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kevin freels

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  1. 1,952 votes
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    159 comments  ·  Feedback  ·  Admin →
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    kevin freels commented  · 

    Given the state of Phone companion and a couple other apps out there that also do the same, I don't see any reason for them to spend resources on this. It would have been nice 5-10 years ago but no longer relevant.

  2. 2,127 votes
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    33 comments  ·  Feedback  ·  Admin →
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    kevin freels commented  · 

    Finally I got to something that I can get behind. The top three requests are undoable and/or simply not pragmatic. This one however I just can't figure out why it wasn't addressed long ago. I really think it's time for a visual makeover. It's getting long in the teeth. While I do appreciate the effort to bring new capabilities, these capabilities are beginning to clash with the layout. (That and now that I need readers my text has to be larger. lol)
    So yes, we need color control over the background AND the keyboard. The background should be easy enough. But when you do it, PLEASE include an updated color-picker. Since you just initiate the subroutine to have the user choose a color which then sets the variable it should be plug and play. And you don't have to do it from scratch. there's one at git-hub that should work just fine. https://github.com/syslogic/androidx-colorpicker

    kevin freels supported this idea  · 
  3. 7,448 votes
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    244 comments  ·  Feedback  ·  Admin →
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    kevin freels commented  · 

    This just seems bizarre to me. First of all, with all the built in security in an Android phone, a second layer of security isn't going to solve poor security management. With all the ways that Android can be locked, auto-locked (time-out, on-body detection, trusted places, trusted devices, fingerprint auth, face-auth, pin, pattern, etc, if someone is able to access your phone when you're not around, you're doing it wrong. If someone is reading through your messages and you're right there, and letting someone use your phone, then you need to watch them and if they are going to break your trust you have bigger problems than device access management.

    But even IF Textra was completely hidden until you passed a retinal scan, fingerprint pass, PIN, password, blood test, hair sample authentication test, if someone has your phone and is able to move through apps, files, and folders, it STILL won't help. This is because Textra, like every other true carrier based SMS app replacement out there, is a GUI for the built-in SMS messaging that is baked into the OS by the carrier. Those messages come over their network into their phone at the system level. where all someone has to do is launch any messaging app, even just some freebie from the Play Store, and at launch it will prompt to be made the default messaging app, and when tapped, all the messages will load from the system into that app. This is how it is designed. It's your phone. If you are authenticated, you can access the core function of the phone...Voice, SMS, and Data.

    If someone has access to your phone and can access the Play store, or any messaging app on your phone such as the default app, then they can access your messages whether or not Textra has encryption, privacy options, or DNA analysis.

    For obvious reasons, Textra cannot somehow block access to the core SMS folder. That folder HAS to be open and available to the OS and carrier's SMS app as well as any other 3rd party app. If they could somehow lock it up, you would find that many other things, backups for instance, would break. The folder that the SMS messages arrive to and are kept in are in essence "owned" by the OS. The only thing textra could do is copy those messages to its own folder and encrypt that but that would still leave the main folder vulnerable.

    If you have private messages going on that you don't want anyone to find even though you regularly allow others to access your phone, then you really need a third party messaging service with a different number. There are plenty out there. Some even have a feature that hides the app as a calculator or other common app...a working calculator! but entering the correct set of numbers in the correct order on that calculator then opens the messaging app. They generally use a carrier agnostic IP messaging phone number over the public internet so it's independent of the messaging on the phone.

    If you insist on using your carrier number for messages you want to keep completely private but also tend to let someone else use your phone in a way that you can't stop them from looking through your stuff, one possible way to do so is to simply rename the app and replace the icon with something only you would recognize. This will make it tough to figure out how to get to your messages. But if they are familiar with Android they'll find it in settings or just install another 3rd party SMS app and take over the folder. An overlay for the OS like Nova7 provides the additional ability to "hide" apps from the apps drawer where you could put things like the play store icon, default messaging app, and Textra making it more complicated.
    But no matter what you do, if you are messaging using your carrier SMS number, there is little you can do to protect those messages beyond all the existing security measures baked into the OS.

  4. 7,876 votes
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    198 comments  ·  Feedback  ·  Admin →
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    kevin freels commented  · 

    If I'm not mistaken, you can archive through the native app. Even with that ability I use an app called SMS backup and restore. Having a dedicated app for it is hands down superior to any in-app archiving available. It lets me set a schedule, "backup now", extremely easy restore, transfer (get a new phone and transfer your backups and active conversations). You can view any and all groups of backups together or separately, always run full backups, archive mode (add new messages to the same file), or incremental (new backup files for only the messages since the last backup).
    With it I can backup messages, call logs, with or without attachments of photos, video, and other media, restore RCS/advanced messages, SELECTED CONVERSATIONS allows me to choose to backup all conversations or just specific conversations, Limit to date ranges, "Add readable date" converts the various ways phone manufacturers set dates, for example...timestamps of 1674706203000 probably means little to anyone that isn't familiar with UNIX time. So it converts it for you and you can select from about 15 different ways to view it from 1/25/23 10:13PM to Wednesday, January 25, 2023 10:13:32 PM Central Standard Time. Or 2023/25/01 22:13:32....however you prefer, it saves it. You can turn on the addition of an XSL tag that makes the backups viewable in a browser, turn on or off a function to show contact names.....Plus dark theme, option to enable password protection, time-zone correction, multiple languages....And save backups locally, (To phone or SD card) or to Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive, . And that's the FREE version with no ads that i've ever see except a small bar at the top when first launched. There's a PRO version for a few bucks that adds encryption and zip compression.

    That's an awfully lot of things that go with message backups so I don't see this being added or necessary when it is so well covered by a free app. I'd rather they spend the time that it would take to do all of that on the core with a few nice things like a web chat interface, bringing the color picker up to date with a standard modern color picker, and add search to individual messages rather than just relying on the global search....and a half-dozen other little things.

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