Idea for WhatApp on ubports

  • @UKPhil I totally get your point there, and it is very valid, in my opinion.

    The question is, if ubports wants to aim at reaching these target groups, you describe, just now – at least in the near future ubports might want to focus on a user group inbetween, consisting of users like you and me, willing to join the discussion, make a sacrifice to use a different and flexible operating system on their mobile devices.

    I could imagine the user base growing from “very geeky” to “very interested in tech and keen on experimenting” to “slightly techy” to a “mass market”. So, I don't think the first step should be to have all the shiny apps “for the masses”, but to have a nice platform for experts as well as enthusiasts.

    But I guess everyone has slightly different expectations of ubports and its future and only time will tell who is “right”.

    Edit: And you're right, the webapp will only work on one device at a time 😞

    – Thomas

  • Infrastructure

    Well I am pondering now the fact that as soon as someone reaches a worldwide monopoly status with his products, he might have the duty of letting others participate in his market. So if we assume, WhatsApp has more or less taken over the worldwide messaging market, there is no way for competitors to participate. Even SMS is more or less dead now 😉

    There was a EU court decision that in such cases the monopolist must publish his interface code to let others participate. But this was back in the days against Microsoft, and probably it does not apply here. But it would be worth a legal study maybe 😉


  • Yes, despite all difficulties, I find this topic very interesting. It's also not that people use WhatsApp because they like it so much over competitors, but that it was the first to offer free, but SMS-like services in a few markets, then acquired by Facebook.

    Since the app is effectively free, and chats are now supposed to be end-to-end encrypted, the question remains how Facebook wants to monetize WhatsApp. Maybe metadata is enough for them or they are just interested in holding a good market share in this area...

  • @UKPhil @te-online
    mmmmm i fully agree with a realistic way of productivity. if the mobile-device would be 100% pure linux to the core, it is a noble ambition. but there are not enough codewriter to fix this. i can be wrong and i hope that pure librem had a great success. but its mostly the usabilty of a device-os, thats let grow a big comunity.
    on one hand we have only a few codewriter ( me as example bloody newcomer) on the other hand we have a lot of work to do that the ubports-os stay alive with new hardware, browser-compatibiliy, new harder specifications of firewalls, ssl-protocols, android/libhybris.....
    whatsapp is a big thing. stupid question: why is it not possible to send wahtsapps to telegram and backwards?

  • I think that there are a lot of valid points here and I agree with what everyone has said. I think the idea about the monopoly could be right and may be worth wile to try and get the api's from facebook.

    The idea of being able to use Telegram to both contact WhatsApp users and Telegram users would be the ideal situation and would resolve this in one go. However this would take the Telegram down the road of the multi chat app, something I am not sure it is best to do

    From my understanding of the issues it is all due to the fast that facebook will not publish their whatsapp api's thus controlling the apps that use their service. If they did we could make something up. I might be wrong there so if I am please feel free to correct me.

  • The only reason why i need to have an extra android phone is whatsapp, mostly because of work, they use whatsapp groups and i am always forced to carry 2 phones.

    If somehow ubports can get whatsapp and a high end phone like oneplus 5 then i would burn andriods phones.

  • @bq4.5 Re/ about have to use What's Ape: I have two sons, 11 and 7 years old, which play for some years in a local sports association handball. This year the association communicated that they would create What's Ape groups for the communication of sports events, where to play next, against which other team, etc. I mailed to them: I have e-mail, SMS, Telegram, phone and if they would insist in What's Ape I would cancel the participation of my boys in this association because I do not have and do not want to have What's Ape.

    The communication stays by email.

  • @UKPhil said in Idea for WhatApp on ubports:

    From my understanding of the issues it is all due to the fast that facebook will not publish their whatsapp api's thus controlling the apps that use their service. If they did we could make something up. I might be wrong there so if I am please feel free to correct me.

    Yes, you are absolutely right. This is not about the missing ability to create such an app, but about restrictions on Facebook's side that make it impossible to create a client app without reverse engineering an official client. At least this is my current state of knowledge. Hence my suggestion of the cumbersome, yet working, usage of the webapp together with a “server device”.

    @guru said in Idea for WhatApp on ubports:

    The communication stays by email.

    And I'm guessing this didn't make you the most popular Dad in the group of parents 😉 You're absolutely right to do this and it is very idealistic and admirable – don't get me wrong! There is just the fact that WhatsApp is very convinient for many people, because they use it all the time and so they try to fit it to every use case they can find – and Facebook also tries to make the app adapt to these new use cases. Whereas you and me, not even “users” (“...and what is this Telegram, by the way?”), explaining the drawbacks and privacy implications of WhatsApp sound highly outlandish to the ears of many WhatsApp users.

    – Thomas

  • Hi! I'm also interested in making a whatsapp app for this OS. I tried Telegram instead but none of my friends have it on their phone.. However I try to convince them to change their habits 😉
    I just start with ubports and have installed Ubuntu onto Nexus 5 (hammerhead). There are minor bugs but it works pretty well 😉
    Thanks to the dev!

  • @guru , there is a big difference between school/sport and your work. I can't tell all of them use telegram or else. Maybe in few years 😛

  • @bq4.5 I can not imagine that your work contract requires you MUST have a mobile device with WhatsApp, and if so, I'd not sign such contract.

  • @revoltevidente you have made a very valid point here about the contacts you have. This is what I see will always be the issue if we as an is do not have a what'sapp app for our is.

  • If building a third-party app is not possible because Whatsapp policies don't allow it, why don't we emulate the official app on UbuntuTouch ? With AnBox for example, that we'll hopefully run once UT is upgraded to Xenial...

    -- Olivier

  • Infrastructure

    @oli.sax Anbox is not even Alpha stage, its a design study / proof of concept. The author seems not to actively work on it, sorry to say...


  • @Flohack
    Yes, since month no changes in the code.
    Looks like it's a dead project.

  • @Flohack Sad to hear that, but you are right there are no more recent development... Same for SFdroid : it looks like the development abruptly halted in May...

  • Funny enough today i was talking talking to a developer I know who also uses Ubuntu at home and I asked him why he does not have an Ubuntu Touch phone. His reply was simple there are some apps he uses that are not available on it. The main one being WhatsApp. This is a shame as we need people like him to help move the is along.

  • UKPhil, The question if or if not someone can organize his/her life w/o What's Ape, is somehow leading away from the real problem: There is no specification available about the protocol to talk to this service and due to the lack of this, there is no OpenSource client. And what the available closed app for What's Ape is doing "for" you (or better, against you) is not known. That's why I will not use it and will not use any device where this could not be removed from.

  • @guru as already said, I do not care if we have it or not as I do not use it myself.I just wish more people would consider trying Telegram.

  • @oli.sax , Flohack & WLBI

    At the EoD , Anbox wouldn't be a sustainable solution to run WA. Some month ago, I managed to make WA successfully work on Anbox/Xenial...but after a couple of weeks, it stopped suddenly... I upgraded the WA apk, reinstalled...nothing... After lots of retries I got an error message saying approx. "You have a custom Andoid rom installed, WA doesn't support...blabla..." .... End of the story.

    I totally agreed with all opinions and all that has been said on WA...
    Nowadays I some times use LoquiIM, which finally (voodoo magic?) stop displaying the sadly famous "decrypt error“ message after about 2.5 month...


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