Software

Mobile Apps

personally tested


SimpleX Chat

Privacy redefined: no User IDs

The first Messenger without User IDs

Other apps have user IDs.
SimpleX does not, not even random numbers.
This radically improves your privacy.

Developer

Evgeny Poberezkin

Purchase Date

22.11.2022: Download from Apple App Store on iPhone 14 Pro Max
23.09.2022: Download from Apple App Store on iPhone Xs
29.07.2023: Download from GitHub on Google Pixel 7 Pro
03.02.2024: Download from GitHub on Google Pixel 8 Pro

Purchase Price

The SimpleX app is free for users. But donations are welcome.

Rating

***** 4 stars

System Requirements

• iOS from vers. 15.0
• visionOS from vers. 1.0
• Android OS from vers. 9.0
• macOS (No version information)
• Windows 10 or higher
• Linux (most distributions)

Compatible with:
• Android Smartphones/Tablets
• iPhone/iPod touch
• Mac
• Windows
• Linux

Download

Android

Google Play
SimpleX Repository at F-Droid
APK File on GitHub

iOS

Apple App Store

Desktop

Mac (Apple Silicon)
Mac (Intel)
Windows
Linux

Languages

German, Bulgarian, English, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Czech, Turkish, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Simplified Chinese

Support

Website almost exclusively in English, homepage already multilingual

• Blog, Guide, Reference, YouTube

Features

  • Chats and voice messages
  • Public groups & Secret groups
  • Share files & media
  • Voice and video calls (P2P)
  • agree/disagree/comment with emojis
  • Light or dark design + choice of colour according to taste
  • can also be used without a SIM card
  • Contact also possible via QR code (scan each other)
  • completely anonymous account creation: no telephone number or e-mail required
  • quantum-resistant end-to-end encryption with all contacts

Practice

22.11.2022: As of today I am testing SimpleX on my iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Data backup before selling this iPhone, thereafter installed on iPhone Xs.
20.06.2023: Switch back to iPhone 11 Pro.

29.07.2023: SimpleX Chat beta version 5.3 installed on Pixel 7 Pro. Notifications set periodically (every 10 minutes) to minimise energy consumption and not miss any chats.
31.07.2023: Notification service switched to “always active” after battery charge on a trial basis. This consumed a lot more energy and the battery only lasted 18:12 h. Uninstalled SimpleX Chat.
12.10.2023: Install SimpleX again on the Pixel 7 Pro. Test this time with the background service always active: “App battery usage: Unrestricted in background”. This consumes 1% energy every 20 min. or so as long as SimpleX is running in background (much more in foreground). More than 24 h of operating time is therefore unthinkable. For comparison: without SimpleX, 48 h are easily possible with moderate use.
16.10.2023: Before the end of the battery charge, I changed SimpleX's notification service to “Only active when app is open”. Since I only test the app sporadically to monitor developments with a single contact person, this is acceptable. We can agree on another messenger such as Threema or Session before we test SimpleX together again. Otherwise, everyone has a second device. Augenzwinkernder Smiley
18.10.2023: Install “Sandboxed Google Play” in main profile, now using Google's Push Notification Service for Session Messenger and SimpleX. I set the battery usage for SimpleX to “Optimised”.
26.10.2023: Thanks to Google's Push Notification Service, the energy consumption of the SimpleX messenger is very low.
03.12.2023: Since I installed SimpleX again and this time set its notification service to “Always active”, this app has been eating up far too much energy (64%) when unused in the background. I am now putting an end to this: Switching to “Only active when app is open”. Not really being used at the moment. But I'm keeping an eye on its development.
05.01.2024: SimpleX improved a few things in the last update, so I set the notification back to “Always active” and battery usage to “Unlimited”. Maybe the energy consumption is really a bit lower now? I'll keep an eye on it…
09.01.2024: 24 h operating time is completely impossible with SimpleX. Switch to “Only active when app is open”.
21.01.2024: Beta version 5.5 of SimpleX has been released. Supposedly it consumes less energy. I am very curious and update to this beta version, set notification to “Always active” and battery usage to “Unlimited”.
22.01.2024: The energy consumption of SimpleX Chat remains high. In standby mode, the Pixel 7 Pro consumes 1% every 15 minutes! Notification therefore changed to “Periodic” (every 10 min.).
25.01.2024: SimpleX consumes much less energy since the changeover on 22.01.2024. Not directly available for voice calls, but messages arrive quickly. Calls can be announced in this way. Calls are signalled when both users have the app in the foreground.
03.02.2024: SimpleX moved to the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Notification service: Periodically active (every 10 minutes). Without push notifications (active in the background), energy consumption is low.
28.03.2024: Notification service from SimpleX switched to “always active” after battery charge on a trial basis.
29.03.2024: SimpleX consumes too much energy with its own notification service: 1% every 15 minutes in standby mode is an insane amount. This way, the Pixel 8 Pro will never manage 24 hours of operation on one battery charge! That reminds me, I haven't tested the migration via QR code yet. Smiley
Within a few minutes, SimpleX migrates to my iPhone 11 Pro.
01.05.2024: SimpleX back from iPhone 11 Pro to Pixel 8 Pro.
Notification service: only when the app is running in the foreground.
So SimpleX Chat does not consume any energy when not in use.

Telephony

03.05.2024: Just over an hour's voice call with a contact who also uses an Android smartphone. The latest SimpleX version 5.7 offers fast connection setup, acoustic signals make it easier to recognise that everything is working as usual with landline and mobile telephony. And with a good internet connection, the call quality is excellent.

Pros

  • completely anonymous use: neither phone number nor e-mail required to create profiles
  • create several profiles for different purposes and switch between them
  • decentralised server network: no data breaches, no central point of failure
  • no metadata: SimpleX does not store, track or log any message metadata
  • public groups: End-to-end encrypted private group chats
  • secret groups: anonymous end-to-end encrypted private group chats
  • secure attachments: share voice snippets, photos & files with SimpleX's secure encryption and privacy protection
  • free & open source: check the code of SimpleX yourself
  • no proprietary software library from Google or other third-party providers
  • very strong encryption on the end device
  • chats, contact lists and groups are only managed decentrally on the participating devices, no storage on a server – this is where SimpleX differs significantly from conventional messengers
  • consistent end-to-end encryption with PFS
  • Security and data protection already considered in the design
  • comfortable typing on a large keyboard with the desktop version of SimpleX
  • Development team very competent, hard-working, flexible and fast
  • excellent voice quality when making calls (depends on quality of internet connection)

Cons

  • Push notification with high energy consumption on Google-free Android devices
  • no Multi-Device support
  • FAQ & support currently in English only

Conclusion

I am impressed by this very data-saving messenger!
I was particularly impressed by the well thought-out and platform-independent data backup function that was available right from the start!
Also the settings for the appearance (design) of the user interface can be exported to a file. This allowed me to spend a lot of time creating multiple user profiles right from the start and move the entire configuration from the iPhone 14 Pro Max I initially used to the iPhone Xs and then from device to device, regardless of platform, in just a few minutes without losing any data or having to set everything up again.

However, if your life and limb are at risk, you should only use SimpleX in conjunction with Tor to disguise your own IP address!

Important Tips

Android OS

  • Keep profiles and passwords safe; use a password manager (e.g. KeePassDX or Bitwarden)
  • Never configure the memory card as internal memory extension – very high risk of data loss!

Apple iOS/iPadOS

General

  • The security of a password vault stands and falls with the quality of the master password!

Alternatives

Threema (disadvantages: centralised servers, no multi-device yet)
Session (disadvantages: no PFS, no backup function yet)

Reference

Evgeny Poberezkin – SimpleX Chat

Private and Secure Messaging Platform Without User IDs (YT)

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