryption scheme. Since 2017, for example, the MTProto protocol has been recognized as IND-CCA secure.


Its still not actually on by default and you can't use encrypted chat synced between your desktop and phone. Group chats also don't have encryption and (last I checked) count be run e2e encrypted.

Probably 99%+ of conversation on Telegram are visible to the Telegram company.


Please stop advocating for Signal:

https://github.com/LibreSignal/LibreSignal/issues/37#issueco...

Signal is just as non-free as WhatsApp.


What's wrong with that comment? They're under no obligation to support forks of their product.


Could you elaborate on why you single out Telegram as a privacy deal-breaker as opposed to other similar apps?

If they all are just as bad, is there something coming up on the near horizon thats worth the wait?


They are replying to a comment about Telegram, and mention other messaging apps which are better. They also do not say that they're all just as bad, unclear where you got that from?


That Gizmodo article is 3 years old, is it still true?


The tptacek tweet is not, and yes.


Signal requires a phone number as well as Telegram.


Yeah, Signal or Telegram might be a much better balance. But I don't want to be a salesman and try and push the technically superior choice on my friends and family. If I did, though, I would probably push one of those.


I don't like suggesting Telegram because it is not end-to-end encrypted.

I prefer WhatsApp (where it's Facebook that has access to all the metadata like who speaks to whom, but not the message contents), or Signal (which is also end-to-end encrypted and doesn't have the "Facebook" problem).


Note that even though I advocate for WhatsApp I recognize that it's not really what I would call "end to end encrypted". Any time that you allow a broker to execute the initial key exchange, you're implicitly trusting the broker. And beyond that: if you let the broker re-exchange keys without even informing you (!!!) then it's a stretch to call it "end to end encrypted." But if the system re-transmits old messages encrypted with the new keys without user interaction then "end to end encrypted" has lost all meaning whatsoever.

You can opt-in to at least be informed of new key exchanges, so at least I can tell myself that I took some precautions. But if I'm honest I know that it's not very effective.


You refute your main point in your second paragraph - they do inform you of key changes


It's a subtle point, but I would describe "end to end" as covering the humans on both ends. Your WhatsApp client on your phone participates in the key regeneration and/or key update without user interaction. WhatsApp's default UI configuration doesn't notify anyone about key changes. Defaults matter, defaults for secure software matters extra. Nearly no one enables this notification feature.

And even if they did, the client helpfully sent old messages encrypted with the new key. Even when you are notified, you're notified after the fact.


What do you mean regarding old messages? I thought whatsapp didn’t store any old messages and chat history only existed on your device?


It does only exist on your device. Sadly, the WhatsApp client will receive a message from WhatsApp backend: "Fred Smith got a new phone and you should trust this new public key from Fred because I say so. Fred would love to have all the context so please re-send the old messages but encrypted with this new key." The WhatsApp client helpfully complies and hopes that Fred really did get a new phone and it's not Eve who somehow tricked WhatsApp into believing she was Fred. Or maybe WhatsApp was compelled by a lawful order to make it look as if Fred got a new phone.

The WhatsApp client never requests or even informs the user that this event took place. Though it is possible to change the config opt-in to get informed whether this occurred, it is not possible to deny the request for old messages.


IMO a reasonable compromise is WhatsApp.

I trust Apple a whole helluva lot more than Facebook or Google. I'll happily take iMessage + Signal over WhatsAp, Hangouts, or SMS any day.


Apple handed over its iCloud encryption keys and iMessage keyserver for Chinese users to the PRC, enabling mass surveillance of communications where at least one party is Chinese. Facebook and Google have not. I trust Facebook very little, but I trust Apple even less.


> IMO a reasonable compromise is WhatsApp.

Yeah, having thought about it when this comes up, there's a very real trade-off between what people are willing to use because they've heard of it or might actually have it, whether that app/service will stay around or keep similar features in the future, and whether it's associated with a large org that may farm the data for personal information about you in some way (even if that's just your location).

Something like Signal seems good, but I imagine it may be a pain to get some of my extended family to adopt it (or to make sure things send using it).

WhatsApp would be good in that people have heard of it, and if they have Facebook it's probably easy for them to integrate with, but people are much more likely to have relative's phone numbers than service profile links, meaning they might opt to not use it in many cases.

Really, it needs to be ubiquitous on phones for it really to be a viable replacement that will be used 9 out of 10 times. That leaves RCS as an upgrade to SMS, but who knows if we'll ever get that. I know people complain about how it doesn't actually raise limits enough, but going from SMS to a limit fo 105 MB for videos and more features (even if not on parity with current systems) is a huge step, and I think the only one likely to achieve even close to the same deployment as SMS, and then only if Apple supports it too (assuming US networks actually get on board).


Err, WhatsApp does use phone numbers as identifiers rather than service profiles, which is why it is ubiquitous in most of the world (much more than iMessage).


If you install WhatsApp and I don't, and you send a message to my number what happens? I know what happens with SMS and RCS (which falls back to SMS), which is that it works, because every phone has it. If WhatsApp doesn't just work, then it's at a severe disadvantage any way you look at it.

Coordinating the 10 people in my family group to not only install a new app, but choose it the next time they want to send a message (especially if they add a new person) is not to going to be easy (and in some cases might be impossible if some people refuse).


> If you install WhatsApp and I don't, and you send a message to my number what happens?

You can't, WhatsApp will only let you send to numbers that also have WhatsApp installed.

There's an "invite friends" sharesheet that will send a signup URL, but that's it.

> If WhatsApp doesn't just work, then it's at a severe disadvantage any way you look at it.

Ultimately WhatsApp has won in most of the world, so this clearly isn't that big of a problem.


> You can't, WhatsApp will only let you send to numbers that also have WhatsApp installed.

That's my point. It's a very substandard experience for initial contact to SMS, which is ubiquitous.

> Ultimately WhatsApp has won in most of the world, so this clearly isn't that big of a problem.

Compared to SMS, WhatsApp is almost nothing. And given that maybe 2-3 people in my family group might have it installed, "won most of the world" is irrelevant for me, and probably most groups of any size or with people over 30, as there's likely to be a few people without it.


You're coming from an American perspective. In the rest of the world, the battle has been fought and WhatsApp is the winner.

For better or for worse.


>send a video and the quality will be crap

Isn’t this because sms doesn’t send high quality photos/videos? With imessage you get full quality images, it’s very nice. It’s also encrypted.

>Not that we couldn't all just switch to some third party app (or hangouts even), and then we'd all have a comparable experience

Which one?

Whatsapp and messenger compress images, fairly significantly. Messenger is unencrypted by default. Whatsapp is encrypted, but you have to give facebooks your contacts, and metadata on the convos, which gives away a lot of info.

I use both, and whatsapp does have some better features (voice notes are better, as is search), but I prefer imessage for the image quality and encryption. I also trust apple better with the metadata.


iOS user here who successfully convinced one of my group chats to migrate to Signal. Shaming people into buying an iPhone will never work, but downloading a free app just takes a few days of bugging. Once you get a few people to do it, the rest will fall in line.

Next step is to get my family to do it. My Dad constantly sends video's that get compressed to hell due to the SMS file size limit.


RCS is dead.

The take up amongst operators is really low. And it's unlikely that will change anytime soon as their focus is on the 5G rollout and not on re-platforming their messaging system.

Also the system is unencrypted so you would have to be crazy to use it in this environment.


I don't understand why they would do a default unencrypted messaging service today.


Probably because the spec started all the way back in 2008, and you could revise it yet again, even though almost nobody is currently supporting it, or you can get it out and improve the situation for many people, even though it's not perfect. I imagine pushing for an extension to support encryption might be a lot easier if there's actual uses to call for it.

Given that Google has started rolling it out with a fallback to Google servers if the network provider doesn't supply one, and Google has said they understand encryption is important and they will push for it, we might actually see some progress soon (on both the adoption and encryption fronts) if we're very lucky.

You can see references to that info in some of my other comments on this article, since I looked it up again today after mentioning it earlier.


> I imagine pushing for an extension to support encryption might be a lot easier if there's actual uses to call for it.

That's letting Google off the hook. Nobody knows better about the level of surveillance users are under. Encryption should be feature #1. For them to roll out an unencrypted service borders on malpractice. Luckily for them, software engineers aren't licensed.

> Google has started rolling it out with a fallback to Google servers

Even though Google may not be the most trustworthy company, I trust them far, far more than my ISP and cell company. If I could choose which back end I want to be on, I would choose Google's, especially if that meant messages would be end-to-end encrypted within that sphere.


> Encryption should be feature #1.

Well, you're free to travel back in time to 2008 and propose it to the working group that was making the spec...

> If I could choose which back end I want to be on, I would choose Google's, especially if that meant messages would be end-to-end encrypted within that sphere.

I agree, but it appears the way the protocol is federated means that there isn't specifically one back end. Also, since it does some discovery with a "hidden" sms to the other end to ask if it supports RCS, I imagine end-to-end encryption might not be that hard to tack on...


>Also the system is unencrypted so you would have to be crazy to use it in this environment.

SMS is also unencrypted so I don't see how it would be any different.


Apparently it's live in the UK and France for Android as of a couple months ago[1], so maybe not entirely dead?

1: https://9to5google.com/2019/07/01/rcs-hands-on-not-quite-ime...


Live in the UK. Never received an RCS. Nor has anyone I know.

For all Google's bluster here it's not supported by the carriers, and only works on Google's own SMS app - not the AOSP or OEM ones - which only the tiniest proportion of the market uses as it's not the default on 90%+ of Android phones shipping today.

There is no UK RCS market.


RCS is a federated protocol. Any app could use it if the network providers supplied a service for it. Google is providing a Google server fallback for if they don't.

There may not be a UK RCS market, but given it was just turned on a couple months ago and for a few countries, perhaps it's too soon to call it decided?


My point was specifically in response to Google's claim that RCS is a "gold" market for RCS where they have already completed the rollout. They haven't. They have the support of one carrier with roughly 20% market share, and about 3 - 5% of Android devices.

There isn't really any reason to surmise that is going to improve, and Google's boasting here is very silly. RCS is a dead end product in every non-US territory, and Google have no market levers to pull that can improve it's performance. They should give up on it and focus their efforts on the US bluntly.


> They have the support of one carrier with roughly 20% market share, and about 3 - 5% of Android devices.

According to Google (in the articles I read and shared here), whether the network provider supports it is irrelevant because they are supplying their own server in those cases, so it should just work. If you're in that region I'm interested to hear what you experience is if you have access to an Android phone and test.


Either the provider has to support it or the SMS app on the device has to (TBH the provider support also requires some level of integration with the SMS app but that level is more common).

Google has rolled out a provider independent implementation to it's own SMS app, but that SMS app has no marketshare.

My experience is that, without going and hunting out an app to install, my Samsung handset has no support. I have a number of test devices, some of which do have support and a few even have support by default, but those have no marketshare.


Only one operator in UK (Vodafone) so far.

There are about 800+ mobile phone operators around the world and based on reports about 50 or so have signed up. Not a great percentage after 10+ years.

And I think the lack of encryption is going to kill adoption in many parts of the world.


"But now Google is taking over: later this month, Android users in the UK and France will be able to opt in to RCS Chat services provided directly by Google instead of waiting for their carrier to support it."[1]

Sounds like we might get some movement on this soon, as Google is offering their own servers as a fall-back in the case that the network provider hasn't provided their own.

1: https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/17/18681573/google-rcs-chat-...


> I can't wait for RCS messaging. I'm honestly wondering it Apple will support it, or try to segment the text messaging market even more.

I mean, RCS is practically dead (at least in the USA). But even if it does come it'll basically replace SMS with something slightly better. I don't see how it addresses the iMessage stuff. iMessage will likely still send much higher quality images and videos and RCS, AFAIK, can't do some the same features like showing who's typing.

RCS is cool but I don't think it's going to be a game changer in any way. I think it'll just be an incremental update, if it even comes to the USA.


The big four carriers in the US already support RCS. iDevices do not, so that limits who you can communicate with.


>Man, in my extended family SMS text group, this comes up once every couple weeks. One of us will note they aren't getting a random message, or someone will send a video and the quality will be crap, and the iPhone users will all mention how if we all had iPhones, this wouldn't be a problem.

I don't understand why iMessages is so popular in US, and it is pretty much US and France ( SMS ) only AFAIK. It is like when the world was on ICQ, they had AIM. When the world moved to MSN, they still stuck to AIM.

And just like AIM, iMessages sucks. I tried it many times and the same problem persist. Some users in the group not getting message, message appeared not in timely order, sometimes random message from the past appear. Needs to Recreate group to solve user not getting message problem, which means all previous group messages are in different group. It is slow as compared to WhatsApp. Icons and Packs are far worst, it is as if Apple has never used WeChat, KakaoTalk, Line, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Telegram.

Then there is huge amount of SMS Notification and Receipt that gets muddles up in the list of conversation. It is a Giant pile of Mess.

Every year I read something about iMessages being popular ( in US ) and every year I tried with my group of friends. And the answer remain the same. And it is so god damn bad most of my friends now refuse to try it again.

Edit: And iMessages does't always Sync on my Mac.


They really ought to have some sort of format for setting up APN properly based on URIs, which could then be put in QR codes on fresh SIM card packages.


When I put in a fresh SIM, APN details are sent via some kind of special SMS and automatically set up. I think it’s been this way for a decade or more


I've had a bunch of cellular ISPs over the years, and I've noticed that cellular infrastructure providers have this capability, but MVNOs seemingly do not.


iPhones start at $450.


That right, you're correct. If I want to buy a new phone that's three years old, I can pay $450 for an iPhone 7. Or $600 for a 2 year old phone, or $750, for a phone released a year ago, which is more what I would consider when buying a new phone (why would I buy a new phone that's multiple years old hardware?). So, I think $750 is a fair amount to reference, and I agree that $1000 is a bit high.


That's why I paid 475 for the OnePlus 7 (not the pro I can't stand the pop out camera). I was going in for the latest tech, I don't want 3 year old tech for that price.


Hah I love the pop up camera, I can't stand holes in my screen.


Why does release date matter? Apple could re-release an old phone in a new package, as it did with SE, and qualify for your pricing comparison.


Because if I bought a new phone last year, why would I want to spend money to buy a new phone now that's worse than what I already had?

Telling someone to buy an iPhone because of this is pretentious. Telling them to buy an iPhone that may be worse performance wise than their current phone is way worse.


It seems like in your original post, you were saying that iPhone was not a good value. Yet the A series chips consistently outperform Snapdragon by years, and software support for iPhone probably means a years old model has more official life than a latest Android.

I don’t think the reply was suggesting you get a new phone specifically. They were responding to your claim that iPhone is on face not a good value.


No, I wasn't saying it's not a good value. I was saying it's a ridiculous thing to ask of someone that may have a completely serviceable phone that might even be brand new. It's like telling someone to buy a Mercedes or Volvo. It may be a very good product, but that doesn't mean there's not a lot of assumptions in any recommendation to buy one, especially if it doesn't consider the quality, cost or age of your current car other than "not a Mercedes or Volvo".


Except in this case you can buy iPhone for $450 which is less than the OnePlus6 in my locale. SOCs compare favorably between the two devices. I guess I’m not seeing why iPhone is akin to a luxury car brand.


No iOS user thinks its "Android's" problem, but they do know that being on Android is the problem.

iOS = 1 ecosystem.

Android = infinite ecosystems with no cohesion.

One has native capability and consistent user experience which is now better for social interaction. The other has people rationalizing how a non-native app can be used which also wouldn't solve the aforementioned problem of receiving a random type of message, because nobody wants that experience, they want the rich experience that is native to iOS.

The android native experiences described even in OP's blog post won't be available for AGES on most people's devices, and even in that age they won't be reliable features because of custom OS' and devices won't be allowed to support it, based on the preference of those distributors.

iOS users aren't confused about that shitshow, iOS users know that it doesn't matter why, there is simply no consensus to fixing it on android, no path to consensus on fixing on android, and a group of hopeful technology enthusiasts that missed the memo on how android cohesion will never get better.


What is the benefit of this cohesion that you're missing? Why should different Android devices be any more cohesive in terms of features than Android devices vs. iOS devices? If you want the latest features, you buy an Android One, Pixel, or Nokia phone. If you don't, you buy an iOS phone or some other Android phone.


Also as a recent iOS user, I don't understand why. Other than live captions, sound amp and family link, most new features have been on iOS for a while, and will actually improve on iOS 13 (e.g. apps have to ask for location access each time, besides the current 3 options). Seems like they're trying to catch up to iOS.


Android still has far superior notifications, both on the control side and the display side. You also basically named half of the features in "other than" list. iOS is also just getting dark mode too so not "for a while". The only thing they've had for a while is better permission control.


What is difficult to understand about OP wanting features that iOS does not offer?


Its more the massive privacy, security, longevity, and performance penalty you pay switching to Android that causes concern.

Android has some nifty features depending on device, but the core experience just isn’t there. (E.g. I figured chrome on Android has to be faster than Chrome on iOS - nope, my XR consistently beat a Pixel 3 side-by-side)

My iPhone 6S from 2015 is still in service and fast; I gave it to my mom when I upgraded and she’s very happy with it. It still gets updates.


FYI, chrome on iOS's core is just Safari's


I know, if anything that makes it more embarrassing for Android - Google controls that whole system and they're still not beating WKWebview on their flagship device.

Going between Android and iOS, that's one of the hardest aspects that I think gets overlooked - the browser is just slower and its noticeable. I pointed out the flagship device in this case, but its no better on the lower end devices.


Holy shit I’m not crazy. I switched to iOS almost entirely for Safari. I’d been an Android user for so long I just thought that Chrome was just how the web was until someone handed me their iPhone.


Show evidence? Webkit having 200K commits vs 850K commits of chromium I find your claim ridiculous.


I don’t know what commit count has to do with it, that’s a weird dick measuring contest to choose to participate in.

You can see in this video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=83dDLf3Zhx4

It’s interesting to note the different behavior; Android/chrome is putting something on the screen first, while safari tends to finish rendering and show the completed result before chrome. Tends to vary a bit by site.

App startup is a bit slower on iPhone but note that the preferred way on iOS is to keep apps open and not manually close them. Manually closing apps isn’t really required on iOS except to declutter the task switcher. Supposedly faster startup times coming in iOS 13.


iMessage pressure is real for me too. I was considering switching to an iPhone for a while but found air message and have been using it for a few weeks. It doesn't have all the features of iMessage, but core messaging works pretty well and I haven't felt a need to switch to an iPhone.

https://airmessage.org/


This is an interesting workaround.

People forget that part of the point of different colors for iMessage vs SMS was to indicate that iMessage is encrypted and SMS isn't. It's also a handy marketing thing, but there is a technical justification for making a visible distinction.

AirMessage is basically a proxy that strips encryption for Android devices:

"AirMessage leverages the power of your Mac computer in order to route messages to and from Apple's iMessage servers. The server is to be installed on a computer at home, and will pass messages to and from your smartphone to allow the usage of iMessage and other installed services."


I don't think that's what's happening here. I think AirMessage is just functioning as an iMessage client by using the Messages app on the Mac as a proxy. It would be no different from sitting physically in front of the computer. You can only read the messages off the screen and you can only send messages through Message itself.


I think we're saying the same thing. :-)

I would imagine that the AirMessage Android app is actually in communication with the AirMessage server on your Mac. It uses some automation (perhaps via something like https://github.com/shusain93/OSXMessageProxy) to talk the the Messages app. The connection is encrypted from there to the other side, as if you were sitting in front of your Mac. This happens in reverse the other way.

Hacky, and now you own the weak links in the E2E encryption chain. But a neat workaround, in a pinch.


Yes, it looks like we are. :)


Does it re-encrypt them when sending, though? I would have to assume they've at least looked at doing that, otherwise it's a giant security hole.


See my peer response. I would imagine all traffic from the Mac<->other device is encrypted. You're responsible for securing the Android<->Mac link.


I'm coming from the other side, I've been feeling more and more of a desire to go back to Android. I had a pretty gnarly experience where my cellular antenna stopped working and apple gave surprisingly poor customer support. I've had really annoying wifi issues on the latest iphone xs as well as the latest apple tv. Overall, I get the feeling that things in general are headed in the wrong direction and would love to get away from them. I'm pretty married to OS X for development but otherwise I would like to get away. The biggest thing holding me back from switching is messages and the integration between ios and os x. It seems so silly but that's where I'm at.


[flagged]


I'll bite. Why is Apple harmful to capitalism? If you have an actual argument for that point, why is harm to capitalism a bad thing?


Less competition is bad for most people.i suppose it's a utilitarian viewpoint.


do you appear as an iOS user to actual iOS users? I can't tell from the website


Given that the installation guide[1] says you need "A computer running OS X 10.10 Yosemite or higher (and a place for it to stay)" I'm pretty sure they are just relaying your messages through an actual desktop iMessage instance, so probably. I imagine a lot of Android users don't have a computer running MacOS to do this though, so while a cool solution, it probably doesn't help the majority of people.

1: https://airmessage.org/guide/


That's ironic, this page makes me want to switch to iOS for my next phone.

Aside from the annoyingness of the page... Too many things here are patched on top what ought to be core. Eg. Pausing annoying apps. IMO apps ought to default to off in the first place until you turn them on.

Very little detail about these new privacy controls. Sounds like Google-centric lipstick.

Dark theme is exciting; embarrassing it took so long.

Hopefully I'm proven wrong...


FB messenger really solved the cross platform group chat problem for me. Allows for video chat too to replace facetime.


Minor nitpick, but the quality of compression for pictures/video sent over FB Messenger is atrocious compared to that of iMessage. Like, we aren't talking just technicalities, it is very visually obvious and jarring. Same when it comes to video chat, Discord and FaceTime have waaaaay better quality and reliability.


I've got ten year olds who love texting their relatives, and I'm not willing to send my kids into the Facebook meatgrinder yet.


You can be signed up for Messenger without being signed up for Facebook, I think. (Or, at least, you can deactivate a Facebook account and still use Messenger.)


Sure, but that's still Facebook.

I don't want Facebook having any level of access to under-13 minors' devices.


Does deactivating Facebook mean anything on the user side? I remember trying to delete my FB account (Which in their parlance is a different thing) some years ago and it was an oblique nightmare


> But alas, iMessage pressure is real in my friend's group.

I've never had this from my friends. I read about this all the time and all I can think is, "Why would I be friends with people who care about that enough to peer pressure me into using an iPhone?"


Because there are some huge, genuinely great benefits to using it. No one really cares that much but, when the difference between the two experiences is as great as it currently is, it really affects the conversation.

For example, we don't really pressure friends to buy iPhones but we legitimately have a separate conversation group for just iOS users from the main SMS group chat so we can send images, video, or other media at full quality. Most of us are pretty tech savvy too so we're not really keen on using WhatsApp or Telegram or any of the other dirty data apps.


What are the great benefits? As far as I can tell, Google voice + Hangouts has all the features and more.


>Google voice + Hangouts has all the features and more

Most of the features and a boat-load of data and privacy concerns to go along with it.


iMessage sends messages via cell data (or WiFi) too, if that’s what you meant by “dirty data app”.


No, I mean "dirty data" as in all your data is collected and there's very little transparency regarding what those apps/companies are doing with your data. I haven't exhaustively tested all these apps but I have tested a few and know that Apple doesn't send any information or data from iMessage to their servers that isn't encrypted on-device. Unlike these other apps, Apple couldn't leak your data or usage from these apps because it's never collected in the first place.


Seriously. In the meantime, the rest of the world all uses WhatsApp. For group chat it's hard to beat. I use signal with family and some friends but getting people to switch is impossible. And allegedly it has group chat but it's not obvious how that works even to a techie like me. Asking people to switch phone platforms is ridiculous, especially people from poorer countries where an iPhone costs at least a couple months' salary. Lately I've also used keybase with another friend and it seems promising but the user base is almost nonexistent.


It sounds super common in the US. In the UK, we either settle with Messenger (ugh, but at least it's cross-platform) or WhatsApp.


What kind of circles is everyone in? I didn't realize that tapbacks had a name, and wondered why I'd occasionally see a message like:

A: foo

B: liked "foo"

but I just use either Messenger, Wechat, or Snapchat. The only time I open my SMS app is to view 2FA Codes.


How does the pressure manifest?


I've had a few friends passive aggressively mention I am the reason our group chat is MMS vs iMessage.

Or even worse: I just simply got excluded from group chats. That was the saddest one because when hanging out in person, a friend will mention a conversation from the group chat and I wouldn't know what's going on and they would just awkwardly pretend it didn't happen. Or say they'd add me to the group and never actually do it.

iMessage FOMO is a real thing and the social pressure (in the US at least) is insane.


> the social pressure (in the US at least) is insane.

This isn't a US-wide thing. This is about the priorities of a certain subculture, nothing more. Your friends just happen to be embedded in that subculture. My condolences.


The subculture of people who have iPhones? As much as Apple would want this to be, I don't believe there is a cohesive subculture that describes all iPhone users.


In my experience, in most countries (and outside the US especially) WhatsApp has already won the network effects battle, and it's the default messaging app in any smartphone. Even people with iPhone will all have WhatsApp installed.


Interesting; in whatever cultural bubble I'm embedded in, every group chat (even among five friends without any shared purpose) is its own Discord server.


I doubt that includes family, co-workers or neighbors, right? Here in germany WhatsApp is so ubiquitous that beside various friends circles you'll likely have groups for family, work, (sports) clubs, or your fellow kindergarten parents, etc.

It's the default form of mobile communication here.


In western Europe maybe, not in Asia for example


Here's a map that shows WhatsApp leading in most regions. And for Europe, even in countries where FB Messenger is the dominant app, most people will still have WhatsApp installed to ensure good "friend coverage". It is common to have (and regularly use) at least 2 if not more messaging apps.

https://rocketbots.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/AppMap_5a9b...


What part of Asia? I'm guessing you mean China/Korea/Japan. Whatsapp is by far the dominant messaging platform on the Indian subcontinent, extending as far the Middle East.


Where in Asia? The #1 (by a VERY LARGE margin) messaging apps in India, China, and S. Korea (at least) are all not iMessage.

(Whatsapp, WeChat, and KakaoTalk respectively.)


No, the subculture isn't "all people who have iPhones". It's a specific subset of people who have iPhones.


If you've got friends who have time to complain about it, but not the time to move conversation to WhatsApp/FB/line/telegram/WeChat/...anything and prefer to exclude you, are they really friends? This honestly makes me angry when people say they're pressured into buying a high cost device.


I agree! Trust me, I was resentful for buying an iPhone too. They are my friend because we can't really move the conversation to any other platform. Some of my friends took #DeleteFacebook very seriously and deleted Insta/WhatsApp/FB while others refuse to download Line/WeChat/Telegram or any others because I'd be the only one they'd use that with. The network effect is bad and the only "standardized" communication platform that we all have is SMS. But because they are all iPhone users, it defaults to iMessage and they hate me for causing them to default to SMS/MMS because they see it as "slower and not as instant"... So other than emailing one another, there wasn't really any other options...


> because I'd be the only one they'd use that with

I started using hangouts, WhatsApp, signal, FB, and just yesterday line for a single person. This is really not a good excuse. People should be more important than tech.


Agreed. Unfortunately, many millennials don't see it that way. There's so many stories about the Green Bubble effect and how lazy people are to switch to anything else. It's sad.


>not the time to move conversation to WhatsApp/FB/line/telegram/WeChat/

None of these are an alternative to iMessage. They all either are missing key features or require you to deal with unencrypted communications or relayed encryption.


WhatsApp, signal, matrix has e2e. It's not an exhaustive list either - there are tons of solutions to choose from. What are the other key features?


WhatsApp, though, is still owned by Facebook and, therefore, has all kinds of privacy concerns. Last I heard, the encryption wasn't e2e and used a key that was generated by the app. If that's the case, then Facebook has a copy of that key.


The key has to be generated either in the app or on some server. There are no other choices really, unless you use only ephemeral keys - and that gives you secrecy but doesn't validate the other side. (And you can still copy that key) WhatsApp is e2e on all devices since 2016 and uses open whisper, which is the same encryption as signal.

Regarding the key - you have to trust the app it doesn't share it with the app authors. That's regardless of who/how implements the encryption. And it's true for iMessage as well.


>it's true for iMessage as well

Are you sure about that? I was under the impression that, according to the security white paper released by Apple, that the key is generated on-device in the Secure Enclave and that Apple never has access to it. The Enclave itself also doesn't have network access so there's no way for that to be transmitted anywhere by any other means except for physical access, which is also limited in the hardware.


You still have to trust the app to use the secure enclave and not generate the key in standard code.

iMessage does that, though. This has been verified by the jailbreak community and the netsec community.

Blue bubbles good. Green bubbles bad.


To be fair, if I was in such a group I would probably be the one passive aggressive about them using a messaging suite locked into a single platform too expensive for most people to afford (instead of Signal, Whatsapp, etc), so maybe I shouldn't be so harsh on your friends.


This is my friends too. I gave in to the pressure for a different reason, so it’s nice to not be excluded again. GroupMe seems to be the lowest common denominator for proper group chats (50+ people).


as dumb as it sounds, nobody likes to be a green bubble


Must be an American problem. Never heard anyone outside of the US talk about the colour of the bubbles. Everyone uses Whatsapp here.


It's not just green bubbles. Tapbacks are awkward and pictures and videos don't send as reliably.

With my "green bubble" friends, we usually use Telegram or Signal or Keybase instead.

I'd love to see a standardized IM/Text protocol instead of 1000 fragmented platforms. I've got on the order of 10 chat apps on my phone right now, all used in different contexts.


> I'd love to see a standardized IM/Text protocol instead of 1000 fragmented platforms. I've got on the order of 10 chat apps on my phone right now, all used in different contexts.

Apple could easily open the protocol, but they won't. They also won't use any of the other ones so as long as you'll be using iOS, you'll be in the iMessage garden and everyone else will be in another garden.


> I'd love to see a standardized IM/Text protocol instead of 1000 fragmented platforms.

I'm hoping that's what RCS[1] will be (ids? And that's why I referenced it above). It's supposed to by the successor to SMS, but it's been around for quite a while and not adopted, so I'm not sure what's going on with it.

Edit: It looks like as of a couple months ago it's live in the UK and France, and just those two countries.[2]

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Communication_Services

2: https://9to5google.com/2019/07/01/rcs-hands-on-not-quite-ime...


The problem is that, as near as I can tell, RCS will eliminate much of what makes SMS an attractive thing.


Try Matrix[1]. It's a protocol specification with multiple open-source implementations. It has federation so that you can choose which server to use (or run your own) and still communicate with everyone else. It has end-to-end encryption (although at the moment it only works in one client, but it's coming along).

[1] https://matrix.org/


Agreed, it's like signal on steroids.


If you have kids that you communicate with, stickers and iMessage apps like bitmoji are a big deal, and Whatsapp doesn’t have them.

Whatsapp really seems to be missing the boat with tweens and teens - that’s cant be good for their future.


I spend lots of time with my teenage nephew—it’s all iMessage, Snapchat, Discord, GroupMe (surprisingly, because I’m old enough to use that!), and sometimes even Instagram DMs. Granted, he lives in the US, so that might change things.


> nobody likes to be a green bubble

Lots of people don't care at all. The only time I hear about this whole "green bubble bad" thing is online. In real life, I have never once encountered this sentiment. (I'm not saying this sentiment doesn't exist IRL, I'm saying that it's not universal.)


Eh, don't want to make any assumptions on your age, but I'm young enough that iPhones were introduced around when I was in middle/high school. Here in the US, living in an upper-middle class area, lots of kids got them right off the bat.

I've never had anyone SERIOUSLY be mad about me being the green bubble, but when you're doing large group text coordination and someone drops me in, then starts doing tapbacks and sending rich media, I get some shit. And it gets thrown out as a joke in general conversation all the time. "Oh, he's a GREEN bubble..."


> Here in the US, living in an upper-middle class area, lots of kids got them right off the bat.

I'm sure that correct, but how common iPhones are, even amongst your age group, greatly depends on where in the US you are. In my area, iPhones are not nearly as common as they are in other areas, and there is generally little peer pressure in the grade/high schools to have them. Having a smartphone generally is expected, but few people care about whether or not it's an iPhone.


I've never heard of this until today, but green is my favorite color. I am confused how two functioning adults can care about this. It sounds like an unreasonably childish thing to care about. If someone has different phone then you and they want you to change to appease them then tell them to deal with it.


The color is simply an indicator of an inferior system. It's not the color itself that people care about. They care about the encryption, quality of media, timestamps, delivery receipts, etc.


Is there a case for an Apple antitrust in the US due to this issue ? How is it different than MS baking IE into their OS back in the days ?


Consider by not contributing to the Apple Ecosystem you create a better environment for developers and customers.


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