Updated 07 May 2021.
Copyright: European Union Public License, version 1.2 (EUPL-1.2).
In order to benchmark hardware, not overlook some features and have consistency across our articles, we designed a list of features to review.
1.1 Code & developers:
- Code: Open source or audited by trusted third party.
- License: FOSS (Free Open Source Software), or Freemium.
- Liveliness: Actively maintained: App is regularly updated.
- Support: Emergency support by the provider. The team is answering to support requests from users.
- Open source firmwares.
- Platforms: Multi-platform, Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, iOS, Ubuntu Touch etc.
- App stores: Available from alternative repositories: APKpure, F-Droid, Github, team’s website etc. That way user doesn’t have to use a Google or Microsoft account.
- Apk Signature: Signature key provided on website to check that APK downloaded has not be tampered with.
- Digitally signed with Microsoft: So as not to trigger a warning from Windows SmartScreen.
- Intuitive: Adoption from the team is easy even for non geeks, from installation to using all most features.
- Same features: On all types of operating systems: For example features available on the Android is the same as with iOS which is the same as on Windows which is also available on Linux.
- Administration of users: Example for a communication app: Administrator can Invite, remove, block, mute, define moderators. Example for a website or blog: Not just one single admin access that has to be shared (like Medium), but can create editor’s access to the team (like WordPress, Steemit).
- Battery: Easy to remove battery.
1.5 Security & Privacy:
- No identifying information: At purchase and set up (email, phone number, credit card).
- No permission request for device access: Doesn’t access device’s data at installation. Doesn’t scavenge on your contacts and media files.
- Resistance to state-sponsored criminals: Police, prosecutors etc. Their crimes are “legal” since they’ve corrupted state institutions. They are the most dangerous sort of criminals, to an individual or to a country. If they’ve done something illegal, they can cover it up any ways they like. They can intercept and read IMAP, POP3, TLS, SSL. They can spoof your email provider SSL certificate. They can have access to your SMS, emails, meaning a recovery option is often an easy attack possibility for them.
- Not in a 5 eyes country: Whether for the servers used or the team/company developing the app: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States.
- Hard switches for microphone, camera, GPS.
- Easily removable battery.
1.6 Price and value:
- Cost-effectiveness: For large user base, afordable monthly fee or one-off license fee. Example for a communication app: If you have 15 people in your team, your organisation can reasonably afford the monthly fee.
- Anonymous payment: Can pay using anonymous cryptocurrency (Monero).