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This sort of analysis underscores how different TextSecure is from the growing number of snake-oil/backdoored messaging applications out there.

Kudos to moxie and team for building usable free software; it's so much harder to build something that people can use than it is to criticize others' work.

I've got my parents using text secure - apart from a periodic MMS bug, they basically can't tell the difference. It's really good.

I can also confirm the simplicity, my wife use it all the time. It is simple to use.

It's a pain that it supports SMS. I wish they would make a TextSecure that completely dropped all SMS sending support. As it is, having legacy SMS makes it trickier to use than Whatsapp, since Textsecure "randomly" sends SMSs (e.g. when your data drops out). If SMS cost you money then this is a deal breaker for using it with less tech-savvy family members.

So obviously that's not the ideal solution, the ideal solution is to have an option to disable sending SMSs. Most people (at least in the US) have unlimited or nearly unlimited SMS with every plan, so sending an SMS doesn't really matter. For those that it does matter for, they could simply disable SMS. In fact, this is such an obvious solution that I went to check if it was there already and what do you know? It is. "Allow outgoing SMS to" has an a checkbox to allow outgoing SMS, to prompt before sending and SMS to another TextSecure user, etc.

I know that, and I can fiddle with settings and get it working as I like. Family members less so.

There are many data plans in Europe where SMS are charged at rip off rates, and are something to be avoided. Even just the risk of sending SMS is enough to put anyone off using the application. Especially when competing solutions work as expected - i.e. they will not send SMS at all, ever.

This is exactly why I don't use it.

Or you could just go to the "Allow outgoing SMS to" setting and uncheck the box that says "TextSecure users", or leave it checked and check the box which sais "Ask before sending SMS".

I'm still not invested into any IM solution. Running an xmpp server for my family (parents, wife, me - everyone else cannot use that because they're on Hangout or FB or Whatsapp etc..).

TextSecure certainly seems the best option, but its adoption wouldn't help me a lot (I could migrate my wife, my parents - but I most certainly won't be able to use it beyond that circle) and - I really, really dislike central services for communication. This isn't even a serious trust issue, I do believe that the developers of TextSecure are genuinely offering a great and secure text chat experience (ignoring that other solutions promise the same - Threema et al for example, but TextSecure comes with a lot more credibility and therefor trust). But I like to stay in control of my infrastructure. The xmpp server is the best fit - but the protocol and clients cause some issues and No Oneā„¢ is using it, so the federation is a moot point.

Totally understand and respect your position. But one of the other great things about TextSecure is that although it may require a bit of work and you may not be interested, you could even run your own TextSecure server if you were so inclined because it's free software: https://github.com/WhisperSystems/TextSecure-Server

You're right. But there's no (open) federation.

Unless something drastic changed (or I'm utterly misinformed) you could run your own server - and you'd split the network. The explanation was, as far as I recall, that there's no easy way to route things if all you got is a mobile number as an identifier (So .. on what server is that client? A JID has a host, a mobile number doesn't).

To reiterate: You probably could run your own server. In which case you and the 3-5 people you might convince to use that server would share some infrastructure under your control. You would not be able to send a message to the 6th friend that happens to use TextSecure, but _also_ needs to be on the authentic/real network to chat with his family.

Edit: Partially based on https://twitter.com/moxie/status/438049169052155905

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