Planet F-Droid

January 18, 2019

NewPipe

NewPipe 0.15.0 released, upgrading downloads, fixing critical bug and dropping support for Android 4.3

We are happy to release NewPipe 0.15.0. This new version brings a completely refactored download mechanism. Please note that starting with 0.15.0, NewPipe dropped support for Android JellyBean (4.3) and older. As always, this release includes several smaller improvements and fixes.

Everybody is encouraged to update NewPipe because all prior versions do not work anymore. The update is necessary because once again, YouTube changed their setup.

Downloads overhaul

@kapadomy put much time and effort into refactoring the complete download mechanism: more than 8.000 lines of code were changed, new features and settings added and multiple bugs fixed.

This includes muxing video and audio streams and therefore you should now be able to download most 1080p (and up) videos with audio again! Moreover, it is possible to download subtitles whenever they are provided by YouTube. @kapadomy also added the ability to queue downloads and improved the downloads page: the new layout groups downloads by status allowing you to find things faster. Tap on a downloaded stream and it starts playing! It is also quite easier to wipe all your downloads by using the new button in tha app bar.

Unfortunately, we needed to release this version as quickly as possible due to a critical bug and therefore not all download improvements reach you with this version. For the same reason, we did not have time to provide a release candidate for testing and finding bugs. Hence this release might contain some more bugs as usual. In case you find one, please see below to learn more on how you can report it.

Support for Android JellyBean dropped

From this version on, NewPipe requires at least Android KitKat (4.4). The app has been quite unusable on devices with Android 4.3 and lower due to several bugs which only occured on these specific Android versions. Fixing these crashes would have been time expensive and therefore not appropriate for the small number of users.

In addition, the video player library exoplayer which is used in this project only supports Android 4.4 and later. For this reason, NewPipe still had to provide an old player for these older devices. This could be removed starting with NewPipe 0.15.0.

To allow the development team to reduce the maintenance overhead and fully concentrate on bugs and features on newer Android versions, we decided to drop support for devices with Android versions lower than KitKat.

Critical bugfix

As mentioned in the introduction, YouTube changed their systems, and we had to adapt NewPipeExtractor and release a new version containing the changes.

This is not the first time we run into a situation like this. NewPipe 0.14.1 was released a couple of days after the regular release of 0.14.0, also because of changes on YouTube.

Like last time, we tried to finalize and publish a fix as soon as possible. Please be patient, we are aware of the problem, a fix is released, and as with all our updates, it will take some time until stores like F-Droid build and publish the packages. We will update the post once the binaries are available.

Further changes

Thanks to @agarwalakash06 it is possible to remove streams from the current play queue by swiping them to the right.

@beNitinhere and @Ping20002015 fixed a nasty null pointer exception which caused NewPipe to crash when minimizing the main player.

Get the new version

We recommend you to install the F-Droid app as it notifies you as soon as an update for NewPipe is available.

Please let us know about your experience in the latest release, especially bugs that need to be fixed. As usual, you can reach out to us via IRC (#newpipe on FreeNode), open issues on GitHub or ideally use our built-in crash reporter to send us machine-readable issue reports.

January 18, 2019 18:00

Paul Schaub

Quick Note: Backdoor in ES File Explorer

ES File Explorer is a popular file explorer app for Android. Even though it is proprietary, I must admit, that I came in touch with it too some years ago.

As Techcrunch reports, a security researcher now detected a backdoor in the app, which allows users on the same local area network as the victim to access the contents of the phone.

This example shows, how important it is to have free software, which can be audited by everyone.

by vanitasvitae at January 18, 2019 13:42

January 10, 2019

Paul Schaub

Kuketz Blog about Blokada

Just a quick hint: Mike Kuketz released a blog post about how you can use Blokada to block ads and trackers on your android device. In his post, he explains how Blokada uses a private VPN to block DNS requests to known tracker/ad sites and recommends a set of rules to configure the app for best experience.

He also briefly mentions F-Droid and gives some arguments, why you should get your apps from there instead of the Play Store.

The blog post is written in German and is available on kuketz-blog.de.

by vanitasvitae at January 10, 2019 12:05

January 05, 2019

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 37: The European Bug Bounty Edition

This Week In F-Droid 37, Week 01, 2019 Feed

In this edition: Happy New Year, @Izzy’s third F-Droid article on-line and Europe to fund bug bounties for 15 open source programs. There are 11 new and 72 updated apps, with a major release for UserLAnd.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Happy New Year

It’s a new year! The F-Droid team wishes you a great 2019 in health, prosperity and freedom.

@Izzy’s third F-Droid article on-line

@Izzy writes:

Always wanted to run your own F-Droid repo – but were afraid it’s too complicated? No longer, as part 3 of my @fdroidorg series shows:

Your own F-Droid Repository with Repomaker

Europe to fund bug bounties for 15 open source programs

Starting in January, the European Commission is going to fund bug bounty programs for a number of open source projects, as part of the FOSSA project. Projects include Drupal, Notepad++, and of interest to F-Droid users: VLC.

(via @kuketzblog)

New apps

Updated apps

In total, 72 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • DAVdroid is now known as DAVx⁵. You can read more about this here. It was also updated from 2.0.7-ose to 2.1-ose, removing the “Accounts may be gone after rebooting” startup dialog, and offering several smaller changes and bug fixes, and behind-the-scenes changes.

  • A Time Tracker lets you easily track how much time you spend on various activities. After 2½ years of inactivity, it updated to 0.50, moving all menu items to the Settings menu on the main screen, improving its F-Droid listing and making under-the-hood changes to its build process.

  • QKSMS was updated from 3.5.4 to 3.6.1, adding the ability to share contact cards and to share multiple images directly from other apps. It also features an updated search bar style, faster startup, more detailed MMS summary, contact photo in notifications, and several bug fixes.

  • FOSS Browser 6.1.1 is out, with an overview instead of startPage, order and filter bookmarks, edit url of bookmark, open favorite website on start, Code of Conduct site, and a Privacy Declaration. There are updates to the adBlock hosts list, help dialog, and French and Portugese translations. Beyond that you’ll find many more fixes and improvements.

  • Yaacc lets you play media from UPNP/DLNA devices on your network, and lets UPNP/DLNA devices play media from your phone. This update to 2.1.0 will activate the device when unplugged in order to prevent device suspend; it will display cover art, current item and next item in the network player; and it adds new app icons.

  • Mastalab keeps moving at light speed, as it updates from 1.50.3 to 1.62.1. This update includes Pixelfed readyness, although it requires something to be changed on the Pixelfed side as well. This change is expected to land any day now.

    Also adds ability to:

    • Mix tag timelines (Any of these words/All of these words/None of these words) - Your instance needs to support it (next Mastodon release)
    • Rename tag timelines
    • Follow Misskey instances
    • Open XMPP links and emails with external applications (custom fields)
    • Set custom icons for videos & GIF media
    • Display “follow request sent” in profile for locked accounts (undo the follow + flag)
  • KISS launcher’s update to 3.7.0 adds an AMOLED black theme.

  • Riot.im 0.8.21 made it into F-Droid, with the following improvements:
    • Show userId below display name in member detail screen (#2756)
    • Clicking on a user and a room avatar opens a new screen with animation to view the avatar in full screen, with zoom capabilities (#2455)
    • Added Troubleshoot Notification settings page
    • Added badge to indicate number of group invitations on the Home Screen (#1923)

    This release also contains many bug fixes, and improvements to notification code.

  • Markor is a text editor centered around simple markup formats like Markdown and todo.txt for note-taking and list management. Version 1.6.0 is out and comes with a way to insert date and/or time, and adds the website title when sharing into Markor. For more improvements and fixes, see the author’s blog post.

  • SleepyWifi brings back “turn Wi-Fi off when the phone is in sleepmode” for Android 8.1. It updated from 1.1 to 1.3, adding a foreground notification, a 10-second delay for the notification, a Dutch translation and an “About” screen. Known bug: the app sometimes fails to re-enable Wi-Fi.

  • Your local weather was updated from 4.5.3 to 4.6.3, adding per-widget location setting and settings for graphs and weather forecast, a combined graph and widgets with combined graph. Also fixes negative temperature in notifications, and weather forecast in widget.

  • Manyverse is a very different messenger than you’re used to, because it works locally and off-grid. If you are unfamiliar with Manyverse and its underlying protocol, Secure Scuttlebutt, you should probably read this background article.

    This update from 0.1811.14-beta to 0.1901.2-beta brings the following new features:

    • add notes on internet p2p invite codes
    • delete an internet p2p invite code
    • re-share an internet p2p invite code
    • block profiles, publicly or secretly

    And fixes:

    • navigation bug between profile screens
    • UI glitch in profile screen
    • Wi-Fi discovery and sync on some devices

    Other improvements include quicker startup when user has many P2P invites and showing an informative text when loading takes too long.

  • Major UserLAnd lets you run GNU/Linux Distros on Android - no root required. It updated to version 2.0.0, adding a built-in terminal to UserLAnd. (Version 2.1.0 is expected in F-Droid soon and should fix crashes in the new terminal.)

Beta updates

The following updates won’t be automatically suggested to you unless you have “Unstable updates” enabled in the F-Droid app settings, but you can expand the “Versions” tab and install them manually. Note that these are marked beta for a reason: proceed at your own risk.

Removed apps

  • Most of the old simple mobile tools were moved to the archive: Calendar, Contacts, File Manager, Gallery and Notes. They are no longer maintained, and have been replaced by their “Pro” counterparts.

  • AddressToGPS was moved to the archive because the network service it relies on stopped working recently, and there hasn’t been activity from the app’s maintainer in over 2 years. For more details, see this issue. As replacement, we suggest Acastus Photon, or although heavy, OsmAnd~ which can look up addresses even when offline.

6 apps were removed.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:f-droid.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at January 05, 2019 00:00

January 04, 2019

Privacy Browser

2018 Financial Report

Going forward, I thought it would be helpful to post a yearly financial report on the growth of Privacy Browser.

Revenue

  • Google Play: $344.09
  • Google AdMob: $101.57
  • PayPal: $39.06
  • Bitcoin: $24.10
  • Amazon: $1.37

Total Revenue: $510.19

Google Play revenue comes from selling the standard flavor on Google Play. Good AdMob revenue comes from the display of ads in the free flavor, regardless of the distribution method. PayPal revenue comes mostly from selling the standard flavor on XDA Labs, although sometimes I also receive PayPal donations. Bitcoin revenue comes mostly from donations, although it is possible to purchase the standard flavor on XDA Labs using bitcoin. Amazon revenue comes from selling the standard flavor on the Amazon Appstore.

Install Base

Google Play reports some fairly detailed statistics about installations. The other distribution methods (F-Droid, XDA-Labs, the Amazon Appstore, and direct downloads from Stoutner.com) either do not track this information or provide only vague information. The screenshot below shows the installs of the standard flavor on active devices, which is defined as the “Number of Android devices that have been active in the past 30 days with the application installed”.

Unsurprisingly, even though there are far more installs of the free flavor, there are fewer active devices. This is because most users either decide they don’t like Privacy Browser, or they switch to using the standard flavor.

by Soren Stoutner at January 04, 2019 21:48

January 01, 2019

Privacy Browser

2018 Security and Privacy Canary

Backdoors

During 2018, Stoutner received 0 requests from governments or organizations to insert backdoors into Privacy Browser.

During 2018, Stoutner inserted 0 backdoors into Privacy Browser.

Privacy

During 2018, Stoutner received 0 requests from governments or organizations to weaken the privacy of Privacy Browser.

During 2018, Stoutner has made 0 changes to weaken the privacy of Privacy Browser.

Legal Requests for Information

During 2018, Stoutner receive 0 legal requests for information from government law enforcement organizations. These requests sought information for a total of 0 individuals.

During 2018, Stoutner provided information in response to 0 legal requests for information from government law enforcement organizations. These responses included information for a total of 0 individuals.

The types of information that Stoutner possesses and can disclose to legal requests from government law enforcement organizations are described in the privacy policy.

by Soren Stoutner at January 01, 2019 21:59

December 31, 2018

OsmAnd

2019 New Year resolutions

2019 New Year resolutions

Dec 31, 2018

Happy New 2019 Year!

Following the nice tradition of creating the list of New Year Resolutions, on behalf of our team, I will create and share it here and hope it would be an appropriate post for the community.

2018 achievements

  • Measure Distance.
    This is a long-expected UI simplification and enhancement to create GPX tracks as lines and as route points using a mobile phone. It allows:
    • To draw lines and measure straight distances
    • To draw a route between selected points as car, pedestrian, bike even as boat on channels route. Basically it calculates a route between all intermediate points and so far we've tested up to 50-100 points.
    • To save all edits as GPX track.
    • Edit an existing GPX track.
    • Easily accessible via Drawer menu.

  • OsmAnd Live maps.
    In 2018 we've moved our implementation to Overpass and managed to achieve average delay 20 minutes after the improvements (90th percentile delay is less than 40 minutes). If we exclude all medium outages for 2-3 hours, which happens once a month, then average time between your edits and appearance on OsmAnd would be 10-15 minutes. So it gives a great tool to quickly verify changes on a spot. I've made a presentation at SOTM 2018 about it - https://youtu.be/ZHY0KE4IzWI

  • Travel - Wikivoyage.
    We've launched a new travel category based on open data https://www.wikivoyage.org/ project. There were already some improvements how to open GPX files in OsmAnd and select specific categories i.e. Eat / Accommodation / See. We went further and made all that data available offline with cached images. By downloading 300 MB, you can have all travel articles around the World and enjoy your trips. Of course, Wikivoyage data is linked to Wikipedia articles about specific places, so for a complete picture, you will need to download Wikipedia as well.

  • iOS Navigation, Ruler and other.
    We've finally made huge progress in our iOS version and managed to organize a small & stable development group. One of the primary important features was Navigation which is a full copy of Android version including navigation on GPX and all parameters and vehicle support. This also included a variety of widgets added to iOS with an advanced version of Ruler which works in 3D as well.

  • OsmAnd Telegram.
    It was a hard decision for us but we decided to go into a completely new area and make a product for active travelers OsmAnd Telegram. This is an online GPS tracker which allows you to share your location within a group of people and also see everybody on the map. Sharing your location is always linked with chat-messaging, so we decided to build on the most open social technology Telegram. We've put the OsmAnd API on a completely different level to support a complex application such as OsmAnd Telegram and we also plan to enhance that API, so more and more side-apps could enrich OsmAnd and make it easier to use for specific cases.

2019 resolutions

We knew our list up front and it was based on your emails and issues. We selected 5 most important directions for our small team of 9 people to make it happen.

  • Public Transport.
    This feature is almost ready and we planned it for 2018 release though we will need to polish it and do a proper beta test. OsmAnd already has all transport lines clickable which dramatically improved in 2018, so you can view and validate the public transport lines.

  • Place Reviews!
    This is probably the most important goal for 2019. We fully understand that we need to do something to fight for Open Reviews Data against Google, TripAdvisor who takes the data bound to its own products, rules and etc. It is time to make something like OpenStreetMap for Reviews and we've already found connections with other OSM app developers to build a unified platform. Obviously the data will be open for everybody and that is the only way to get enough reviews to rate the places.

  • Travel + Wikivoyage.
    We've got positive feedback for integrating with Wikivoyage data but it is very obvious we need to do more. We plan to let people contribute back to Wikivoyage more actively, so the open data will be more up to date. We also need to split it by regions to make the maps smaller and generate them every month. So, there are lots of small and very important features to make it useful :)

  • iOS improvements: OsmAnd Live, Quick Action, OSM Editing.
    2018 was decisive for iOS version and we've started to work hard on features to reduce the gap between Android / iPhone version. In 2019, we are planning to release the most requested features, and the good sign is that iOS audience is growing very fast, reacting to the changes we do. OsmAnd Live, OSM Editing and Quick Action are even a shorter list what we plan to achieve in 2019.

  • OpenGL-rendering (speed up rendering).
    This is a long-awaited feature and it is ready for iOS users but unfortunately, we didn't publish it for Android due to a big variety of devices on Android. It is available for public test as https://download.osmand.net/latest-night-build/OsmAnd-qt-arm-nightly.apk. Obviously, there are pros and cons: it is faster but more power consuming; it has 2.5D but not all layers are currently supported; it requires more resources for the same operations.

Happy New 2019 Year!

December 31, 2018 16:00

December 29, 2018

Gregor Santner

Markor v1.6 - DateTime dialog - Jekyll and KaTex improvements

Today marks the release of the Markor v1.6 update! The update is already available for download on Google Play and soon on F-Droid!

New TextAction: DateTime

Showcase 4

Insert date and/or time using the new action! You can freely pick date and time and choose in which format the information should be added. The current time is used when you press the “OK” button by default. (Note that you also can just insert the format, without date!)

  • Date only selects your country specific default format for Date
  • Time only selects your country specific default format for Time
  • Last used select the format you last inserted into text (=OK pressed)

Changelog

New features:

  • TextAction: Insert date/time
  • Add website title when sharing into Markor, if browser supports it
    • Website title + URL formatted in Markdown format if possible

Improved:

  • Automatically create ToDo/linkbox/QuickNote and parent folders when using respective launcher
  • KaTex/Math: Improve inline math
  • Close virtual keyboard after creating new file
  • Language selection: Load system’s most important language as system hint
  • Markdown + Jekyll: Replace with .. in representation
  • More padding at settings on older devices
  • Use the new file dialog for sharing into new documents
  • Filesystem dialog now shows images / textfiles only at respective file selection

Fixed:

  • New file dialog: Jekyll option on older devices
  • Title not updated when swiping

Project summary

 
 
 
 
 
 

Markor is a TextEditor for Android. This project aims to make an editor that is versatile, flexible, and lightweight. Markor utilizes simple markup formats like Markdown and todo.txt for note-taking and list management. Markor is versatile at working with text, it can also be used for keeping bookmarks, copying to clipboard, fast opening a link from text and lots of more. Created files are interoptable with any other plaintext software on any platform.Markor is using open formats and is free software, openly developed and accepts community contributions.

Features

📝 Create notes and manage your to-do list using simple markup formats
🌲 Work completely offline - whenever, wherever
👌 Compatible with any other plaintext software on any platform – edit with notepad or vim, filter with grep, convert to PDF or create a zip archive

🖍 Syntax Highlighting and format related actions – quick insert pictures and to-do
👀 Convert, preview, and share documents as HTML and PDF

📚 Notebook: Store all documents on a common filesystem folder
📓 QuickNote: Fast accessible for keeping notes
☑️ To-Do: Write down your to-do
🔖 LinkBox: Share pages to read later into bookmark list
🖍 Markup formats: Markdown and todo.txt
📋 Copy to clipboard: Copy any text, including text shared into Markor
💡 Notebook is the root folder of documents and can be changed to any location on filesystem. LinkBox, QuickNote and ToDo are textfiles

🎨 Highly customizeable, dark theme available
💾 Auto-Save with options for undo/redo
👌 No ads or unnecessary permissions
🌎 Language selection – use other language than on the system

💡 Unlike other office suites (like LibreOffice) or to-do apps (like Wunderlist), Markor has one streamlined text editor with no other editing UI. Markor shows how powerful and expressive simple text can be. View, edit, manipulate and convert plaintext!

🔃 Markor works with sync apps, but they have to do syncing respectively. Sync clients known to work in combination include BitTorrent Sync, Dropbox, FolderSync, OwnCloud, NextCloud, Seafile, Syncthing, Syncopoli

👀 These apps may also be in your interest if you like Markor: OneNote, EverNote, Google Keep, Wunderlist, Read-It-Later, Pocket, Epsilon Notes, iA Writer, Todoist, Shaarli, Wallabag, Simple Notes, Simpletask, Share to clipboard, NextCloud Bookmarks, Easy Open Link

Privacy

The app doesn’t use the internet connection unless external resources are referenced in self created documents (on purpose). The app is working completly offline, no internet connection required! No personal data will be requested or shared (i.e. calendar or contacts). Documents can be shared to other apps from inside the app by pressing the share button. Document will be stored locally in the device public documents folder or in a custom folder.

Contributing to the project

  • For general information and howto get started, see gsantner’s Android contribution guide
  • Translation / Localization is done at Crowdin. Joining the translationg team is done in no time. If a language is mising, contact the maintainer.
  • Bug reports and feature requests are collected at GitHub.
  • Code contributions are always welcome, visit the issue tracker for open issues. Your help is needed.

Project blog posts


December 29, 2018 23:00

OsmAnd

Giveaway

Giveaway

Dec 29, 2018

We know that not everyone is able to purchase OsmAnd on Google Play / Amazon store or to purchase maps for OsmAnd on iTunes store due to various reasons, but many of you would still like to support the application by using it and spreading it around the world.

OsmAnd team decided to do a small present for our subscribers during this Christmas. And we started our True Giveaway based on Bitcoin. A little bit technical information: the number of promocodes is limited and each round 1 participant is selected for 1 promocode based on random number. The source of random is the latest available Bitcoin Block hash. More information you can read and find out on our website.

Christmas - our first giveaway

During this Christmas weekend we started our first giveaway and we sent a special letter for our subscribers. At the end of the letter there was a special button to uniquely identify user with participant id.

At first time we gave away 75 promocodes for OsmAnd+. At the last round there were 322 participants, so 25% were winners.

Each hour (round) the winner was selected by latest available Bitcoin Block, so our giveaway is totally transparent and also respects privacy.

We were very surprised with your activity and engagement, so we decided to do on a regular basis. Also we plan to give away OsmAnd+, OsmAnd iOS and other paid plugins. Right now you can only subsribe for a giveaway at the Download screen in OsmAnd Android but we plan to enable subscription soon on the main page

Subscribe and Good luck!

We love you, our users!

December 29, 2018 18:00

Adguard

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

Only few days left before the next year dawns on us, and traditionally this is the best time to draw a line, look back and recall what was done in the last 12 months (and what was not). Of course, we won't go over every single update for every AdGuard product, but instead let's have a look at the most important milestones, without concern for chronological order.

Honestly, we completed way less projects than we aimed for, but made up for it by laying the foundation for many exciting stuff that will go in full swing in the next year. So keep an eye on our announcements — there are quite a few big hitters coming soon! Ok, without further ado:

CoreLibs

Arguably, this can be called THE change of 2018. For the uninitiated: CoreLibs is a new cross-platform filtering engine that will power AdGuard products across all platforms for the foreseeable future. In detail it was described in the respective Blog article, feel free to go there and freshen your memory. The takeaway is, with it filtering has become faster and better.

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

CoreLibs filtering Engine explained

Some of AdGuard products already reap the benefits of CoreLibs, other will follow soon. For example, after the introduction of CL AdGuard for Android v2.12 became three times faster! AdGuard for Mac users can enjoy CoreLibs only in Nightly update channel yet (more about Nightly just in a minute), and AdGuard for Windows users are the least lucky in that regard. We didn't manage to release AG for Windows v7.0 this year even as a beta, but the wait will be well worth it when it finally hits the release in 2019!

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

With CoreLibs, AG for Android works 3 times more effectively

What else to say about CoreLibs? It plays a perfect role in our new course on privacy protection. With its help we will be able to implement a Stealth Mode to all AdGuard products. Stealth Mode is already familiar to AdGuard for Windows users, it is a special module dedicated solely for privacy protection. A more than welcome addition, considering all the privacy breaches trends of 2018.

From the ad blocking perspective, CoreLibs is also very useful. Some ad providers put a lot of effort to circumvent the ad blockers, and have a reasonable success at it. CL will ensure AdGuard has an upper hand in this eternal fight once again.

Nightly builds

What are Nightly builds? They are the most recent, often even raw versions of AdGuard. Nightly to beta channel is what beta is to release channel. An extremely useful thing, a sort of a symbiosis between testers and developers. Testers get an exclusive access to new features before anyone else even hears about it, and developers get sweet sweet feedback. Everyone is happy, and even regular AdGuard users benefit from it: in the end, they get a more stable product with less bugs.

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

Want this neat little label too? Switch to Nightly!

If you think this is your thing and you want to join the ranks of Nightly testers, head here.

AdGuard for iOS

For our iOS product the year kicked off with great news: the release of AdGuard Pro for iOS v2.0.

The app was redesigned, not without some controversy, of course, but most users found this change pleasant. What everyone agreed on is that the app received a huge boost to ad blocking and privacy protection potential. New "Privacy settings" module and DNSCrypt support made this a reality. These and other, less flashy changes, made AdGuard Pro for iOS one of the most desirable apps for iOS users. We had some far-reaching plans, too.

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

You better be a fan of dark themes in apps!

Everything changed when the fire nation attacked. Apple announced changes to its policy regarding AppStore applications, which effectively banned any ad blockers that work outside of Safari. Free AdGuard for iOS app was not affected by it, but that couldn't be said about AdGuard Pro. It remained in the AppStore, but it was made clear to us that no updates were possible unless we remove the very functionality that makes AdGuard Pro what it is. Not a pleasant spot to be in, and we decided to discontinue the development of the Pro app for the indefinite period of time.

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

Apple bans ad blockers, 2018, colorized

As of now, the app still works, although it could have been so much better by now if not for the Apple's ridiculous stance on ad blockers. Meanwhile, most of our freed up efforts were aimed at the development of Safari Content Blocker, but we also have some thoughts about possible ways to further evolve AdGuard Pro. Stay tuned, we still have some fight left in us.

Goodbye, Amazon

This one's short and simple: Amazon went the same way Google and Apple did and basically banned system-wide ad blockers. We didn't have much choice but to leave the platform. Thankfully, Android users have more freedom when it comes to sideloading, so feel free to download the standalone version of AdGuard for Android.

AdGuard Home and DNS

Once the "holy trinity" of Google, Apple and Amazon decided that they know better what users can and what they can't do, it was only logical to provide some tools that would allow users to stay independent in their ad blocking preferences. And towards the end of the year we threw a one-two punch of AdGuard Home and AdGuard DNS releases. A quick reminder what are those beasts and what to do with them:

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

Roughly, this is how AdGuard DNS works

AdGuard DNS has been around since forever, it is a very easy, if not a little crude, way to block ads on virtually anything. PC, cell phone, smart TV, you name it. However, we hesitated to officially announce it, as so much needed to be polished. Finally, the time had come, and today AdGuard DNS is not only a solid way to block ads, but also a cutting-edge privacy protection tool.

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

AdGuard Home web dashboard

AdGuard Home, on the other hand, is where you want to be if you need total control over all devices in your home, work or any other network. Granted, it is currently not an easy task to get it going for an average user. But the efforts spent are worth it: AdGuard Home combines the simplicity and effectiveness of the DNS approach with multiple customization options. You can manage the entire network's traffic from an intuitive web dashboard, accessible at any time from any device, including your smartphone. Funny detail: we wanted to add even more stuff before the release, but simply couldn't wait any longer, so we labeled it v0.9 as opposed to the full-fledged v1.0 that will come shortly :)

Both AdGuard DNS and AdGuard Home are only gaining steam, expect them to reach new heights in the next year!

Safari

And then the fire nation attacked again. No kidding! They put a spoke in ad blockers' wheel once more, you have to hand it to them for the sheer stubbornness. This time the victims chosen were the Safari extensions users. Long story short, only apps from the AppStore are allowed starting with Safari 12 (which is already mandatory on Mojave OS). Any extensions downloaded from the web are not supported anymore, and even extensions from the official Extensions Gallery are deprecated.

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

Yeah, right, "slow down web browsing". That's why.

What's the big deal, you may ask? Well, de-facto "extensions" from AppStore are apps, and they are severely restricted in capabilities compared to old ones. But don't despond, we responded quickly by developing a new product: AdGuard for Safari. It is available in AppStore, and despite all difficulties we managed to make it almost just as capable as the old Safari extension used to be.

The Year 2018 in AdGuard

AdGuard for Safari

People tried it and received it well: AdGuard for Safari is currently holding a place in top10 in its category and top100 overall among all AppStore extensions. We, in our turn, don't rest on our laurels, but rather keep working hard and improve it. In 2019 we promise to make AdGuard for Safari as good, if not better, than its predecessor used to be.

AdGuard research lab

Ok, we don't have a research lab. That didn't stop us from discovering several real threats to users' privacy and online safety over the course of 2018! Maybe you even read about some of them in articles on other websites and industry-related blogs. Just some of the most prominent:

Stealing:

We analyzed top1000 Google Play apps (350+ mln total downloads) and found out that:

  • almost half of them have permissions to extract your phone number and track phone calls
  • 1 in 5 apps collects information about your email address
  • more than 20% can read your contacts
  • just under 10% read your text messages
  • most of the apps send this data over plain HTTP, exposing it to any intermediate third-party

There's many more shocking details in the full article.

Cryptojacking:

Our anti-cryptojacking script allowed us to discover that half of the top cryptojacking domains actually belong to popular video hosting services. We were even able to identify 11 malicious Chrome extensions with total weekly user count just under 37,000.

Privacy:

Certainly, the most noticeable researches were on the topic of online privacy. Without going into details:

  • We analyzed the top 2500 Google Play apps to discover that 41% of them collect data and send it to Facebook.
The Year 2018 in AdGuard

Key insights on our FB research

  • A massive spyware campaign was revealed. Chrome extensions with 400k+ total users and Android apps with 1mln+ installs steal users' data, all run by a single shady company.
  • Perhaps, the biggest find of ours was the "Big Star Labs" spyware campaign. We uncovered that several Android and iOS apps, Chrome and Firefox extensions with total number of users more than 11 million, were practically stealing users' data.

Fake ad blockers:

When choosing an ad blocker, be careful. The worst enemy is the one who disguises himself as a friend. We found out about several fake ad blocking extensions (20mln+ total installs) that were taking control of your browser and did harmful things. Thankfully, after our reports Google took all of them down, but who knows if there are more.

Plans for 2019

As always, plans are plenty. Just to name few:

  • New major updates for AdGuard for Windows, Mac and Android — all with new design, better performance and more options.

  • New AdGuard for iOS. Better than before! Also, we already mentioned we have thoughts about AdGuard Pro too.

  • As promised, AdGuard Home will finally reach v1.0. One of the main goals — make it more easily configurable and understandable for casual users.

  • CoreLibs, CoreLibs everywhere! Thanks to it, the development cycle for all our products will become shorter because we need to make changes to three separate products no more. Expect more frequent updates!

  • Some special features that we would like to keep secret for now. This way their announcement and release will be all the more exciting!

Acknowledgements

Throughout the year, we received help from several different sources. But most of all, we owe all of the above to you — our user. Not only AdGuard wouldn't make any sense without its users, but we were blessed with an awesome community that actively takes part in life of AdGuard. We want to thank you all: beta- and nightly-testers, contributors to our open-source projects, translators and localization moderators, reviewers and everyone in general who with their constant support inspired us to make AdGuard better. We appreciate your help and hope to see you by our side again in the next year.

And this pretty much wraps up 2018. No matter if you stayed with us for the entire year, or joined along the way, we hope you will spend many more years with AdGuard! Happy New Year!

by Vasily Bagirov at December 29, 2018 17:57

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 36: F-Droid at 35C3 and ZDF

This Week In F-Droid 36, Week 52, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Second part of @Izzy’s article series is available, Privacy-focused article at ZDF, F-Droid does 35C3 and F-Droid 1.5 released. There are 3 new and 90 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Second part of @Izzy’s article series on F-Droid is available

For those who have been waiting, part 2 of @Izzy’s F-Droid series is now online: F-Droid for advanced users and developers. (In English. German version coming soon.)

Article on F-Droid at ZDF

ZDF published an article (in German) for helping their readers to protect their privacy on Android by introducing them to F-Droid and 10 of its apps: https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/heute/zehn-freundliche-android-apps-100.html

Torsten @Grote was interviewed for this article, and because not all information made it into ZDF’s articles, he has published the full transcript on his blog.

Meanwhile, Mike Kuketz reminds us that although this article is very nice, ZDF’s media app only exists in the Play Store, and doesn’t function at all without Google Play services.

(ZDF is Germany’s second public TV broadcaster.)

F-Droid at 35C3

We had an amazing meetup at the first day of 35C3. The developers of K-9 Mail, Tusky, Offi, NewPipe and Conversations were all there (and probably a few more)! Thank you all for coming.

New apps

  • Trime: Chinese ime with rime input method engine.
  • OOS Firmware Extractor: Extract firmware from official oneplus roms.
  • VLC: VLC Media player returns to the main repository! VLC has been very difficult to build, so although we could occasionally update it, these updates went straight to the archive. We now feel we have the build process under control enough that we can keep it up-to-date in the main repository.

Updated apps

In total, 90 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • F-Droid F-Droid 1.5 is out! This version brings improvements and bug fixes for “Nearby Swap”, updated translations, support for swapping via SD cards, UX and language cleanup of App Details, and support for (ROM/OEM/vendor)-added repositories by means of additional_repos.xml.

    This version won’t be suggested for automatic install yet, but if you are willing to deal with bugs and want to help test, you can expand the “Versions” tab and install it manually.

  • DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser was updated from 5.13.0 to 5.15.1, bringing in an anonymous survey capability, new settings to automatically clear your tabs and data, and under-the-hood improvements to enhance the data clearing process.

  • Riot.im and miniVector updated from 0.8.18 to 0.8.20, finally enabling Lazy Loading by default (faster and uses less memory), and now with full RTL support, the ability to crop your profile picture before sending, ability to hide the status area for more room on your screen, better handling of missing parameters in slash commands, support for specifying kick and ban messages, GDPR consent integrated into the registration flow, and many smaller improvements and bugfixes.

  • Nextcloud updated to 3.4.1 with the following changes:
    • hide download when creating share links
    • direct editing files with Collabora Server 4.0
    • sort deleted files by deletion date by default
    • setedit notes on shares
    • search inside of text files
    • actions on notifications
    • remember last path on upload
    • share file to Talk room
    • show local size in “on device” view
    • SSO add request header for deck app
    • various bug fixes
  • Mysplash was updated from 3.4.1 to 3.4.5, now with an app downloader, select downloader option, auto night mode, and various smaller changes and bug fixes.

  • Featured Conversations & Quicksy updated: Just a point release since TWIF 34, but 2.3.10+fcr has some nice improvements:
    • Synchronize group chat join/leaves across multiple clients
    • Fixed sending PGP encrypted messages from quick reply
    • Try to guess initial location in ShareLocation based on SIM card
    • Show a warning snackbar before joining anon-non-private room (maybe you don’t want your JID to be public)
    • Show accept button to confirm SASL downgrade (e.g. server reconfigured)

    …but the big news is that thanks to the work of Alex Palaistras, the minimum required Android version was lowered to Android 4.1. Previously, users who didn’t have Android 4.4 (or newer) and users of Jolla/Blackberry devices with limited Android compatibility were stuck on Conversations 1.23.8, or needed to switch to Conversations Legacy. With this change, they can get up to date with the latest Conversations (and Quicksy) versions. That being said, be sure to read the whole changelog between 1.23.x and 2.3.10, so you don’t get surprised by the new stuff (removed swipe, removed OTR, and so on and so forth).

  • Mastalab was updated from 1.41.2 to 1.50.3:
    • The timeline jump bug (fetch more/scroll down) was finally found and fixed!
    • New language: Norwegian
    • Better management of live notifications
    • Allow quickly switching between accounts
    • Open profiles faster
    • Fix for missing custom fields on some profiles
    • Miscellaneous layout improvements and bug fixes

    Meanwhile 1.61 is already out and expected in F-Droid soon, so keep your eyes peeled for Pixelfed compatibility and fully customizable tag timelines.

  • KISS launcher is a lightning-fast search-based launcher for your apps, contacts and settings. In this update from 3.5.2 to 3.6.1, the icon loading system has been revamped and should be faster. There were also small improvements to custom search engines, and the option to add SMS senders to history was removed to comply with Play Store policy.

  • Fennec F-Droid was updated to 64.0.1, with faster and more responsive scrolling. There are performance fixes for users with installed password manager apps, and the loading indicator uses less CPU and power. From now on, files saved to the downloads folder will no longer be deleted on uninstalling Fennec. Files downloaded before this update will still be deleted: to safeguard them, move them to a different folder.

  • Transdroid is a bittorrent client manager, supporting all popular clients such as µTorrent, Transmission, rTorrent and many others. This update brings us from 2.5.10 to 2.5.14 and includes fixes for Deluge adapter file uploads, several edge case crashes, background service crashes, even more fixes, and if you hadn’t noticed, a fix so it builds on F-Droid again. The defunct barcode scanner was removed, support for Android 9 plaintext (non-TLS) was added, qBittorrent set location is now supported and sizes in GB are shown in 2 decimal places.

And that’s it for this year! Best wishes, and see you in 2019!

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:f-droid.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at December 29, 2018 00:00

December 28, 2018

Adguard

Follow AdGuard into the New Year!

Follow AdGuard into the New Year!

Traditionally we celebrate Christmas and New Year's with our users, and we love every minute of it. This year AdGuard has prepared a festive giveaway and a holiday sale on any and every license we have in our arsenal.
And, before getting into the details, we would like to wish you a very happy new year: may your dreams come true in 2019! Thank you for your continuous support and for staying with us! <3

Follow AdGuard into the New Year!

30% sale on everything

We decided not to discriminate: the sale applies to EVERYTHING. And anything.
Right this moment you can:

  • Buy any AdGuard license key (for your own usage or for your friends and family);
  • Extend your existing license key (=add another year to its curent validity period) or make it a lifetime key;
  • Upgrade your key: add more devices under AdGuard's protective umbrella.
GET THE OFFER

Holiday Giveaway

This year we've got 5 tablets for you to win:

Follow AdGuard into the New Year!

Prizes: Apple iPad (2018)

Terms and how to participate

  1. Any user with a purchased and active (by promotion's end) AdGuard license key can participate.
  2. If you have several keys you can fill in the form several times (separate form for each key) to increase your chances of winning :) A key for several devices (e.g: Premium 3+3) is considered as 1 key = 1 entry.
  3. Please, don't enter expired keys, keys that you haven't purchased (bonus or beta licenses), keys to other programs or random sets of characters; don't fill in the form several times with the same key — such entries won't be allowed to participate in the giveaway.
  4. The keys that participate in the giveaway are not subject to refund.
Fill the form to participate

You can join the giveaway through January 9, 2019. On January 10, we will randomly select and announce the winners in our blog.

Good luck!

UPD Jan 10, 2019: Winners

Well, well, well, here comes the long-awaited moment - winner announcement. These 5 lucky users will start the 2019 year with a new iPad:

  • 2492 Shawn Ch.
  • 1729 Marcus Zi.
  • 1028 Hiroaki Ko.
  • 2826 Vrizas Ch.
  • 338 Boris MA.
Follow AdGuard into the New Year!

Congratulations! We will contact you soon for further details on the delivery of the prize. And we must say, this is so flattering that among the winners there are those who joined us quite recently, and users who have been with us for a looong time ;)

More about the giveaway
All users could participate with the purchased and active AdGuard key could participate. As usual, we chose the winners randomly, all fair and square!
To validate this, you can see the selection process in the video below (by finding yourself in the list).

Please note, that we have excluded those who entered incorrect/not purchased/expired AdGuard key. But if you didn't find yourself in the video and think that there was a mistake, please email us at pr@adguard.com.

Thank you all for participating! We really enjoy our glorious tradition, and this is definitely not our last giveaway. So don't be upset, join the draw next time, and maybe you will be one of the lucky winners <3

by Anna Martynova at December 28, 2018 09:24

Privacy Browser

Privacy Browser 2.15.1

Privacy Browser 2.15.1 has been released. It is an emergency bug fix release that resolves a crash when opening a secondary activity on some devices.

Beginning with Privacy Browser 2.15, the drawer header padding is adjusted for phones with notches. The adjustment is calculated based on the height of the status bar every time the drawer moves (opens or closes). It turns out that on certain devices this creates a race condition where the new padding is applied to the header after the activity has been moved to the background and a new activity (like Settings, Guide, or About) has launched, causing a null object reference that crashes Privacy Browser. In my testing, this happens on certain devices running Android 5.0 and 5.1 (API 21 and 22) but not others, leading me to think the race condition might be caused by a combination of the OS settings and hardware speed.

The solution is to check that the views are not null before applying the new padding.

by Soren Stoutner at December 28, 2018 04:25

December 27, 2018

Privacy Browser

GeckoView

From time to time I receive suggestions from people that I change Privacy Browser to use Mozilla’s GeckoView instead of Android’s WebView to render pages. Instead of responding to each of these communications individually, I thought it helpful to write a general post covering this subject and explaining why I am not now considering doing so (although I am always open to it in the future if it becomes in the best interest of Privacy Browser to do so).

First, a little bit of background is necessary. The Android Open Source Project contains a standard system library called WebView that renders HTML content. It is programmatically similar to TextView, ImageView, EditText, or any of the other standard views that are included in Android. Many apps that users might not realize use this library to handle complex layouts. If WebView is removed from Android a large number of apps will crash unexpectedly.

In the open source world, there are two large pedigrees of code for rendering HTML content: WebKit (and its forks) and Gecko. Gecko is the engine developed by Mozilla and used in Firefox. Years ago, when Apple decided to make Safari they looked around at the existing code bases. They could have used Gecko, but they decided to fork KHTML and KJS (developed for KDE on Linux and used in Konqueror) and formed WebKit. When Google decided to get into the browser world they also build on WebKit instead of Gecko. Eventually they forked WebKit and created Blink. Opera used to have their own engine, but they eventually dropped it to use Blink (through a customized version of Chromium ). Edge recently did the same thing.

Android’s WebView was originally based on WebKit, but it switched to Blink beginning with Android 4.4 (KitKat, API 19). Originally, WebView was only updated with Android releases. But beginning with Android 5.0 (Lollipop, API 21), Google refactored the code so that WebView could be updated via an APK through the Play Store. Beginning with Android 7.0 (Nougat, API 24), Google allows different apps to provide the WebView library. Because the current WebView is built from the same code base as Chromium, by default the Chrome package provides Android’s WebView (if it is installed). Otherwise, the Android System WebView package provides it.

WebView is limited in the privacy controls it exposes to developers. For example, it isn’t possible to enable some JavaScript commands and disable others. It isn’t possible to disable WebRTC while JavaScript is enabled. It isn’t possible for some tabs to proxy through Orbot while other’s don’t. It isn’t possible to customize the CSS of a website without having JavaScript enabled. It isn’t possible to customize the user agent on resource requests. And it isn’t possible to spoof a large majority of fingerprinting information, like screen size, the system font list, and the canvas hash. Because of this, in the 4.x series of Privacy Browser I intend to create a rolling fork of WebView called Privacy WebView. This rolling fork will be composed of a set of minimally invasive patch files that add additional privacy controls without breaking API compatibility for existing commands. These patches will be rebased with each release of WebView. It is an ambitions project, and it will be quite time consuming, but it has a number of advantages.

  1. It is a lot simpler than creating an entirely new rendering engine.
  2. It will be API backwards compatible with Google’s WebView, which means that custom ROM developers can use it as a drop in replacement.

Some people have suggested I consider using Bromite SystemWebView or GeckoView instead. Those who like GeckoView are usually primarily attracted to the idea of removing as much Google as they can from their lives. Although I am generally in favor of that idea, I do not feel that GeckoView is a good fit for Privacy Browser for the following reasons.

  1. GeckoView is not API compatible with WebView. This means a significant portion of Privacy Browser’s code would have to be rewritten (there are a lot of little bugs in getting a rendering engine to work correctly with things like domain settings). Not that I am opposed to refactoring code, but there has to be a significant benefit at the end of the tunnel to make it worth it.
  2. GeckoView does not expose a significantly greater portion of the privacy settings I need than Android’s WebView. As such, I would still be stuck creating a rolling fork of GeckoView with the same level of time commitment.
  3. Because GeckoView is not API compatible with WebView, a custom fork could not function as a drop-in replacement for Android’s WebView. Although this is not an absolute necessity, it is one of the nice things I am trying to accomplish with Privacy WebView.
  4. I don’t trust Mozilla much more than I trust Google. As a long time user of Firefox since the days it was called Phoenix, I have watched them go downhill and consistently make decisions that are not in the best privacy interests of their users. For example, if they really cared about user privacy they would incorporate their blocklists from Firefox Focus into the main Firefox product and apply them to all websites. But they won’t do this because they make hundreds of millions of dollars every years through their search contracts, and the search companies are not going to pay them that type of money if the tracking of users’ searches are blocked.
  5. I have significant concerns about Mozilla’s commitment to the Android ecosystem. If I rebase Privacy Browser on GeckoView, and down the road they decide it isn’t in their strategic interests to maintain it, I’ll be up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle.

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I am open to changing my mind about GeckoView (or any future rendering engine). But it doesn’t currently look like a good match for Privacy Browser.

by Soren Stoutner at December 27, 2018 23:11

Removal of Google’s Ad Consent Library

Privacy Browser 2.15 features the removal of Google’s Ad Consent library from the free flavor. This was added in Privacy Browser 2.10 to comply with the GDPR. It was never included in the standard flavor.

The Ad Consent library performed two functions. The first of which was to determine if a user was located in Europe. If so, an ad consent dialog was displayed. If the user was not located in Europe, ad consent is not legally required so the dialog was skipped and the ads were loaded.

The second function was to specify users as under-age, which causes all ads to be non-personalized and not include “remarketing”. I am not certain what Google means by that, but they do include this partial explanation on their website: “TFUA disables requests to third-party ad technology providers, such as ad measurement pixels and third-party ad servers”.

Without the ad consent library, it is only possible to set ads to be non-personalized. All app ads in Privacy Browser Free are set to be non-personalized. Note that Google has a fairly personalized definition of non-personalized.

Google considers ads to be personalized when they are based on previously collected or historical data to determine or influence ad selection, including a user’s previous search queries, activity, visits to sites or apps, demographic information, or location. Specifically, this would include, for example: demographic targeting, interest category targeting, remarketing, targeting Customer Match lists, and targeting audience lists uploaded in DoubleClick Bid Manager or Campaign Manager.

Non-personalized ads are ads that are not based on a user’s past behavior. They are targeted using contextual information, including coarse (such as city-level) geo-targeting based on current location, and content on the current site or app or current query terms. Google disallows all personalized targeting, including demographic targeting and user list targeting.

This explanation is written for webpage ads as well as app ads. Google does not have access to the URL that is being visited in Privacy Browser (they better not, anyway). But the advertisers do know that Privacy Browser Free is making the request, and they know things like city-level location.

With the removal of the Ad Consent library, all users of Privacy Browser Free will be shown the ad consent dialog. This complies with the GDPR and doesn’t require that Google attempt to determine if a user is in Europe every time the app launches (although they will do so anyway when they load an ad).

This removes the ability to specify users as under age. The irony of using a tracking library to specify that a user does not want to be tracked is not lost on me. Some may consider it futile to remove one Google library when Privacy Browser Free is still using Google’s Firebase Ads library to display ads and is built using Google’s Android suite of libraries and build tools to run on Android. Ultimately, my decision was made based on a desire to minimize my exposure to Google’s libraries beyond the standard Android toolchain. I would eventually like to replace the Firebase Ads library, but I will only do so when I find an ad network that I can independently verify takes user privacy seriously.

Beginning with Privacy Browser Free 2.15, all users will be show the following ad consent dialog when they launch the app for the first time.

by Soren Stoutner at December 27, 2018 21:11

Privacy Browser 2.15

Privacy Browser 2.15 has been released. A bug was fixed when changing user agents using domain settings. Previously, in some circumstances, when changing user agents it would force a refresh of the current page, which would interrupt the loading of the new page.

Privacy Browser now adapts the height of the drawer layouts to account for notches at the top of devices.

The URL syntax highlighting now calls out the principal domain instead of the entire domain.  So in the past, www.stoutner.com would be highlighted, whereas now it is just stoutner.com. This helps prevent phishing attacks that use subdomains to pretend to be a different website, like www.trusted.bank.com.subdomain.of.evil.website.com.

Selected text is now cleared when opening a drawer. Otherwise, the selection handles and the popup menu cover the drawer. The screenshot below shows the previous behavior.

Two bugs were fixed with false positives on EasyList. One of them blocked all internal resource requests for pages hosted on Google Sites. The other blocked resource requests on engadget.com.

Support has been added for file:// and content:// URLs. This allows opening HTML files stored on the local file system. content:// URLs are provided by third-party programs, like file browsers.

The following preference names were changed to better match the pattern used by the other names that has developed over time. This does not effect the way the preferences are displayed to the users, as the preference names are internal and are not translated. However, the change in names causes Android to consider these as new preferences, which means they will be reset to their default values. Uses who currently have these set to something different than the default will need to reset them after upgrading to Privacy Browser 2.15.

Old Name New Name
javascript_enabled javascript
first_party_cookies_enabled first_party_cookies
third_party_cookies_enabled third_party_cookies
dom_storage_enabled dom_storage
save_form_data_enabled save_form_data
fanboy_annoyance_list fanboys_annoyance_list
fanboy_social_blocking_list fanboys_social_blocking_list
default_font_size font_size

Privacy Browser is now registered as a web search provider. When users select Web search from the text selection menu Privacy Browser will be presented as an option.

Instructions have been added to Guide > Tor regarding the downloading of files via the Tor network.

The swipe to refresh animation now has a dark theme. Previously it was blazing white.

It is also now possible to use swipe to refresh in the View Source activity.

Google’s Ad Consent library has been removed from the free flavor. This is significant enough that there is a separate blog post about it.

This release features a partial Turkish translation for the first time. The Italian translation has been updated by Francesco Buratti. The Russian translation has been updated. The Spanish translation has been updated by Jose A. León.

The next release of Privacy Browser will have the option to scroll the URL bar. I anticipate it will be the last release in the 2.x series. After that, work will begin on the 3.x series with the much anticipated tabbed browsing.

by Soren Stoutner at December 27, 2018 20:27

December 24, 2018

Torsten Grote

Interview zu F-Droid mit ZDF Heute

Der Onlineauftritt von ZDF heute hat zwei Artikel zu F-Droid veröffentlicht. Im Vorfeld gab es dazu ein Interview mit mir. Da es nicht das ganze Interview in die Artikel geschafft hat, veröffentliche ich es hier der Vollständigkeit und Transparenz halber.

 

Was unterscheidet F-Droid vom Play-Store?

F-Droid ist wie der Play-Store ein Ort, um neue Apps zu bekommen. Allerdings sind bei F-Droid ausnahmslos alle Apps sogenannte Freie Software. Das bedeutet kurz gesagt, dass man sie frei verwenden, verstehen, verbessern und verbreiten darf. So ist für jede Version jeder App auch der Quelltext offen verfügbar (Open Source).

Was ist der Vorteil von F-Droid-Apps aus Nutzersicht?

Die Verfügbarkeit des Quelltextes jeder App verhindert es, dass sich Spionagefunktionen in der App verbergen. Sollten solche bereits im Quelltext des Entwicklers vorhanden sein, dann werden sie von F-Droid entfernt. Im Play Store hat der überwiegende Teil aller Apps meist sogar mehrere Spionagefunktionen mit denen das Verhalten der Nutzer überwacht und ausgewertet wird.

Darüber hinaus finden sich bei F-Droid auch einige kostenlose Apps, die bei Google Play Geld kosten würden.

Wieviel Apps gibt es zur Zeit auf F-Droid?

Aktuell (Dezember 2018) werden 1707 verschiedene Apps von F-Droid aktiv verteilt. Im Archiv finden sich noch mehr, diese Apps sind aber meist veraltet und nicht zur Installation empfohlen.

Wie sieht der Überprüfungsprozess einer App aus? Wenn die App Werbung, proprietäre Elemente oder Tracking enthält, verweist F-Droid in der Profilseite der App auf F-Droid extra darauf?

Eine neue App wird mit einem sogenannten Pull Request hinzugefügt. Dieser wird dann von einer oder mehreren Personen gesichtet und die App einer groben Prüfung unterzogen. Da es sich hierbei um Ehrenamtliche handelt, kann der Code der Apps dabei nicht vollständig auditiert werden. Es gibt allerdings automatische Tools die Tracker und Schadsoftware im Quelltext entdecken können und bei der Prüfung unterstützen. Bisher gab es keinen Fall von Schadsoftware in F-Droid.

Proprietäre, also unfreie Bestandteile der App sind grundsätzlich nicht erlaubt. Werbung ist nicht verboten, wird aber meist mit unfreier Software umgesetzt und ließe sich sowieso leicht entfernen. Deswegen gibt es bei F-Droid’s Apps keine Werbung.

Sollte eine App unerwünschtes Verhalten aufweisen oder unfreie Netzwerkdienste wie z.B. Twitter benötigen, dann weist F-Droid darauf hin.

Warum ist die „normale“ Firefox-Android-App nicht auf F-Droid, sondern nur Firefox Klar? Und wieso zwar Telegram und Kontalk auf F-Droid sind, aber nicht Signal?

Es gab mit Firefox in der Vergangenheit immer wieder Probleme mit den Markenrechten, deswegen haben viele freie Projekte es unter anderem Namen verbreitet. Hintergrund: https://lwn.net/Articles/676799/

Firefox ist daher aktuell unter dem Codenamen Fennec zu finden.

Mit den Entwicklern von Signal gab es schon vor vielen Jahren Streit um die Aufnahme von Signal in F-Droid. Die Entwickler wollen nicht in F-Droid sein und die Verbreitung der App komplett selbst kontrollieren. Außerdem ist Signal aktuell keine Freie Software, weil es eine Komponente von Google enthält, die unfrei ist.

Wenn ich es richtig verstanden habe, gibt es Apps, deren F-Droid-Version im Vergleich mit der Play-Store-Version datenschutzfreundlicher sind, weil die App-Betreiber sie für F-Droid „bereinigt“ haben, oder? Kannst du ein Beispiel einer App nennen, bei der es so ist?

Apps in F-Droid die normalerweise Google Analytics verwenden, um das Nutzerverhalten auszuwerten, finden sich hier.

Das ist z.B. die Ubuntu One Files app.

Eine andere Tracking library ist Admob (jetzt ebenfalls von Google). Die
apps dazu sind hier.

Kannst du sagen, wieviele Leute zur Zeit im Kern-Team von F-Droid sind und wieviel in der aktiven Community?

Das lässt sich schwer sagen, aber folgende Zahlen erlauben eine Annäherung:

Auf Gitlab sind 28 Entwickler*innen in der F-Droid Gruppe.

Im Community-Forum sind aktuell 2314 Benutzer registriert.

by Torsten at December 24, 2018 13:46

December 23, 2018

Adguard

AdGuard's instructions for Christmas spirit

AdGuard's instructions for Christmas spirit

Time before Christmas can be stressful and too hectic sometimes. Additional pressure is everywhere and the time for keeping up is tight, so it is easy to end up sad and almost depressed a few days before holidays. Whatever your reason is, here are some tips you can follow to recapture your Christmas spirit.
AdGuard's instructions for Christmas spirit

1. Turn on the joy with holiday tunes

Yes, it's the most obvious tip but nothing will get you into the Christmas spirit faster than music. Once you hear those familiar songs, you'll be flooded with warm and cozy feelings.
AdGuard's instructions for Christmas spirit

2. Watch some old school Christmas movies

The best way to do it is sitting comfortably in your pyjamas, with a cup of tea or hot chocolate in your hands. To have the maximum effect, you've got to watch the good stuff, the golden classics: "Home Alone", "Love Actually", "The Nightmare Before Christmas", etc.
AdGuard's instructions for Christmas spirit

3. Preparing gifts

Choosing something for your loved ones can be a jolly process and all the decorations in stores (even online ones) can cheer you up. When you see other people full of Christmas spirit around you, you are more likely to catch that special feeling as well. As for AdGuard, we made a special offer for Christmas – 30% off, so you can protect yourself and your loved ones from online threats for a good price. In the XXI century, who wouldn't want Internet without ads and tracking for Christmas?
AdGuard's instructions for Christmas spirit

4. Spent time with friends and family

It's the most effective way to feel happy and festive. What's more, you can combine the tips above: order a pizza or bake cookies and invite a few friends/family to watch a movie all together. In the end, that's what holidays are for.
AdGuard's instructions for Christmas spirit

5. Let the magic happen

No matter how grown-up you are, Christmas is the time for joy and surprises. That's why we organize a New Year giveaway. We have prepared 5 iPads and one of them can be yours!
AdGuard's instructions for Christmas spirit

Attention: you can participate only if you have a valid key!
If you're interested, you need to fill in the form here.

by Tatiana Shvaliova at December 23, 2018 16:11

December 21, 2018

Gregor Santner

Take notes with Markor, Vim, Markdown and Pandoc

Notice: This is a guest blog post written by James Vaughan. It was first published on his blog in May 2018. ‘I’ refers to the original author.


I’ve gone through quite a few revisions of my note-taking process and now that I’m in my final year of school, I think I’ve finally found a system that I’m going to stick with. In this post, I will describe this system and explain why I like it so much.

tl;dr: I write notes in Markdown with Vim and Vimwiki on my computer and with Markor on my phone, keep them in sync with Syncthing, and view them as web pages and PDFs that I generate with pandoc.

You might be wondering what things I’m taking notes on that are important enough to warrant a whole post on how I take them. Right now, the main thing is lectures for classes, but I also take notes on:

  • books that I read
  • movies that I watch
  • important conversations
  • interesting things that I learn about people
  • projects that I am work on
  • recipes
  • ideas for future blog posts

December 21, 2018 23:00

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 35: The Flatpak edition

This Week In F-Droid 35, Week 51, 2018 Feed

In this edition: New automated mirror monitor, repomaker released to Flathub, unofficial F-Droid meeting at 35C3 and talk about Off-Grid Services by @_hc.

There are 11 new and 68 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

New automated mirror monitor

@_hc wrote a bit of code to automatically check up on the status of known F-Droid mirrors.

Repomaker released to Flathub

Only a few weeks after our request for help, @nicoalt was able to report the release of Repomaker on Flathub. For those who don’t know, Repomaker is a web app allowing you to create F-Droid repositories without needing any special knowledge.

Repomaker hasn’t had an official release so far, but it’s already usable, and we’ll make an official release soon. If you’re interested in trying it out before then, you can go to Flathub and install it easily on all major Linux distributions.

We would like to thank @Persival, @Marko10_000 and the Flathub staff for their help on making this release possible!

Unofficial F-Droid meeting at 35C3

The annual Chaos Communication Congress, called 35C3 this year, is taking place soon, from Dec 27th to Dec 30th at the Messe, Leipzig, Germany. As there will be a few F-Droid developers and community members present this year, we are planning to organize an informal meetup during the event. If you want to join us, keep your eyes on our Mastodon, or join #fdroid via Freenode IRC, Matrix, or Telegram.

Talk about Off-Grid Services by @_hc

@_hc will be speaking at 35C3 about Wind: Off-Grid Services for Everyday People - Integrating nearby and offline connectivity with the Internet on Dec 28th at 16:10.

“The internet has become an essential service, and offline methods of sharing data are rapidly disappearing. Other networks are often better suited when connectivity is not available or affordable. Radios, sensors, and computing are available in the cheapest of smartphones and routers. Wind is integrating nearby/offline data exchange with the internet services that we all rely on.”

Downgraded apps

  • Vespucci was downgraded to 11.2.2.0 because the auto-update process accidentally pulled in a buggy beta. (See here for technical details.)

New apps

  • PanicTrigger: Helps you and others in case of an emergency.
  • Suntimes Calendars: The “Calendar Integration” and permissions added in Suntimes v0.9.0 have been removed in v0.10.0. The feature is now available separately via this add-on app.
  • SMS Gate: Backup all your sms to an imap server or a local folder.
  • LessPass: Generate unique passwords for your accounts based on a master password.
  • (F-Droid) Kaltura Device Info: Gsf, widevine l1/2/3, treble & a/b device infos (+other ids).
  • MoneyWallet: Expense manager.
  • Senior Launcher: A launcher app intended for oldies.
  • Vädret: Weather app for sweden.
  • HACS: Hackspace access control system.
  • TowerJumper: Casual ability game.
  • Monochromatic: Enable the built-in black and white mode.

Updated apps

In total, 68 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Many changes in Suntimes 0.10.0, the most notable of which is the splitting off of the calendar integration into a separate app (see above) with the appropriate changes in required permissions. Other changes include: support for themes, theme import and export, imperial/metric switch in General Settings, support for third-party apps through a ContentProvider, and many other UI/UX changes and bugfixes.

  • Tusky, a Mastodon client, updated to 4.1 with the following changes:
    • Detailed statuses will now have a icon next to their timestamp indicating the privacy setting of the post
    • Improved accessibility of the emojipicker - it now has content descriptions and can be closed with the back button
    • Other minor improvements and bug fixes
  • Simple Gallery Pro updated from 6.0.4 to 6.1.0, with an initial widget implementation for creating homescreen folder shortcuts, optional grouping of direct subfolders, custom crop aspect ratio, and many other UX, stability and performance improvements.

  • StreetComplete 9.0 is out, with new quests for: Track type, Underground building, Traffic signals sounds, Traffic signals button, Motorcycle parking capacity, and Motorcycle parking covered. The “Max Speed” quest was disabled. Other improvements include the deletion of old cached quests, restore view position on exiting quests, and several other improvements and fixes.

  • Mastalab was updated from 1.39.0 to 1.41.2:
    • Accessibility: All images and buttons now have a content description
    • You can transform your tag timelines into media timelines (like the art timeline) by long-pressing the tab
    • Remove NSFW media by default (but you can allow them independently for each timeline)
    • Better customization of the time for notifications
    • Improved refresh for art and tag timelines
    • Other smaller improvements and bug fixes
  • Syncthing Lite 0.3.10 is out with updated translations, encrypted temporary data, updated path validation, fixed file type detection for filenames with umlauts and/or spaces, several crash fixes, and other improvements.

  • G-Droid is an alternative app to access F-Droid repositories, and was updated from 0.3.2 to 0.4.3, with correctly formatted, translated, described and clickable permissions, a run button for installed apps, clickable tags and categories, complete and up-to-date screenshots in the correct language, new search algorithms “search harder” and “search even harder”, and several smaller UI/UX improvements and bug fixes.

  • My Expenses was updated from 2.9.7.1 to 2.9.8, with a redesigned account list, saving goals and credit limits, scroll to current date on app start, custom colors, budgeting, and custom currencies.

  • PDF Converter converts images to PDF (no internet required), and was updated from 8.4.7 to 8.5.2, now with the ability to add images to an existing PDF, easily sort images, bug fixes in image cropping and rotation, and several other bug fixes and performance improvements.

Beta updates

The following updates won’t be automatically suggested to you unless you have “Unstable updates” enabled in the F-Droid app settings, but you can expand the “Versions” tab and install them manually. Note that these are marked beta for a reason: proceed at your own risk.

Removed apps

  • ICEcons was moved to the archive as it has been discontinued. You should use its successor Frost instead.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:f-droid.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

Thank you for reading, and Merry Christmas on behalf of all F-Droid contributors!

by Coffee at December 21, 2018 00:00

December 18, 2018

Adguard

The official release of AdGuard DNS — a new unique approach to privacy-oriented DNS

The official release of AdGuard DNS — a new unique approach to privacy-oriented DNS

We at AdGuard put a lot of our effort into protecting people's privacy, and many AdGuard users value our products exactly for this reason. One of the biggest challenges has always been not just providing good protection, but doing it for everyone, no matter where the person is and what device do they use.

This is where AdGuard DNS comes into play: a privacy-oriented DNS service that blocks trackers and ads anywhere, from your PC and mobile devices to smart TV and IoT. Today, after honing it for more than two years (wow, time flies!), we proudly announce the official release of AdGuard DNS!

Now, what exactly is DNS?

DNS is the "address book" of the Internet. Whenever you open a website, send an email or share a cat picture with your friend, an app or browser that you are using needs to match the domain name (e.g. yahoo.com, that's easy for you to remember but makes no sense to computer) with an IP address that computers actually use. For that purpose, it sends a special DNS request to a DNS resolver. The resolver converts the domain name into an IP address and sends it back.

The official release of AdGuard DNS — a new unique approach to privacy-oriented DNS

Schematically, this is how DNS works

In reality, the DNS system is more complicated, but this is enough to get a basic understanding. Normally, your ISP will decide which DNS resolver to use (or, generally, the network operator of whatever network you are using at the time).

The DNS privacy concern

Do you see any problem with the scheme described above? Yes, exactly, some random guy who provides you with Internet access knows every single domain that you visited and when. One quick example: a study shows that behavioral pattern obtained by analyzing only DNS data allowed to correctly identify 86% of the users.

It doesn't sound very good, especially considering how much effort a lot of people are putting into protecting their privacy: using HTTPS, VPNs, ad blockers etc. All this only to be tracked via DNS and monetized by ISPs? Don’t have any illusions, they will sell this information, had they gotten a reasonable opportunity.

The official release of AdGuard DNS — a new unique approach to privacy-oriented DNS

DNS traffic is vulnerable to intruders

Thankfully, you can prevent it. Nearly all devices that allow you to access the Internet also give an option to select a custom DNS resolver. But which one to use? There is no shortage of choices here, but not all of them have your privacy as a top priority. We offer a service that not only will keep your online activity a secret, but also will take a few steps beyond.

Let's look inside AdGuard DNS and see why it is one of the most privacy-friendly choices you can make.

A bumpy road to safety

Choosing an alternative resolver is the first step, but it may not be enough. Granted, no one should be able to access your DNS traffic now, it doesn't mean no one could. DNS protocol is not exactly new, and back at the time when it was designed, privacy standards were virtually non-existent. As a result, today there is a high risk that your DNS requests will be eavesdropped on or even altered by malefactors. To oppose them, we took several measures.

DNSCrypt

DNSCrypt was the first attempt at making DNS traffic safe from intruders. It is a special protocol that encrypts communication between your device and a DNS server, thus protecting it from tampering and man-in-the-middle attacks. Those of you who are no strangers to AdGuard DNS know that we support this technology for quite some time.

The official release of AdGuard DNS — a new unique approach to privacy-oriented DNS

With AdGuard DNS, your traffic is protected

The problem with DNSCrypt is that it never officially became a standard or received an RFC (a document listing technical specifications) unlike its alternatives: DNS-over-HTTPS and DNS-over-TLS. This leads us to believe that it will become less popular over time and will not receive much support on the OS level. Luckily, there are other modern tools available, which may be not as widespread yet, but they reach much higher security and will be the new DNS privacy standard for the foreseeable future.

DNS-over-TLS

Also referred to as DoT, this protocol encrypts DNS queries and wraps them via TLS protocol. Don't worry if you didn't understand a word — what's important is that DoT is more reliable than DNSCrypt. More and more DNS providers support it, and AdGuard proudly joins their ranks.

Worth noting that starting with Android 9, Android devices have built-in support for DNS-over-TLS. You can configure your smartphone or tablet to use this protocol in a few taps without having to install any additional software.

DNS-over-HTTPS

Akin to DoT, DNS-over-HTTPS protocol is often contracted to DoH. It performs a remote DNS resolution via the HTTPS protocol — again, the gist is that it is another safe way to secure your DNS traffic from eavesdropping and hijacking. Is there any difference between DoT and DoH? For a casual user — not really. And if there is a difference for you, you probably know the answer anyway :)

AdGuard DNS recently added DoH support, which brings our service to the forefront of privacy protection. Sadly, this protocol is still relatively new and there are simply not so many ways to employ it on your device. Luckily (what a coincidence!), the next version of AdGuard for Android will have this option (you can already try it out with the Nightly build!).

It's not all about DNS

Now that you have your DNS privacy covered, it is time to think about other potential threats. It is not a secret to anybody that the web is swarmed with thousands of trackers that watch your every click and then use this information to target you with ads and build your personal profile. How to fight that? AdGuard DNS is not just a regular DNS resolver, it also filters traffic. Whenever your device sends a "bad" request, be it an ad or a tracker, instead of the correct IP-address AdGuard DNS server will return nothing. Simple, yet effective.

The official release of AdGuard DNS — a new unique approach to privacy-oriented DNS

AdGuard DNS blocks requests to ad and tracking domains

And finally, don't forget that AdGuard actually provides two DNS services — the "Default" and the "Family protection" one. The only difference between them is that the latter, in addition to other features, also blocks access to any content inappropriate for kids and enforces the "Safe search" option in browsers that have it.

Summing up

So, how do you set it all up? This link leads to the detailed guide, but here is the required information if you already know what to do:

Our DNS servers:

176.103.130.130 or 176.103.130.131 for "Default";

176.103.130.132 or 176.103.130.134 for "Family protection".

DNS-over-TLS:

Use dns.adguard.com string for "Default" or dns-family.adguard.com for "Family protection".

DNS-over-HTTPS:

Use https://dns.adguard.com/dns-query for "Default" and https://dns-family.adguard.com/dns-query for "Family protection" mode.

We'd like to emphasize that AdGuard DNS is open source, as all our free products are. We find it extremely important that services and products which you trust with your privacy are as transparent and trustworthy as possible. To view the source code, learn everything about AdGuard DNS or even leave a suggestion, visit our GitHub repository.

We hope that you will enjoy AdGuard DNS. The project will only grow bigger from now on. We already added multiple server locations across the world, and will add more in the future — of course, along with more features! See you soon in the next year!

by Vasily Bagirov at December 18, 2018 12:12

December 13, 2018

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 34: F-Droid is a Planet

This Week In F-Droid 34, Week 50, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Planet F-Droid now exists, call for submissions for Planet F-Droid and first article of Izzy’s F-Droid series available in English. There are 3 new and 59 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Planet F-Droid now exists

F-Droid now has its own planet, thanks to the hard work of @vanitasvitae, who single-handedly set it all up! A so-called “planet” site aggregates the blogs of community members (see http://planet.fsfe.org or https://planet.jabber.org as examples). And if you’ve been secretly following along via the forum, Planet F-Droid now also has the blog of Gregor Santner, of Markor, MemeTastic and dandelion* fame.

Call for submissions for Planet F-Droid

Hello FOSS Android enthusiasts and project leads! Do you want your FOSS and Android related blog to be included in Planet F-Droid? Please have a look at the Planet’s inclusion rules, or read more about it.

First article of Izzy’s F-Droid series available in English

@Izzy writes:

I’ve just put the first article of my F-Droid series online. “F-Droid: The privacy-friendly alternative to Google Play Store” can be found at https://android.izzysoft.de/articles/named/fdroid-intro-1.

The German article is also online now at the same location.

Article Screenshot

New apps

  • DeltaCamera: Record movement (deltas) in one single image.
  • AnLinux: Run Linux on Android without root access with the help of Termux and RoMote. Several distros and WM/DE combinations are available.
  • /d/gapps: Delete/disable gapps.
  • PeerTube PeerTube is a federated (ActivityPub) video streaming platform using P2P (WebTorrent) directly in the web browser.
  • DecSync CC & spaRSS DecSync These apps use the DecSync-libs to synchronize key-value mappings without a server. They cover the Contacts/Calendars and the RSS use cases. To start synchronizing, all you have to do is synchronize the directory “DecSync” located in the primary external storage, using for example Syncthing.
  • NoSurf for reddit Calls itself “the world’s first non-addictive Reddit client”, and offers ways to limit time wasting on reddit.

Updated apps

In total, 59 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Music Player GO was updated from 3.5.0.2 to 3.5.2.1 with code cleaning and simplifications, new scroller with touching the edge of the screen, minor changes to UI and layout, a new Turkish translation, smaller APK, and assorted bugfixes.

  • Featured Mastalab was updated from 1.36.0 to 1.39.0 and now has an art timeline! The buttons for boosting or favoriting are now animated, “create toot” button is hidden while scrolling, there is support for scheduling boosts (toots could already be scheduled), and many bugs were fixed. Oh, and it should now have textual descriptions for everything, for visually impaired users.

  • Featured Markor comes with lots of changes in 1.5.0. I could write a summary, but you should really just check the release blog post which explains everything in pictures! (And also in words.)

  • Open Contacts was updated from 7.0 to 9.0, featuring a dark theme, support for phone numbers with symbols, delete all contacts, several UI and UX improvements and bugfixes, including an important fix for a crash in Android 8 (Oreo). Please export and reimport all your contacts in order for search to work. Apologies, but it’s only a one-time thing.

  • AndStatus updated to 45.01, adding the “unread notifications” timeline. It also has improved handling of HTML content.

  • SimpleEmail 1.3.0 brings a better layout for the message list, refresh message list, and moves the color picker account outside of advanced.

  • Since we’ve mentioned SimpleEmail, its upstream app FairEmail got plenty of updates and fixes in the mean time, way too many to list here. What we can mention is that the app has lowered its device requirements so now it’s compatible with Android 5 too.

  • And still talking about e-mail, InboxPager got a big update to 4.0 bringing an UI update and an internal file manager.

  • Conversations & Quicksy Since TWIF 26, version 2.3.4+fcr, the apps were updated continuously up to the current 2.3.9+fcr, fixing bugs and adding small improvements:
    • Fixed group chat mentions when nick ends in a dot, asking for permissions after direct share, CVE-2018-18467, re-sending failed files in group chats and misc bug fixes for Android 9.
    • Improved handling of bookmark nicks, long press on ‘allow’ or ‘add back’ snackbar to bring up ‘reject’, made PEP avatars public to play nice with the newly released Prosody 0.11, OMEMO stability improvements.
    • Added context menu options for long pressing avatar in 1:1 chat and send PM menu entry in anonymous MUCs.
  • IceCatMobile The free software rebranding of the latest Firefox-ESR release just got updated to version 60, besides the usual plethora of new features it also moves the UI to Photon, and so it drops support for Android 4.0.4 and older. Users of the Sync feature should keep an eye on this bug report if it suddenly doesn’t work.

  • Hacker’s Keyboard After almost 2 years of missing updates the keyboard was now updated, no ground-breaking features, but mostly fixes and compatibility updates for the new Android versions.

Removed apps

  • Iven News Reader was moved to the archive because the app has been marked as “deprecated” by its author.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:f-droid.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at December 13, 2018 00:00

December 12, 2018

/e/ foundation

Leaving Apple & Google: next /e/ release and what features are in the pipe

Leaving Apple & Google:
next /e/ release and what features are in the pipeline

We’re working on stabilizing the current /e/ beta so that we can release V1.0 in early 2019.

  • It will include an /e/ application repository that will let users install most Android applications, in a couple of  clicks.  It will show a privacy score for many applications, and unveil the number of trackers and required permissions.  This means you have freedom to choose, but inform you about the data privacy implications.
  • We are re-evaluating the applications installed by default and some may change in V1.0. Most default apps will also have the capability to be uninstalled.  This means /e/ comes with carefully selected default apps, but gives you the freedom to change according to your preferences.
  • We are working on the infrastructure underlying /e/, so that we can welcome more users and let people self-host their online services if they choose (drive, calendar, mail…).

Stay tuned for more information soon!

And what’s next?

The project is only one year old!

It’s just the begining of the story and we have a long list of features to be implemented in upcoming releases.  In particular, after V1.0 we will be focusing on:

  • revamping all the user interfaces for full consistency between the /e/ operating system settings, /e/ default applications, and /e/ online services
  • implementing more privacy and security features. We will be introducing a profile system that will get you into different levels of privacy and security depending on your needs

And many more! This project is awesome and has a great potential to give back their data privacy and freedom to users. And the more support we receive, the more we can do, for the good of all.

/e/ devices

/e/ beta2 is now supported on 53 different devices! We have just added support for Samsung S9 / S9+, LG G3 (International) and HTC 10 (download, flash and test here).

Do you want more supported devices?   Tell us here about the devices you’d like to see.  And we are also looking for maintainers to port to new devices.

However, we know that most /e/ supporters are waiting for an /e/ device.  We are working on having a limited number of devices available preloaded with /e/ at the V1.0 launch.  As many people would like to have the Fairphone loaded with /e/, we’re working on a limited set of /e/-FP2 preloaded.  And we’re in the process of selecting a second preloaded device.

Support /e/!

It’s VERY important to contribute if you want /e/ to succeed and shape a more ethical IT world, with an open-source and privacy-compliant mobile ecosystem.

In short: contribute as a developer, lend some server capacity, spread the word about /e/ in Internet forums, social media, email, retweet our posts with #eFoundation hashtag…Act now:

Sincerely,

Gaël

by Samuel Cazin at December 12, 2018 20:05

December 11, 2018

Fairphone

Hitting the ground running with new investments and a new CEO

We did it! We’re so pleased to share that we’ve just closed our latest investment round and secured €7 million! This investment is an important part of our ongoing strategy to scale our company — it will help finance Fairphone’s growth, stabilize production, professionalize our organization and further establish our social impact in the years ahead.

New leadership and a clear path to growth

It’s amazing that the very first blog post I’m writing as the new CEO of Fairphone is about this major milestone that will allow us to execute our ambitious plans. When I first joined the team as managing director in September 2017, the process of transitioning our company from startup to scale up was already well underway. We had secured initial funding and were taking big steps to improve our organization and governance to better support our growth. For example, we installed a supervisory board and I was hired to strengthen the company’s leadership — my background includes working for major multinationals (Sara Lee, Mars and Campina) as well as leading a social enterprise (Tony’s Chocolonely).

During my first year here, I was part of the company’s two-person executive team, together with Bas van Abel. I enjoyed complementing his value-driven, design-led approach with my focus on the more practical, organizational side of running a successful business. Together, we developed an ambitious yet achievable plan to continue scaling up Fairphone. Our focus on growth is tied directly to our mission: “by establishing a market for ethical phones, we motivate the entire industry to act more responsibly”. To achieve this, we need to scale both our company and our impact.

And as our company continues to grow and evolve, our leadership needs to evolve along with it. When Bas decided to step down as CEO and move to a position in Fairphone’s supervisory board, we concluded that I was the best person to lead the company forward, and spent the last few months preparing for a smooth transition. On 1 November, I officially started in my new position as Fairphone’s CEO. I feel honored and grateful to be working with the talented Fairphone team, and am confident that we’re putting all the right elements in place to help us achieve our mission. With the closing of this investment round, we’re now ready to move full speed ahead into Fairphone’s next chapter.

Impact investors and crowdfunders unite to support our goals

Our latest investments exceeded our expectations and reached a total of €7 million. Some of the financing came from familiar names who have contributed in the past, such as DOEN Participaties and PYMWYMIC. These parties were joined by a variety of new mission-aligned impact investors, including PDENH and Quadia. The total amount includes the €2.5 million that we raised in August with our crowdfunding campaign, which was facilitated by Oneplanetcrowd. Participants contributed to the campaign in the form of a convertible loan, and have been recently invited to convert their loans into shares. In fact, the success of that campaign played a major role in encouraging the new impact investors to invest in Fairphone.

 

The Fairphone team celebrating our crowdfunding milestone earlier this year.

And there’s even more good news! The equity raised as part of the crowdfunding campaign and investment round will be combined with additional €13 million loan provided by different creditors including the consortium of ABN AMRO and the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF).

Our new investments will help us build on what we’ve already achieved, and allow us to keep strengthening our position in the market. For example, we plan to expand our marketing and sales efforts in Europe, as well as experiment with new sales models like Fairphone as a service (a leasing program). We’ll also invest more in research and development, and keep focusing on integrating fairer materials into our supply chain, like the challenge of sourcing responsible cobalt for the batteries. (Have a look at the investment sheet from our crowdfunding campaign if you’d like more details.)

 

Thank you for believing in Fairphone

I’d like to warmly welcome our new and returning impact investors and say a big thank you to everyone who believes in our company and our potential. With the support of people and organizations like you, we’ll be able to keep taking significant steps towards our vision of fair electronics. I’m looking forward to working closely with our team, community, customers and supply chain partners as we work towards our mission, and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.

 

The post Hitting the ground running with new investments and a new CEO appeared first on Fairphone.

by Eva at December 11, 2018 09:30

December 10, 2018

Privacy Browser

Privacy Browser 2.14

Privacy Browser 2.14 has been released. There are now encrypted import and export options. The password option uses standard Android tools to encrypt the file. A random salt is added to the password, which is then SHA-256 hashed and truncated. The export database is then encrypted using AES 256 GCM. Unfortunately, password encryption is not available on KitKat (Android 4.4, API 19) due to limitations in the encryption tools available with that release.

There is also an option to use OpenKeychain for encryption. Doing so requires that OpenKeychain be installed. Note that when using OpenKeychain, it is possible to directly export a file, but not directly import one. Rather, OpenKeychain will decrypt the database and store it unencrypted in a file specified by the user. Then the unencrypted import can be run as a second step.

A bug was fixed that sometimes caused importing to fail. Android differentiates between between the READ_STORAGE permission and the WRITE_STORAGE permission, even though the user interface combines them as the Storage permission. When importing databases, previously only the READ_STORAGE permission was requested. If the WRITE_STORAGE permission had been granted sometime in the past, it would be included as well. Otherwise, only READ access would be available. This would not appear to be a problem, because when importing a database it was opened in read only mode. However, even when opening a database in read only mode, SQLite requires the creation of a journal file in the same directory as the database, which requires WRITE permissions.

The workaround for this problem was to either 1) grant the WRITE_STORAGE permission for the app by either downloading or exporting a file prior to running an import, or 2) importing the file from an app directory that doesn’t require the WRITE_STORAGE permission to write temporary files. With Privacy Browser 2.14, WRITE_STORAGE permission is always requested when importing files from public directories.

There is now a quick toggle for proxying through Orbot.

As part of adding the proxying entry to the options menu, the Print option has been moved to the Layout submenu.  It is likely that at some point in the future Find on Page and Add to Home Screen will also be moved under a submenu.

There is now an option to use an external app to download files. On Nougat (Android 7, API 24-25), there is a bug that causes Android’s Download Manager to not function when a VPN is enabled.

A bug was fixed when clearing DOM storage from the options menu. After editing the URL text bar, the text now scrolls back to the beginning. The system back arrow (at the bottom of the screen) now exits a bookmark subfolder directly back to the main activity. The app back arrow (at the top of the screen), continues to move up to parent bookmark folders and only exits the Bookmarks activity if it is in the root folder.

The app icon has been switched back to the old style for older version of Android. This will make the icon bigger and remove the white background. On newer version of Android, an adaptive icon will continue to be used.

This release also adds an additional intent filter. Previously, Privacy Browser would only be presented as an option for android.intent.action.VIEW intents.  Now it also handles android.intent.action.WEB_SEARCH. This should result in Privacy Browser being offered to open some links where it previously wasn’t.

Thanks to Francesco Buratti for updating the Italian translation and Jose A. León for updating the Spanish translation. There is also an updated Russian translation.

The next release of Privacy Browser will remove Google’s Ad Consent library from the Free flavor.

 

by Soren Stoutner at December 10, 2018 19:07

December 09, 2018

Gregor Santner

Markor v1.5 - Multiple windows, Markdown tasks, theming

Today marks the release of the Markor v1.5 update! The update is already available for download on Google Play and soon on F-Droid!

Multiple windows, keep screen on

Showcase 4
New general settings options arrived! You can find them under the following settings sections:

  • General -> Multiple windows: Open a seperate window for each document! Easily switch between multiple documents to quickly get needed information! Each window is a full editor with seperate editor settings and format selection. Requires Android 5 or higher, activated by default.
  • General -> Keep screen on: Do not turn off the screen automatically.

    New Textactions

    Showcase 1

  • Markdown GFM tasks: Use the new task textaction to convert the current line to a task! If the line is already a task you toggle between done and todo.
  • Insert image: Add pictures to your document. Easy access to pictures from gallery and camera! You can also browse your drive! Optionally edit the picture with an installed graphics app.
  • Color picker: Add color to your texts! Choose between setting the forground or background color. You can also add only the hex color code. The newly added color picker is also used in new theming functionalities
  • Sort tasks: Try the new sort button for your todo list! Easy sort your todo alphabetically by selected order.

All new ‘new file’ dialog

Showcase 2

  • Create new file
    • Create new files now from the Notebook
    • Choose between filename presets. Want to write a Jekyll blog post? Markor has you covered.

December 09, 2018 21:28

December 06, 2018

Adguard

AdGuard for Safari update notice

AdGuard for Safari update notice

About a month ago we announced the most recent addition to the AdGuard family: AdGuard for Safari. It has already found its users, and we were happy to see a lot of feedback during the very first days after the release. Today, after taking that feedback into account, we roll out the first update. So what exactly is inside?

20 Dec 2018 update:

We rolled out an update that wasn't big enough to justify a separate Blog post, so lets mention it here.

[Changed] Menu Bar icon is now optional #84

In the previous update we made the Safari icon optional; it was only logical to make the Menu Bar one optional too. You can even disable them both if you want to go full minimalistic :) You'll find this option in AdGuard preferences in case you want to hide it.

Aside from it, some quality of life changes were introduced, some minor bugs were fixed. The full changelog is available on GitHub.

What's new?

[Changed] The use of the Safari icon is not forced anymore #78

AdGuard for Safari update notice

Disabling AG for Safari icon in browser preferences

As it is historically with AdGuard extensions, the extension icon itself serves as a menu, providing such options as manual blocking of any element, reporting websites and adding domains to the whitelist. While we believe that having access to all these features right from the web page is very handy, apparently, many users don't like seeing the extension icon in browser. From now on, you can simply disable the icon via the Safari preferences (it can be brought back the same way, of course).

There are other changes, of course. For example, several new localizations have been added. The full list is available on GitHub.

Remind you that AdGuard Safari extension can be downloaded for free directly from App Store, and good luck fighting those ads!

by Vasily Bagirov at December 06, 2018 13:16

December 03, 2018

Adguard

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

AdGuard is constantly evolving. We always try to stay in the thick of things, hear out what the users have to say and keep on making our products better. As such, we've been meaning to write up an updated in-depth review of all the functions AdGuard products can boast for some time now. We already did it for AdGuard for Windows, and now we'll 'disassemble' our second flagship product, which is AdGuard for Android.

As you might well know, AdGuard for Android has an extensive list of features both in adblocking and in the privacy protection area. And now we will go over each of them to help you navigate through our software and put it to a 100% use.

Ad Blocking

First and foremost, any ad blocker's purpose is, well, to block ads. Not surprisingly, the algorithm of ad blocking is mostly the same for the majority of software that is around. The process of filtering ads is described here.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

AdGuard removes ads from pages

But most of popular ad blockers are browser extensions, and they obviously doesn't suit very well for Android. And those apps that are present on the Android market, sadly, are not stellar in their abilities. For example, here's a link to a comparative article on mobile ad blockers. Give it a read if you'd like to learn the differences between approaches of AdGuard and other ad blockers (and see why our app is superior :D).

The ad blocking feature is pretty obvious in its concept, but there are some points worthy of a separate mention. Most importantly, unlike many other ad blockers on the market, AdGuard works as a universal filter sifting through your apps traffic and deciding what to do with this or that web request. The whole process is managed by filters — lists of special rules. The program has a default set of filters (constantly updated), and you can even add your own filtering rules to the mix.

Filters

The program uses a lot of different filters, both public third-party and our own, sorted by language and their purpose. For example, the "Annoyances filter" is very different from the "Filter for useful ads".

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

So many filters — choose any!

You can find out more about all the filters available for AdGuard products by reading their description inside the app or by following this link to our Knowledge Base.

HTTPS filtering

Nowadays almost everything works via HTTPS — a secured web protocol. Unfortunately, advertising moguls also use it, this is why HTTPS filtering is crucial for a modern ad blocker.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

HTTPS protocol encrypts your data

However, there are additional hoops we need to jump through to be able to block HTTPS ads. Due to the nature of HTTPS, AdGuard needs an explicit permission from you to do so; our strong advice is to take a minute, go to "HTTPS filtering" tab in the app's menu and enable this feature. It's an easy two-step thing to do, and if you did everything right, you'll see this on your screen:

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

Successfully enabled HTTPS filtering

Privacy Protection

Don't you know that even if you don't use specific apps like Facebook, it doesn't stop advertising and media giants from collecting information about you? We did our own research which you can find here.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

Big results of our little research on tracking

Many websites also gather information about their visitors, such as their IP addresses, information about browser and operating system, screen resolution, and even what page the user navigated from. The more important it is to have a tool that will protect you from being tracked on the Internet. AdGuard for Android includes several potent filters created specifically for this purpose: AdGuard Spyware filter, developed by our filter specialists, EasyPrivacy — a popular public list, and others.

The Spyware filter protects your personal data from automatic data gathering systems. We strongly recommend having this or similar filter on if you care about your online privacy. There are other functions in AdGuard for Android that indirectly help you keep your online privacy. DNSCrypt is one of those, and we will get to it soon enough.

AdGuard for Windows users might have a question about Stealth Mode that has already become a vital part of the Windows app. We are happy to say that the next version of AdGuard for Android will have it too, taking the privacy protection to the whole new level. A dedicated anti-tracking module is so much more substantial than a filter (albeit a very, very good one).

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

A sneak peek on the future Stealth Mode module

Why do we keep emphasising the importance of not being tracked? Because tracking is indeed the new cyber plague, and we certainly don't appreciate our data being used like this or in any other shady way. Of course, we can't resist including an example with Facebook. Be safe, avoid tracking!

Phishing & Malware

The Internet is a pretty dangerous place where your device can be attacked by viruses, whereas your personal or financial information can be stolen. Such terms as malware or phishing have become commonplace.

What is phishing? In short, it is a fraudulent online practice aimed at obtaining sensitive information like usernames, passwords, credit card details and such from internet users. This form of fraud, effected through spoof emailing and fake websites posing as trusted mediums like banks, social services etc, is causing more financial damage every year. As for malware, a.k.a. malicious software, it is as the name suggests — any type of software designed with the intent to damage the personal computer or other device it gets into. What once began as a prank now is a tool to steal confidential information from users and businesses.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

Browsing Security module — simple but effective

Fortunately, AdGuard's Browsing Security module protects you from visiting phishing and malicious websites. It also warns you about malware being downloaded onto your device. But it is important to understand that AdGuard for Android is not an antivirus! It will not stop the actual download of a virus or delete the already existing ones. For the complete protection of your device, we recommend using AdGuard in tandem with a dedicated AV tool.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

Browsing Security warns about a dangerous website

At the same time, we'd like to emphasize that your personal data is not transferred anywhere, and AdGuard does not know which websites you are visiting. The security check is not performed against an open web address (URL) but through hash prefixes (hash is a certain data structure that renders unambiguous each address added to the base). However, you have the option of sending us info on the websites you visit to improve the database, if you choose to. We won't mind if you don't mind :) You can learn more about AdGuard's phishing and malware protection here.

Control your apps

One of the main stated purposes of AdGuard for Android is to give users back the full control over their devices. With AdGuard, you can see comprehensive information about all web requests coming through your device. No app will be able to go online without you knowing.

Apps management

In the Apps Management module you can choose which apps should have WiFi or mobile data access, which will be filtered by AdGuard and which not. You can also change the background Internet access rules for your apps when the screen is locked. These settings can be applied to all installed apps at once or on the individual basis.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

Individual statistics and configuration for each app

You will find all of the extra settings in the upper right corner of the App Management screen. They can help you fine-tune AdGuard for Android according to your wish and preference. For example, you can make the common settings applicable to each and every app, or select the apps which need a more detailed approach.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

Every single app is monitored by AdGuard

All the icons you will see on the screen are clickable, and by tapping on them you will open a screen showing app-specific traffic to help you make more informed decisions. As you see, AdGuard can be a serious help not only in the ad filtering, privacy protection and online security departments, it can help your device function better, saving battery life and traffic as well.

Filtering Log

This feature first appeared in AdGuard for Android 2.9 and made life much easier for many users. Thanks to it, you have full control over all the processes on your device. In the Filtering Log, you can directly observe all web requests made by browsers and apps.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

Complete information about device's traffic

For each request, you have an option to block it right there in one tap (or unblock it, if the request is already blocked). There's also detailed information about each request, although it is mostly aimed at the advanced users, particularly those who create their own filtering rules. We will be elaborating on it just a bit further below.

User Filter

As we have already mentioned, AdGuard for Android uses a set of filters to block ads. And then there is also User Filter that allows you to create and adjust your own filtering rules. It is located in the "Settings" tab of AdGuard menu.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

This owl looks lonely, let's add some custom rules!

When you first install AdGuard, User filter is empty, of course. To fill it with rules, you will need to understand the basics of the rules syntax. Don't worry if you are not familiar with it, here's a good place to start should you feel an urge to delve deeper into custom rules creation.

A small "lifehack" — use the "Import" feature to upload your favorite filter to the User filter. But be careful, it will overwrite any rules that are currently added there.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

Blocking requests via Filtering log creates entries in User filter

By the way, whenever you use Filtering Log to block anything, a corresponding rule will appear in the User filter, so use it if you ever want to undo the blocking. And generally speaking, Filtering Log and User filter go together particularly well: you can use the former to monitor requests in order to build a correct rule for the User filter.

DNS filtering

DNS filtering is one of the most effective ways to protect your device from ads and phishing.

A bit of a theory refresher: DNS stands for 'Domain name system', and its purpose is to translate domain names into something browsers can understand, i.e. IP addresses. So, each time you go to a website, your browser sends a DNS request to a special server, usually determined by your ISP. That server either redirects the request to another (upstream) server or replies with an IP address. If you use a special DNS server instead of the default one, you can use it to send bad requests to the "void" instead of the correct IP address.

DNS filtering has its own separate tab within the AdGuard for Android app home screen. Here you can choose which type of DNS you wish to use (it can be either regular DNS or high security DNS, a.k.a. DNSCrypt - we will get to that later on) as well as enable DNS-level blocking.

DNS blocking

What needs to be taken into account is that DNS blocking is more of an additional feature, which has several nuances. Most of them are mentioned above in the Knowledge Base article.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

How DNS blocking works

How exactly does AdGuard block DNS requests? It has a special 'Simplified domain names filter' which contains a large list of ad and tracker domains, which it uses in conjunction with User filter to recognize 'bad' requests. Every request is checked against this filter, and if there's a hit, instead of forwarding it to the DNS server, it is being rerouted to a 'blackhole'.

The simplicity of this approach is both a benefit and a disavantage. The main advantage of this approach is that it's both battery life friendly and traffic-saving. Once a domain is blocked, it won't be requested again within an hour. The disadvantage would be the "roughness" of this method: specific URLs can't be blocked, only whole domains. It can sometimes lead to breaking of some websites.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

An example of differences between AdGuard and other ad blockers

Most ad blockers for Android use this principle, but what is pretty much the whole app in their case is only one of the (many) features for AdGuard. And that's what makes us stand out from the crowd ;)

Custom DNS servers

But AdGuard for Android "DNS package" does not end just there. One of the useful perks is an option to select absolutely any DNS server to use. At your service is a list consisting of dozens of servers to choose from, from our own AdGuard DNS servers to popular choices like Google DNS, Cloudflare and many others. On top of that, if you favorite server is not in the default list, don't fret: you still can enter its address manually and use it anyway!

But why would you want to use a custom DNS server instead of one offered by your ISP by default, you may ask? There are different reasons, really depends on each person's personal preference. Some servers are faster, some provide ad blocking or parental control solutions, some enhance your privacy etc.

DNSCrypt

If you use regular plain DNS protocol, you are at risk of your DNS requests being intercepted, eavesdropped on and/or altered. Experiments show that the DNS tracking can even be used to construct a 'profile of interests' for any user. AdGuard supports DNSCrypt — a special protocol that encrypts communication with the DNS server, thus preventing tampering and tracking by any third parties, including your ISP.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

DNSCrypt explained

If you care about your online privacy, we strongly recommend using DNSCrypt. Conveniently, there's a whole list of DNSCrypt servers available in AdGuard for Android!

Proxy and TOR

A proxy server is basically another computer serving as a hub that processes your internet requests. You can set up AdGuard to route all your device's traffic through any proxy — and you'll be able to configure the whole thing right inside the app. If you need an instruction on how to set up a proxy, look it up in the Knowledge base.

Some popular VPN providers offer an alternative way to use their service as a proxy. This can be used to run them alongside AdGuard in local VPN mode.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

AdGuard for Android proxy settings

Contrary to a popular opinion, using a proxy server is not just about bypassing access restriction to geolocked resources. It is about security! If you are using a proxy server, intruders won't know what websites you visit. You can also use AdGuard along with the anonymity network TOR (we have already integrated AdGuard with Tor for your convenience!). Here is a Wiki article where the whole concept of TOR network is nicely explained in case you wish to find out more.

AdGuard for Android: an updated in-depth review

You'll need to install Orbot to run AdGuard with TOR

Be aware that you will need to download and install the Orbot app — it will help the integration with TOR go smoothly.

Other features

Is there anything left that we haven't covered yet? Indeed, there are a few things we'd like to mention. They might not be key features of the app, but nevertheless they deserve your attention:

  • You can export or import AdGuard settings (for a faster switch between the settings profiles or to transfer your profile between different devices)
  • Select an update channel, i.e. the mode in which the application receives its updates (stable release channel, less stable beta channel and raw "nightly" channel)
  • By tapping on a little battery icon on the main screen of the app you will get to the "Battery Usage" screen. System battery stats are often wrong, so we decided to have our own, one that would reflect the real state of things
  • You can change the app's language in the General Settings tab. By the way, AdGuard is continuously translated to more and more languages — and largely thanks to volunteer contributions by AdGuard users!

And that's all about AdGuard for Android! Well, not quite — there are a lot more nuances to it, but we covered all the basics (and even more). Let us know in the comments if you have any questions that this article fails to answer, we'll hang around to help you. Till the next time — after all, we have so many plans for the future versions!

by Anna Martynova at December 03, 2018 16:25

November 30, 2018

Paul Schaub

Searching for changelogs of F-Droid apps

I recently picked up some work on F-Droid’s metadata repository, as @Coffee wrote in the F-Droid forum, that help was needed.

My workflow looks as follows:

First I clone F-Droids metadata repository:

$git clone git@gitlab.com:fdroid/fdroiddata.git
$cd fdroiddata/metadata

Then I grep for all files that miss a changelog:

$grep -L "Changelog" *.txt

As a result I get a list of all txt metadata files that do not contain the String “Changelog”. Those are our culprits.

For every of those files (quite a bunch) we now need to find a changelog. Unfortunately there is no standard place to put a changelog and many developers don’t do changelogs at all for their apps.

Nice places to search are any existing “changelog.md”, “changelog.txt” etc. Though I think that @Izzy covered all of those already. As a next step I’d search the apps website (if it exists) for a changelog section, or do a quick Google search for it (worked for me in case of Wikipedia, PEP…). Lastly I check, if the release section in the repository contains useful information (i.e. not just “Bump version”, but actually useful information about added features and such).

In case I find any of those information, I add the URL to the changelog to the metadata file. See for example the changes to the Wikipedia Android app metadata.

Usually I make those changes in a dedicated branch per app (eg. wikipedia_changelog) and then create a merge request against the fdroiddata repository.

I hope my post will inspire someone to join in on the work 😀
I’m working my way from the bottom up (from ‘z’ to ‘a’), so it would be nice if I could meet somebody in the middle 😉

by vanitasvitae at November 30, 2018 21:56

Fairphone

Five years and we are here to stay!

Five years ago, we founded a company to change how people think about what they buy and how industry thinks about what they make. And five years later, it brings me such pride to reflect on the journey that has brought us to where we are today, and know that together, we are having a genuine impact.

Fairphone began with a moment of inspired optimism: we could change the electronics industry for the better by becoming a part of it. A smartphone was the perfect vehicle for our mission. Its complex manufacturing process intertwines with so many of the issues we want to address: fair and responsible material sourcing, longer-lasting design, good working conditions, and increased reuse and recycling of e-waste. Actually making the phone was our next step – or, to be more accurate, our next big, bold leap.

 

Research trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo (July 2014)

Forging new paths with our marvelous community

From the very beginning, we knew that we could not do this alone. When your goal is to set new standards and reshape an entire industry, you have to accept that it is a long road through unknown country. You’re going to need more than customers walking with you: you’re going to need an entire movement, redrawing the maps and building new paths.

Fairphone Heldenmarkt

Heldenmarkt fair (Berlin, 2016)

Our community members are our greatest ambassadors and the reason we exist at all. They were there for us in 2009, when we started a simple petition to end the use of conflict minerals. They were there for us in 2013, when we started our company and 25,000 of them pledged €325 to buy a phone that didn’t exist, from a team that had never built one. And they were there for us in 2018, when they crowdfunded €2.5 million to take us to the next level.

Thanks to you, we achieved big things

No wonder we feel such persistent optimism, even in the face of sometimes overwhelming odds. We are making change! Flicking through our new Impact Report really brings that point home to me.

Read all about how we’re creating positive impact in the electronics industry in our brand new impact report. 

Look at what we have achieved together:

Bright prospects for a fairer future

Even with such an array of accomplishments behind us, we need to look to the future. The fact that the Fairphone 2 is still, essentially, a unique product in the electronics market shows that we have more work to do. But we are proving that there is a demand for ethical electronics, and are gathering more allies and partners every day. We’re here, and we’re here to stay; continuing to exist, to innovate, to professionalize and to grow are also essential components in convincing the industry at large that a fairer phone is worth the extra effort.

Our mission is far from complete, and the road goes ever on. There’s never been another traveler on this road, and it’s up to us to count the miles, remember the bumps and know that this is how change happens: a crazy, impossible thing simply gets done. And in doing so, proves that the people who believe in impossible things aren’t crazy at all; they just choose to see a little further down the road.

The post Five years and we are here to stay! appeared first on Fairphone.

by Bibi at November 30, 2018 09:32

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 32: Building the Android SDKs as Free Software, and other calls for help

This Week In F-Droid 32, Week 48, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Building the Android SDKs as Free Software, F-Droid buildserver container, F-Droid article in c’t magazine, repomaker Flatpak and TWIF Call for Help. There are 8 new and 67 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Building the Android SDKs as Free Software

There is an odd quirk with the Android SDK: while the source code is Apache-2.0 licensed free software, the binaries that Google ships are not free software and even put substantial restrictions on the apps that are built with the Google binaries. Fortunately, @beuc has been leading the effort to make actual free software binaries of the Android SDK.

This effort definitely needs help, and @_hc has proposed to allocate some of F-Droid’s resources to the cause. More help still is needed, so he also put out a Call for Help on the forum. Please have a look to see if there’s something you could do.

F-Droid buildserver container

@Bubu has been working on a Docker container of the buildserver which can run all F-Droid builds. It should become usable by app developers, so they can run it locally and test their apps against it. So far it looks to be a little over 7 GB, which is a lot better than the >30GB VM image. What’s still missing is the ability to download missing NDK versions on demand.

F-Droid article in c’t magazine

Our own @Izzy is writing a 3-part series for the German computer magazine c’t. The first part just came out, and you can have a sneak peek here, or buy c’t 25 at your local news stand.

Repomaker Flatpak

@nicoalt is making good progress on packaging Repomaker as a flatpak. It’s not finished yet, but he’s getting close. We are also happy to report that we had good response to our call for help on Mastodon, and now have @Persival working on the flatpak continuously!

TWIF Call for Help

And finally, yours truly had a drastic reduction in the amount of available spare time, in the shape of a new job. This impacts #TWIF, as it needs to be written in 50% less time from now on. I put out a call for help on the forum and on Mastodon, and I love how @vanitasvitae has picked up the gauntlet and is adding missing changelogs to the metadata, like here and here. There were also some good submissions to the TWIF submission thread.

Nevertheless, ongoing help is needed! Please have a look at the forum thread, send in tips, or better yet, complete news items. I’m also looking for someone who would be interested in writing at least one TWIF a month.

New apps

  • Frost for Facebook is a fully functional web wrapper, with many unique and native features:
    • True multi user interactions
    • Better multitasking
    • Contextual awareness
    • Material Design
    • Complete theme engine
    • Fully opened
    • Fixes the little things
  • Arch packages An Arch Linux packages browser, it makes use of the official API to browse the repos.

  • Another Pro version of the Simple Mobile Tools is landing in F-Droid: Simple Calendar Pro. For background, see this forum thread.

  • PiGrid Companion: Gridcoin stakebox companion app.

  • Yaacc: Upnp client and server.

  • Open In WhatsApp: Open chat in Whatsapp.

  • FiSSH: SSH authentication via fingerprint scanning over the network (SSL sockets). It stores your SSH key phrase and sends it to your PC securely via the LAN when an authorized fingerprint is detected by the fingerprint scanner. Your PC needs to be running the complementary desktop app.

  • Firefly III Mobile: Unofficial mobile client for Firefly III, a self-hosted financial manager. In order to use this app, you must first setup a Firefly III instance.

Updated apps

In total, 67 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Major Tusky, a Mastodon client, had a major update to 4.0, with redesigned preferences, refactored media detail view with support for sharing media files and copying their links, collapse long statuses, share videos to Tusky, and many more. This update also removes support for Android 4.

  • Simple Dilbert updated to 4.6, with an Android SDK update to v28 and many bug fixes.

  • Transportr updated to 2.0.3 with the following changes:
    • Add launcher shortcut for directions search
    • Show swap location button in directions search (Thanks ByteHamster!)
    • Don’t show search results over lockscreen anymore
    • Add Persian translation (Thanks Reza!)
    • Add Chinese (Taiwan) translation (Thanks Gerrit!)
    • Fix home and work location input in dark theme
    • Disable Android’s auto-fill feature for location views
  • Offi Directions was updated from 10.1.4-aosp to 10.3.4-aosp, with the right half of the screen now based on OpenStreetMap, two new regions, and long-pressing a line label will reveal the full name of the line, if available.

  • Mastalab updated from 1.30.1 to 1.31.1 with a new battery profile setting, an indicator to highlight the toot is part of a thread, copy Mastodon account to clipboard by long-pressing it, auto-switch to offline mode if Internet is unavailable, several bug fixes, and other smaller UI/UX changes.

  • Major Tower Collector collects GPS locations of GSM/UMTS/LTE/CDMA cell towers and sends them to the OpenCellID.org database. It was updated from 1.22.2-fdroid to 2.0.0, with the following changes:
    • Added option to contribute to Mozilla Location Services (MLS).
    • Changed upload progress to report in percentage instead of parts.
    • Added new languages: Hungarian, Italian and Spanish :)
    • Added option to clear all data stored locally excluding configuration.
    • Added display short and long cid for LTE networks.
    • Added database refresh after import from file - restart no longer needed.
    • Fixed folder not created when exporting database or preferences to file.
    • Improved error handling.
  • G-Droid was updated from 0.2.1 to 0.3.0, with tags for apps that are used for standard tasks, and a new logo with something purple.

  • OSMBugs was updated from 1-1-1 to 1-1-4, fixing the “Failed to load from Mapdust” bug, updating the Android annotations library, and fixing a translation error.

  • OpenTopoMap Viewer was updated from 1.0.2 to 1.0.4. @Poussinou writes: It removes a big bug that causes the crash of the app when opening a GPX file. You can now display your tracks easily in the map since it has been corrected! Issue here. I don’t know if it’s worth the price to mention this update, but the author has corrected the bug very quickly and tagged a new release ASAP. It was very impressive. I love developers like that!

  • Your local weather was updated from 4.4.6 to 4.4.10, fixing a crash when the location has not been changed, OpenStreetMap API switched from http to https, and some translation changes.

  • ToGoZip allows to send files (i.e. jpg-photos or mp3-music) or text (i.e. urls) to one predefined zip file by adding “Add To Zip” to Android’s share/send menu. Version 2.0.17 adds send/view/edit/delete of zip file to Settings-Menu and adds optional support for automatic zip-subfolder discovery.

Removed apps

  • Solitaire was moved to the archive, as it is abandoned and has been replaced with SolitaireCG, which in turn has matured a lot, is well maintained and offers additional features and games.

  • Omnidroid was moved to the archive because it has been abandoned. You should switch to its successor, LibreTasks.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:f-droid.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at November 30, 2018 00:00

November 27, 2018

LineageOS

November 23, 2018

/e/ foundation

Leaving Apple & Google: still more devices today! – Towards an /e/-Fairphone?

Leaving Apple & Google: still more devices today! – Towards an /e/-Fairphone?

We have finished to port /e/-MVP beta2 to Android-Oreo, which means that now we can support many new, more recent, devices!
We start with:

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 pro
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
  • OnePlus 5T
  • Google Pixel XL

Download, flash and test here! And we’d love to hear from your experience.

/e/-MVP beta2 is now supported on 49 different devices! As soon as we can add more build servers, we can add more. Tell us here about the devices you’d like to be supported next.

Will there be an/e/-Fairphone?

We are often asked to release a smartphone with /e/. For that purpose we have started to talk to several hardware makers. This is going to take some time, as we need to find the best partners, and the most efficient and sustainable approach for this project.

We found an interesting initiative in Fairphone forums: a poll is asking users which OS they would prefer on the next Fairphone. And /e/ is already there at the 3rd place! So if you are interested in an /e/-Fairphone, cast your vote here.

Support /e/!

It’s VERY important to contribute if you want /e/ to succeed and shape a more ethical IT world, with an open-source and privacy-compliant mobile ecosystem.

In one word: contribute as a developer, lend some servers on Internet, spread the word about /e/ in Internet forums, social media, email, retweet our posts with #eFoundation hashtag…Act now:

Sincerely,

Gaël

by Samuel Cazin at November 23, 2018 09:30

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 31: A look at app rankings and Briar arrives

This Week In F-Droid 31, Week 47, 2018 Feed

In this edition: A look into app rankings and Briar arrives as reproducible build. There are 16 new and 58 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

A look into app rankings

Mobilsicher looked into how various app stores rank their apps in search results. F-Droid was mentioned as an option that deliberately uses a very simple ranking algorithm, although it’s not very effective. Article in German.

New apps

  • Image SMS: Send very small photos with long text sms and without mms or internet.

  • The Kana Quiz: A simple app to quiz the user on identifying japanese characters.

  • The Pro versions of the Simple Mobile Tools are landing in F-Droid: Simple Contacts Pro, Simple File Manager Pro, Simple Gallery Pro and Simple Notes Pro. For background, see this forum thread.

  • KindMind: Be aware of sad feelings and unmet needs.

  • Quoting Stars: App for silent communications 2017.

  • Wave Lines Wallpaper: Wavy wallpaper.

  • Quicksy: A spin off of the popular Jabber/XMPP client Conversations by the same developer. It adds automatic contact discovery. Sign up with your phone number and Quicksy will automatically suggest possible contacts based on phone numbers in the local address book. This solves the “empty contact list” issue that a user faces on a new XMPP account. Unlike other messenger applications that use phone numbers, Quicksy keeps the federated nature of XMPP intact.

  • Aruba Networks Login

  • Acastus Photon: An online address/poi search for navigation apps.

  • Featured Briar has finally landed! This is a messenger and social network app that doesn’t depend on the internet (but can take advantage of it when available), exchanging messages between phones directly. It is comparable to Manyverse in that way. Thanks to @Tovok7 setting up disorderfs, this now builds reproducibly, which the author requires for us to be allowed to publish it.

  • XScreenSaver: The famous collection of screen savers shipped on most linux and unix systems, now available on your mobile phone!

  • OpenTopoMap Viewer: Opentopomap viewer with gpx import.

  • UserLAnd: Easiest way to run gnu/linux distros on android - no root required.

Updated apps

In total, 58 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Major MinCal Widget was updated from 0.4.0 to 1.0.0, citing “technical improvements”. It now requires at least Android 8.0 to run, which is a huge jump up from 4.4.

  • Major A major update for Scarlet FDroid, the rich note-taking app formerly known as Material Notes. It was updated from 4.5.4 to 5.9.7 bringing improved search (by tags) with color, improved export features allowing markdown, lots of new features, and new UX for note options and all menus.

  • Music Player GO is a very slim music player with a colorful and simple “Unified UI”. It was updated from 3.1.3.2 to 3.4.2, with UI refinements, adding a stroke to the selected album, theme changes, a search bar, and more.

  • aRevelation, a password manager, updated to 1.9 with a fix for Nokia 8 phones and other minor bugfixes.

  • Tutanota was updated from 3.37.2 to 3.40.3 with lots of changes. Now with multi-select in search view, storing of IP addresses changed to opt-in, security hardening, cleaning of content pasted to mail/signature editors, and many UI/UX changes and fixes.

  • Also a notable update for oandbackup, moving from 0.2.13 (released in March this year) to 0.3.4-universal. This adds a binary written in Rust to handle tasks which can only be done as root, and other improvements to the build.

  • Open Contacts, the secure contact list, released 7.0 with a crash fix for lineageos, help text for caller ID, a fix for notifications on missed calls, and a “what’s new” item in the main menu.

  • G-Droid, an alternative client for the F-Droid repository, was updated from 0.1.4 to 0.2.1, fixing the layout on very small and very large screens, fixing the update button for installed apps, a loading animation for loading images, 2 new main screen views, and other UI improvements and fixes.

  • The Light, multi-language bible, was updated to 3.6, adding support for Android 8.0. The widget will be ported to Android 8.0 later, and is disabled for now.

  • AtmosphereLogger is an atmospheric pressure logger using your device’s barometer sensor. It came back to life after 2 years, going from 0.1.4 to 0.2.3. Unfortunately it does not have published changelogs, but it appears to have grown an export feature at least.

  • Transistor, a bare-bones app for listening to internet radio, released 3.1.0, featuring a new app icon, improved handling of links from radio-browser.info, a new color scheme, and several bug fixes.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:f-droid.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at November 23, 2018 00:00

November 22, 2018

Adguard

Black Friday. 50% off on all. It’s that simple.

Black Friday. 50% off on all. It’s that simple.

Today is the day of the biggest sales during the year. And we are not the ones to be left out of it. That’s why AdGuard is kicking off a special 50% discount (for all products) that will last not just on Friday but for 5 days, so that our dear users can take time to make their choice and get the most out of it and the least ads out of everything else.

Black Friday. 50% off on all. It’s that simple.

We reduced prices by half, and the discount applies to everything, should you decide to:

  1. buy a new license,
  2. extend the existing one (and you don’t need to wait until the key expires, you can extend it now, the previous paid period will be saved),
  3. upgrade the license key (for example, make it Lifetime or increase the number of devices).

This promotion will last until November 27. Want a discount? Just click here.

Black Friday with AdGuard will make your internet ad- and tracker-free on all days of the week.

Be safe online. Truly yours,
AdGuard Team

by Valery Yanovsky at November 22, 2018 16:41

November 20, 2018

Paul Schaub

Setting up a Planet

Planets are a thing of the 90s, but still they are quite cool as they can bring a community closer together by helping users to exchange ideas. I hope this will also work out for the F-Droid community 🙂

For that reason I proposed to set up a planet for F-Droid / FOSS Android development in the F-Droid forum. After explaining my idea, Hans suggested that I should give it a try and go serverless by basing the setup on GitLab Pages.

Up to that point I didn’t even know, that GitLab Pages was a thing, as I only ever came in touch with Github Pages (shame on me). However, setting everything up was pretty straight forward and I’m quite happy with the outcome.

I chose the planet software Venus for the job, as it was one of the only search results I found while researching the topic. It was also the one used by some planets I already personally followed. Venus is a python program, which fetches the list of registered blogs and creates a directory with static HTML/CSS files which contain all the blog posts. That HTML can then be deployed somewhere (in our case GitLab Pages).

I configured GitLab CI to run Venus every 30 minutes. I might increase the interval at some point, as 30 minutes might be overkill.

Screenshot of the Planet F-Droid websiteScreenshot Planet F-Droid

Design-wise I tried to mimic the style of the F-Droid website as close as possible, but I’m not a web designer and haven’t got in touch with HTML + CSS so far, so there are still a lot of things that can be improved. However, it was a lot of fun to experiment and do trial and error to come up with the current design. If you want to jump in and help me with the CSS/HTML, feel free to contact me!

The only thing missing now are blogs! If you run a cool FOSS, Android development related project and/or blog about your adventures in the FOSS world, please apply to be included 🙂

For now the planet can be found here, but I hope that it can at some point migrate to a F-Droid subdomain.

by vanitasvitae at November 20, 2018 16:18

November 15, 2018

/e/ foundation

Leaving Apple & Google: new supported devices and more!

Leaving Apple & Google: new supported devices and more!

Recentely, we have added new devices to our /e/ daily builds:

  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
  • Wileyfox Swift
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LTE (N9005/P)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (International 3G)
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

You can download, flash and test! And we’d love to hear from your experience!

We are now supporting 41 different devices! And next week, we will introduce our new “OREO” version of /e/. Expect many new more devices to be supported, such as Xiaomi Pocophone F1 or OnePlus 5T.

/e/ is much more than a smartphone “ROM”!

We are often asked “but what is the difference between /e/ and my customized home-made ROM that is fitting my needs?”.

Our quest is to provide a full mobile ecosystem, smartphone OS + online services, that is fully degoogled and is focusing on privacy. This is a long journey and we are not yet 1 year old! But we have already achieved incredible results with our first beta released in september.

Also, we like to consider /e/ as a project that goes far beyond technical questions: /e/ is more than tech, it’s a societal project for Freedom and Democracy.

Support /e/!

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT to change the world and become the 3rd smartphone OS!

Contribute as a developer, lend some servers to build /e/ mobile ROMs, spread the word about /e/ in Internet forums, social media, email, retweet our posts with #/e/ hashtag…

by Samuel Cazin at November 15, 2018 12:07

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 30: Publishing Applications through F-Droid, Gitlab Runners and Pluggable Transports

This Week In F-Droid 30, Week 46, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Publishing applications through F-Droid, Private GitLab runners, Pluggable Transports and F-Droid Matrix server up and running. There are 7 new and 64 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Publishing applications through F-Droid

If you were interested in adding an app to F-Droid, David wrote about his experience of adding one of his apps to F-Droid. It points to the necessary documentation and gives a good idea of what you can expect.

“In summary, it was easier than I had imagined to publish an application in the F-Droid catalogue. The process was smooth and people were friendly and happy to help. If you write your own Free Software applications for Android, I encourage you to publish them via F-Droid and to submit your own metadata for them to make publication as quick and easy as possible.”

Read: Publishing Applications through F-Droid

Private GitLab runners

We now have the whole buildserver stack running on one of the GCC Compile Farm servers. @_hc has set it up as as a GitLab runner, so it’s now possible to do real, full builds for fdroiddata merge requests. This also includes using machine learning in the form of LibScout to scan the final APK for trackers. See fdroiddata!3936 for an example.

The hard part is that the user who submitted the merge request must register the runner for it to run on their merge requests. Please refer to admin#106 on how to get access for yourself.

Pluggable Transports

The Guardian Project was approved a grant to work on integrating “Pluggable Transports” into three apps. The idea is to provide censorship circumvention by disguising traffic as something popular and innocuous, for example WebRTC traffic.

Most likely, this will include Wikimedia and F-Droid for prototypes, with @uniq doing most of the work. It’ll probably be hard to integrate into the official F-Droid releases, so this grant will most likely end up with working prototypes that people can use if they want.

F-Droid Matrix server up and running

The Matrix server we wrote about last week is up and running! Consequently, our Matrix rooms are now available as “#fdroid:f-droid.org” and “#fdroid-dev:f-droid.org”!

Registration is restricted to F-Droid contributors, so if you are a core F-Droid contributor and want an account, ask Mathijs or @nicoalt to make one for you. Resource consumption is currently quite low, and we’d like to keep it that way. Therefore you mustn’t join any public rooms, other than the ones we agreed upon beforehand. (This is not a Matrix server for personal use.) Opening internal discussion rooms and 1:1 chats is fine though.

Odds and ends

New apps

  • DarkCroc Theme: A dark substratum theme targeting android 9+.
  • Default Dark Theme: A dark substratum theme targeting android 7 & 8.
  • BeamControl for Smart Interface: Control / notification application for smart factory/industry 4.0 applications.
  • Bits & Bäume 2018: The schedule for “Bits & Bäume”, a German sustainability conference happing on the weekend of 17 & 18 November / Die konferenz für digitalisierung und nachhaltigkeit.
  • SimpleEmail: Simple and minimalistic email app.
  • Android XMRig Miner: Mine cryptocoins with xmrig miner on your smartphone.
  • G-Droid: An alternative client app to browse the F-Droid repository.

Updated apps

Lots of very small changes this week, at a total of 64 updates. Here are the highlights:

  • FairEmail was updated from 1.143 to 1.153, now with advanced setting to allow editing sender address, delete operation in multiple sections, new provider “dismail.de”, two-column view in landscape mode, improved quick settings tiles, colorized notifications (Android 8+) and lots of color-related changes, and several other UI/UX improvements. Note that you will need to set up your accounts again after updating.

  • Mastalab, the Mastodon client, released 1.20.0 with the ability to use the direct timeline prior to Mastodon 2.6, see who boosted of favorited a toot, URL previews in toots including direct playing of videos, and several other improvements, changes, and bug fixes.

  • MemeTastic, an app to create memes also known as “image macros”, was updated from 1.4.5 to 1.5.0, going back to its roots with a small amount of templates inside the project, and targeted at user-added templates in a local folder. Internet permission was removed and internet access completely disabled. It will no longer download from the MemeTastic archive.

  • Markor, a full-featured Markdown editor, released 1.4.0 with a new color picker and editor color themes. See the full list of changes in its release blog post.

  • Open Contacts, a privacy-friendly contact list that can’t be read by other apps, was updated from 5.0 to 6.0, with contact names now a bit bolder, contacts following similar structure to call logs with actions either side of contact, and the call log now updates contact names as soon as a contact is added, rather than ignoring existing calls in the log.

  • The Light released 3.5, now also in Portugese translation, and adding the Portuguese Bible: Almeida Corrigida Fiel.

  • Wrong PIN Shutdown was updated to 7, fixing a bug on devices with a fingerprint reader. Unlocking the phone by fingerprint did not reset the wrong PIN counter, and this bug is now fixed. However, note that attempts to unlock the phone with a wrong fingerprint will not be registered.

  • Trackbook, a basic GPS logger with map, was updated from 1.1.11 to 1.1.13, fixing a crash and improving location at start of recordings.

  • Manyverse updated from 0.1810.24-beta to 0.1811.12-beta. This updates fixes a crash and improves the looks of the splash screen.

    If you’re interested in the off-the-grid social network Scuttlebutt behind this app, there’s a good essay about it by the creator of the app. It is nicely honest about the major difficulties of using the network, as well as suggesting possible solutions. (Credit: switching.social)

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:f-droid.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at November 15, 2018 00:00

November 13, 2018

Fairphone

Investing in long-lasting design: Android 7 for the Fairphone 2

Earlier this year we announced that we were working towards getting Android 7 into the hands of Fairphone 2 owners. It’s been a long wait, but we’re happy to say that, after months of hard work on development, Android 7.1.2 ‘Nougat’ will officially be available for the Fairphone 2. We’ve put together some handy info to help Fairphone 2 owners prepare for the upgrade. Visit our Android 7 Support Hub for a step-by-step guide and everything you need to know before updating (features, changes, known bugs and suggested workarounds included).

The upgrade will be rolled out over the coming weeks, so Fairphone 2 owners should keep an eye on their Fairphone Updater app! This is the second major Android upgrade for the Fairphone 2. In fact, our ethical, modular device is the only phone on the market with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset to make this upgrade.
Over the past year, our own software team and external partners have been actively developing Android 7 for the Fairphone 2. It has been a challenging process. For a small company like Fairphone, this was a big investment (in terms of hours worked, external development and certification costs) — but a crucial one in acknowledging the role software plays in smartphone longevity.

Why should you update?

While Android 7 isn’t too different from the Android 6 experience Fairphone 2 users are already familiar with, this upgrade offers a variety of benefits, including some new features to look forward to:

  • Help out your battery with Doze Mode 2.0: The Doze feature, introduced in Marshmallow (Android 6) and further refined in Nougat, keeps battery use low when you’re not using your phone.
  • Make the most of your data plan by keeping background apps in check with Data Saver: Android 7 keeps an eye on those apps quietly running in the background and eating up your data plan. Data Saver lets you keep those apps from running unless on WiFi.
  • No more lists cluttering up your pull-down window, thanks to bundled notifications: Android 7 bundles your notifications for clean, easy access. You can even respond to most notifications directly in a pop-up window without fully opening the relevant app.
  • Work in two apps simultaneously with the new split-screen mode: use more than one app in a single screen without having to flip back and forth.
 

 

Visit our Android 7 Support Hub for a step-by-step guide and everything you need to know before updating (features, changes, known bugs and suggested workarounds included).

Aiming for longer-lasting over latest

As useful as such new features are, the primary motivation behind Android 7 is our goal to produce and support longer-lasting phones. This upgrade will make it possible for us to keep offering security updates for the Fairphone 2, protecting users and ensuring they can enjoy their devices for longer.

Keep an eye on the Fairphone updater over the coming weeks to see when Android 7 is available for your phone! Current Fairphone 2 owners will be encouraged to upgrade their software. The upgrade will be available in two different versions: standard and Fairphone Open. The open version is built on publicly available source code, and comes without pre-installed Google Mobile Services (GMS). And of course, any Fairphone 2 you order from us will also offer an update to Android 7.

The post Investing in long-lasting design: Android 7 for the Fairphone 2 appeared first on Fairphone.

by Teemu at November 13, 2018 13:34

November 12, 2018

Tox

ToxCon 2018 report

This year’s ToxCon was super fun, thanks to everyone who attended it!

If you have missed the event, list of talks, talk slides and some photos from the event are available online. No videos are available as it was decided not to record the talks.

We are planning to hold another ToxCon the next year, so keep an eye for announcements. If you are working on anything fun with Tox and want to share it with the world, consider giving a talk at the next ToxCon — we would be happy to host your talk.

Here are a couple of the photos from the event.

ToxCon2018 organizersToxCon2018 organizers
ToxCon2018 group photoToxCon2018 group photo

by nurupo at November 12, 2018 22:37

November 10, 2018

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 29: New Matrix Server and Mirror Testers Wanted

This Week In F-Droid 29, Week 45, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Lots of F-Droid news. We’re looking for Mirror testers, and help with developing an auditing proxy. We are also setting up our own Matrix server, and have some news about Fairphone as a Service. In the app department, we have 12 new and 79 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Mirror testers wanted

We have everything needed to support mirrors in place and running. Now we just need users to use them! This is still beta, so please report any problems you have to either the forum or the admin issue tracker. To add a mirror, scan the QR code or click on it from your Android device, and send it to F-Droid. F-Droid will then prompt you to add it as a mirror to F-Droid.

These are the mirrors:

    fdroid.tetaneutral.net     mirror.cyberbits.eu     bubu1.eu

Help wanted with auditing proxy

@uniq has put together an auditing proxy that forces all downloads to match a trusted whitelist during the build process. In order for this to reliably work, it needs to be able to act on HTTPS downloads as well. We are looking for help from people with experience with MITMproxy or similar things so that we can put together a solid, trustworthy configuration.

Hourly website translation updates

We recently started a project to streamline the translation process, with a specific focus on the website and the Android client. @_hc announced the first concrete improvement to this workflow: we now have hourly rebuilds of https://staging.f-droid.org. If you are translating the website, the build process will check for updates once an hour.

Fairphone as a Service (FaaS)

Commown (website in French only, sorry) is a French cooperative that supports fair and sustainable electronics by buying, and then leasing Fairphones to their customers. They recently announced you can now choose between Fairphone OS (Android with Google apps) and Fairphone Open OS (AOSP without any proprietary app).

They preinstall several apps on the open version (F-Droid, Fennec, Silence, Amaze, etc.) so the user experience for beginners is better than only having the outdated AOSP system apps. All these apps are installed from F-Droid so they will continue to be updated by the F-Droid client.

More reading:

F-Droid Matrix server

Several core F-Droid contributors use Matrix to communicate, both amongst themselves and with the F-Droid IRC rooms, which are bridged with Matrix. As Matrix became more popular for this, we’ve been building up our presence, establishing “real” rooms instead of the ones the bridge creates for us.

We’ve reached consensus within F-Droid that as the next step in this, we’d like to set up our own Matrix server. We will be starting out small, only allowing core F-Droid contributors access, and only for the F-Droid rooms. @nicoalt and Mathijs have volunteered to administrate the server as independent F-Droid contributors. @_hc has contributed a VM for this purpose, and it is now in the process of being set up.

We’d also like to thank Max Dor for his very generous offer to host and administrate a corporate-quality Matrix setup, with all bells and whistles, as part of a sponsorship deal with Kamax. However, at this point we chose to go with a minimal setup, for which we can rely on our own resources and independent contributors.

New apps

Updated apps

In total, 79 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

Due to time shortage, apps lacking a changelog URL in their F-Droid metadata were skipped this week.

  • Cythara is a musical instrument tuner, and was updated from 2.8 to 2.9. This update adds cello tuning, sets chromatic tuning as the default, and fixes a scrolling issue in landscape mode.

  • Apple Flinger is a funny single- and multiplayer game, where you use a slingshot to shoot with apples. This update from 1.5.3 to 1.5.5 adds 12 more winter levels, more stats on-screen, a list of translators in the credits screen, and several translation updates. Additionally, there is now a wiki page on the website describing how to create new levels.

  • Are you sick of bloated non-free RSS readers that steal your personal information? Tired of convoluted syncing setups? Fed up having to create accounts everywhere? Try Feeder! Version 1.8.0 removes the option to sync on Hotspots, fixes automatic synchronization not running on mobile, adds an option to sync when the app is opened, improves caching to reduce data use, improves sync speed, adds Simplified Chinese translation, and some smaller fixes.

  • Mastalab, your full-featured Mastodon (and Peertube) client, was updated to 1.19.2. This update adds the ability to block a domain from a profile, adds support for “Boost to Original Audience”. The light theme was reworked, and it also has an improved theme picker. In addition to that, there are many smaller UX improvements (still a work in progress), and a host of bug fixes.

  • SolitaireCG is an adaptation of Ken Magic’s “Solitaire” for devices with few hardware buttons. Version 3.3 makes the upper right hand suit in large card art more visible. Other changes are fixed help file hyperlinks, now with back-to-top links. Under the hood, it now builds using gradle instead of ant. With big thanks to Rudy Sudrich for making this release a reality.

  • Simpletask was updated from 10.2.7 to 10.2.9, fixing a crash when (un)completing a task, fixing state of completion checkbox when task list changes, and fixing tags sorting.

  • Featured Open Contacts hides contacts away from apps stealing your contacts information, by keeping contacts safe in a different database. It handles magic like showing the person’s name upon receiving a call. Version 5.0 makes call log entries more consistent by placing icons to either side, adds a “help” activity, puts all activities in portrait mode, and the “invalid number” error in Dialer is now shown in-line rather than as an alert.

  • Tasks was updated from 6.1.3 to 6.3.1, with a new location row in the task edit screen, location departure notifications, set CalDAV completion percentage and status, a new white theme color, new icons, new list and tag chips, and many other UI and UX improvements. Additionally, the minimum required Android version was bumped from 4.0.3 to 4.1.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:matrix.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at November 10, 2018 00:00

November 07, 2018

Adguard

AdGuard Safari extension

AdGuard Safari extension

It seems that Apple is not really on a path to make adblockers’ life easy. As you might have heard, Safari 12 came out and disabled all Safari adblocking extensions that were downloaded directly from the Web without using Mac App Store.

Since Mojave will make Safari 12 version mandatory, we decided to make our extension App Store-compatible ASAP, but we lost much time on review.

Anyway, meet our new free and open source, highly customizable and lightning fast ad blocking extension: AdGuard for Safari.

Features overview

Let's glance over what the new extension offers you in terms of functionality. Mostly, all the usual suspects:

Ad blocking

This is the most obvious and yet most important feature. That's why we always make sure that all our products provide ad blocking of the best quality. Once you install the AdGuard extension, all ads will be automatically blocked.

Whitelisting

Often, you might want some websites not to be filtered by AdGuard, for example sites you would like to support financially. You can always just add website's domain to the whitelist.

AdGuard Safari extension

A curious option is "Invert whitelist". It turns the filtering upside down, now no websites are filtered except for those from the list.

Filters

Depending on the user, the amounts and types of elements they want to be blocked may differ. That's why you can customize in detail what will be filtered and what won't, and you can do so by toggling various purpose-specific "blocks", i.e. combinations of filters.

AdGuard Safari extension

E.g. if you are annoyed by social widgets (intrusive Like/Share buttons etc.) you can switch on the "Social widgets" filter cluster. Moreover, you can go inside the cluster to cherry-pick the exact filters of which the cluster consists.

Even more, you can add your own custom filters by URL or from a local file!

User filter

AdGuard Safari extension

If you are an advanced user and know ad blocker syntax you can create individual filtering rules. And if you are not familiar with this process yet but would like to learn — don't worry, we have a comprehensive guide in our Knowledge Base.

Manual blocking tool

AdGuard Safari extension

A very handy instrument to get rid of anything on the page that you don't want to be there — not necessarily a missed ad (although that happens sometimes, too). Just select the element that you want to hide, and AdGuard will automatically make a corresponding rule to deal with it.

Reporting websites

AdGuard Safari extension

We are constatly looking to improve our ad blocking capabilities. Essentially, we value the feedback from our users and even largely rely on it to know about the missed ads. If any ads or annoyances happen to slip through, please let us know through the "Report" button in the extensions menu. We appreciate your help!

How to install AdGuard Safari extension

We have to give credit where credit is due — the installation process is rather simple with App Store.

  1. Download the extension from the App Store and run it
  2. Click "Open preferences" in the dialogue box
AdGuard Safari extension
  1. In the opened Safari Preferences check the boxes "AdGuard Safari Icon" and "AdGuard"
  2. Show those pesky ads who is in charge here!

Comparison with other ad blockers

As a matter of fact, there are very few other ad blocking extensions present in the App Store (by the time this article is written). Their functionality range isn’t exactly impressive.

We studied all the major alternatives to AdGuard Safari extension and tried to stay unbiased. This is the visual representation of capabilities of four most popular free ad blocking browser extensions currently present in the Store:

AdGuard Safari extension

A comparison chart for Safari ad blockers

You can try any of them out right now and see why we are so confident that you won’t find a better free Safari extension than AdGuard.

Why open source?

We have a clear stance on that. We believe that if an app/extension is free (and is in charge of user’s privacy) it shall be open-source.

AG for Safari is no exception to this rule, and is also available on GitHub. By the way, if you want to help us improve AdGuard, we welcome your contribution.

Better yet, there is a full-fledged AdGuard for Mac

With all above said, there is a solution that is even more effective than AG Safari extension. I mean, of course, AdGuard for Mac. It can:

  • filter your traffic in all browsers and apps on your Mac
  • have an unlimited number of filter rules
  • provide a better filtering quality (due to the lack of browser API restrictions)

You can try it out for free, and should you decide it is a worthy solution, we even have a special 30% discount going on for the next couple weeks due to the aforementioned Safari 12 changes.

Please note that if you use the full-fledged AdGuard version, you don't really need any other ad blocking extension.

by Valery Yanovsky at November 07, 2018 10:43

November 06, 2018

Adguard

AdGuard for Mac 2.0 enters Alpha (and gets Nightly channel)

AdGuard for Mac 2.0 enters Alpha (and gets Nightly channel)

The release of long awaited new AdGuard for Mac is getting nearer. And today we are one step closer as we start the alpha testing. There are a lot of changes awaiting, but we won't spoil all the fun by listing all updates of v2.0. We will mention only the most remarkable ones instead.

CoreLibs

Remember CoreLibs (our new lightning fast filtering engine) that we introduced earlier in June? Now it's implemented for the first time in AdGuard for Mac version, which makes the app much faster (twice or even three times faster). Yay!

Nightly channel

Now let's backtrack again for a moment and recall what Nightly is:

"Nightly builds" are updated at the end of the day (hence "nightly") and contain all the changes/fixes/etc that developers worked on during that day.

We already had it for Windows and Android, and now it's finally added to Mac version. While new AG for Mac is getting many changes in its core, it obviously is not very stable currently. And that is where Nightly channel comes into play, helps us collect feedback on various fresh bugs and saves the day (literally).

NB: There is no switch to the updates channel like in AG for Win/Android. There's a separate AG build with Nightly to be installed:

AdGuard for Mac 2.0 enters Alpha (and gets Nightly channel)

We will need help of the bravest testers to help us refine AG new version with the help of the Nightly channel. Read the article till the end to find all details.

What else is new in this version?

  • 3x performance boost
  • 2x memory usage improvement
  • Added support for HTTP2 and TLS 1.3, which also speeds things up
  • New Assistant and popup blocker, the same as in the Windows version (for quite a long time it was really outdated in Mac)
  • Advanced tracking protection (those who used AG for Windows know this functionality as "Stealth Mode"):
    AdGuard for Mac 2.0 enters Alpha (and gets Nightly channel)

Plans for the nearest future

Visually, there are not many changes yet, while all the works are mostly "under the hood", but the keyword is yet :) Redesign is in progress, as well as the Mojave dark theme support.

Help AdGuard, join the testing

As we said, everything is not very stable now — alpha version crashes. It is very important for us to collect data on all such crashes (if it happens the program will offer to send a report).
That is why we need your help, bold and reckless testers, and would like to ask you to download the new version with Nightly.

If you would like to participate in the testing, you can apply here.

And as usual, when you encounter any bugs, we will appreciate if you report on GitHub.

by Daria Magdik at November 06, 2018 14:45

November 05, 2018

LineageOS

November 03, 2018

FreeYourGadget

Gadgetbridge 0.31.0: No more duplicate notifications

Gadgetbridge 0.31.0 has been tagged today and will show up on F-Droid (hopefully) soon.

The highlight of this release are countermeasures against duplicate and re-occurring notifications. This happened with modern chat applications when having multiple conversations at once. For some Gadgetbridge even became unusable because of that.

On the Pebble front, we also have some good news: Wearable actions that are attached to notifications are now all sent to the pebble (not only reply actions). That means you can interact better from your Pebble with some Apps.

Since we did not publish a blog post for the 0.30.0 release, we have attached the changelog of both 0.30.0 and 0.31.0 below.

On a personal note: We have a broken Pebble 2 side buttons that we would like to use on a daily basis again. If anyone with a 3D printer which can print flexible filamet, and is willing to donate new printed side covers (available on thingiverse.com), please contact us (all at freeyourgadget dot org). ;)

Version 0.31.0

  • Pebble: Send all wearable notification actions (not only reply)
  • Pebble: Always allow reply action even if untested features are turned off
  • Pebble: Temporarily disable broken autoremove notification feature
  • Amazfit Bip: Allow flashing latest gps firmware (Mili_dth.gps)
  • Mi Band 3/Amazfit Bip/Amazfit Cor: Send Fahrenheit if units are set to imperial
  • Roidmi 3: Fix and enable support
  • Mi Band 3/Amazfit Bip: fix find phone crash
  • Prevent re-sending old notifications to the wearable
  • Enhancement and Fixes for Bengali Transliteration
  • Disable excessive logging in RTL support

Version 0.30.0

  • Amazfit Bip + Mi Band 3: Support for right to left display (configurable) (#976)
  • Add Arabic, Bengali Farsi, Persian, Scandinavian transliteration
  • Add support for some Roidmi FM receivers
  • Mi Band 3: Allow enabling the "Workout" menu item
  • Mi Band 3: Support for night mode configuration
  • Huami devices: fix seldom activity/sports synchronization problem (#1264)
  • Preferences: Make minimum heart rate configurable (lower values will be disregarded)
  • Preferences: Configure minimum time between notifications
  • Preferences: Group language settings
  • Attempt to fix BLE connection issues on Samsung S devices
  • Week sleep and steps charts: display balance (actual value vs. desired value)
  • Live Activity: show current/maximum heart rate, display minute steps and total steps and more improvements
  • Live Activity: fix discrepancy between number of steps in Gadgetbridge and wearable device
  • Fix missing caller ID for incoming calls on Android 9
  • Support for easy sharing of log files via the Debug screen
  • Misc small bugfixes

by Andreas Shimokawa at November 03, 2018 23:00

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 28: NewPipe YouTube Client Edition

This Week In F-Droid 28, Week 44, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Not too much occured this week but we do have a good number of updated apps including updates to the much loved NewPipe YouTube client and a streaming music app for YouTube too. All total there are 6 new and 89 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Added Apps

  • MinCal Widget: Minimal month calendar widget
  • SauceNAO: Unofficial SauceNAO client
  • ForceDoze: Enable Doze mode immediately after screen off and turn off motion sensing
  • baresip: baresip SIP client
  • Featured For all people who love streaming music from YouTube, MusicPiped is just the app for you. This app allows you to browse youtube and stream music directly in a clean, material design interface.
  • Open Contacts: Hide contacts away from apps stealing your contacts information

Updated Apps

  • Major Rocket.Chat version 3.0.0 entered F-Droid this week. Messages are now stored in an offline database so users can view them without a network connection. Emojis received better support with better autocomplete and reactions can now use custom emojis. Security has been improved with a fix for email based 2 factor authentication. Other new features include per channel draft messages collapse/uncollapse for text attachments on messages. To see the full set of changes view the changelog.
  • OpenLauncher is an alternative “homescreen” app for android. Version 0.6.0 fixes some issues with gestures while also adding more color preferences and better backup/restore options for settings.
  • The SimpleMobileTools continue to get better. Release 5.1.1 of Calendar brings pull-to-refresh for CalDAV events along with better filters and colors support. Like all 5.x releases of SimpleMobileTools apps, the minimum supported Android version is now 5.0.
  • In addition to a higher minimum suported Android version, Contacts 5.1.0 brings an optional nickname field, an option to show only contacts with phone numbers, a fix for disappearing contacts and more!
  • StreetComplete is a fun, easy app for improving OpenStreetMap. Version 8.3 provides several enhancements for quests involving accessibility and enhances the opening hours form along with a few other improvements.
  • FairEmail has seen a bit of development since 1.106. Several security related feautures have been added including encryption support, even for attachments. An advanced setting was also added to allow users the choice to make insecure connections without passwords.
  • Fennec F-Droid is a rebrand of Mozilla Firefox for F-Droid. Version 63 landed in F-Droid this week, now targeting Android Oreo. New features include picture in picture video support, notification channels, and a Canadian English (en-CA) locale.
  • Featured NewPipe is a client for the popular video streaming site YouTube. Version 0.14.2 brought with it better layouts for tablets and a list layout for downloaded media. Further, users can now share subscribed channels easily from the longpress menu.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:matrix.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Blendergeek at November 03, 2018 00:00

November 02, 2018

/e/ foundation

Leaving Apple & Google: spotlight on /e/ application installer

Leaving Apple & Google: spotlight on /e/ application installer

/e/ Android application repository & installer

[Note: this newsletter is available here in French, here in Italian ]
This development was started 7 months ago… It’s a heavy development because it needs a solid backend infrastructure to keep tens of thousands Android applications up to date, have some web-services to query this backend using an API, and client softwares…
After a web-version of the client software for two months now, which is not fully ready yet for a public beta release, we have the first internal builds of our Android installer, that was developed from scratch!
As explained in the initial vision, it will provide both Open Source Android apps, like the ones available in F-Droid, and other free Android applications.
And we are adding some automatic scoring features:
  • privacy score (trackers, permissions…)
  • energy score (energy consumption
Will be released soon, stay tuned!

Support /e/!

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT to change the world and become the 3rd smartphone OS!
Contribute as a developer, lend some servers to build /e/ mobile ROMs, spread the word about /e/ in Internet forums, social media, email, retweet our posts with #/e/ hashtag…
Sincerely,
Gaël

by Samuel Cazin at November 02, 2018 09:17

Adguard

How big bad ads target your kids through apps

How big bad ads target your kids through apps

According to a recent study, most mobile apps for children aged 5 and under are in fact riddled with ads. Those apps are mostly being positioned as educational, and many of them indeed are, but the useful content is often crammed with distracting elements: banners, pop-up windows and such. Obviously, children are the most susceptible and impulsive category of users, and although it may sound cynical, these qualities are more likely to bring extra income to the developers.

A few words about the study itself

The study was initiated by Jenny Radeski, a pediatrician, assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School. Initially, the goal of the study was to test “educational” applications, and find out that some of them barely live up to the name because of distracting functions and elements that simply prevent children from getting to any useful information.

While previous studies on the same topic concerned the most popular and recommended applications, Dr. Radesky decided to study the most downloaded programs, usually free.

After spending hundreds of hours playing various games with a team of researchers, Jenny and her assistants had to face far more serious problems. For example banner ads offering paid content popped up at odd moments during the game. It would be impossible for a child to close them without help as new banners would pop up immediately, and the whole screen ended up filled with advertisements.

How big bad ads target your kids through apps

The researchers found that approximately 95% of apps contain at least one type of advertising. Aside from that, unfair and often deceptive advertising violates the rules of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As a result, more than a dozen different media outlets and child protection organizations sent FTC a letter asking to initiate an investigation.

The letter urged to carefully review Android applications and bring developers to justice. In this case, the appeal was accompanied by specific examples: in the Olaf’s Adventures app published by Disney, the player is redirected to the online store by clicking on a glowing cake that is not marked as an advertisement; and in Doctor Kids, published by Bubadu, the character cries if the player tries to exit the built-in store. Comments were made on Google’s policy, believing that such applications should not be categorized as children’s games at all.

A statement by a Google representative said that application developers can advertise on condition that they comply with company policies and privacy laws. “Applications designed primarily for children should be included in our Designed for Families program and must meet more stringent requirements, including content and advertising restrictions,” the statement said. The representative also added that Google Play always warns whether the application contains ads or in-app purchases, letting parents make well-informed decisions before installing.

Dr. Radeski herself hopes that the study will encourage parents to question the games played by their children more, and hopes that this critical situation will change soon.

Our take on the problem

Obviously, we take the task of protecting users from intrusive and annoying advertising close to heart. Moreover, we cannot be indifferent when it comes to children, whom we also strive to protect.

How big bad ads target your kids through apps

Unfortunately people often go to extreme measures in attempts to get a bigger profit. That is why we see a lot of applications that press completely unnecessary and sometimes harmful information on young users.

In any case one has to wonder: what is the real purpose of such applications? Education with minimal and non-obvious elements of advertising, or earnings under the guise of an educational game?

You can answer this question yourself. To do this, just open the application you like and see if it lives up to its marketing. If the game doesn’t look like a nightmare filled with pop-up banners that need endless clicks to shut them down, or hundreds of thousands of random transitions to the built-in store and attempts to get out of it, or crying heroes upset by your refusal to buy any extras, then you can entrust your child’s attention to this application.

So the above article is not just about the interesting news, which we are always happy to share with you, but a wake up call of sorts, begging you to be more vigilant and selective about the choice of games and applications for your child.

Well, we hope that this story will reach its logical conclusion, and we will be able to see more content for children that is both safe and of high quality.

by Anna Martynova at November 02, 2018 08:57

October 31, 2018

Adguard

SPOOKTACULAR Halloween Sale

SPOOKTACULAR Halloween Sale

The spookiest season of the year has come, right? And AdGuard has fully prepared to it! But don't worry, we don't mean to scare you. Fortunately, between "trick or treat" we only choose "treat" and we'd like to announce a special Halloween promo with a 35% discount.

SPOOKTACULAR Halloween Sale

Yes, you can enjoy the scariest night of the year and stay protected from all ads, pop-ups, scam and phishing websites with AdGuard license at a good price :)

GRAB THE DEAL

by Tatiana Shvaliova at October 31, 2018 17:35

October 30, 2018

Privacy Browser

Download Problems on Android 9 Pie

There appears to be a bug in Android’s Download Manager on Android 9 Pie that causes it to periodically crash and refuse to download files. New downloads will show up as queued, but will fail to download. I’m assuming that at some stage Google will release an update that fixes this, but in the meantime users can force close the Download Manager process, which will temporarily resolve the issue. Go to Apps & notifications, click the option to See all apps, tap the options menu in the upper-right corner, select Show system, select Download Manager from the list, then tap on Force stop. Note that it may also be necessary to clear Download Manager’s cache or storage in some cases.

by Soren Stoutner at October 30, 2018 19:50

Privacy Browser 2.13

Privacy Browser 2.13 has been released. There is now an activity for exporting and importing settings and bookmarks. Both Privacy Browser and Privacy Browser Free use the same format, so backed up settings can be used to migrate between the two. There is a page that has more detailed information on the database format. Note that in future releases it will be possible to encrypt the exports and automate the export and import process, which will allow for syncing of settings across devices.

This release adds the Read Storage permission, which allows Privacy Browser to import files from public directories. On Android Marshmallow (6.0) and newer, this permission is only available if the user grants it. If it is denied, app directories can still be used. This is the last permission I am currently planning on adding to Privacy Browser.

This release switches the default URL scheme from HTTP to HTTPS. For URLs that are entered into the URL bar at the top of the screen, in the past, if no protocol was specified, http:// would be added to the beginning of the URL. Now, https:// will be added. This is feasible because most websites now are offered over HTTPS. Users can still visit an HTTP website by specifying http:// in the URL.

The blocklist menu items now display the number of blocked items for each list, which are updated live.

The Refresh menu item now becomes a Stop button when a website is loading. If additional app bar buttons are displayed, it is available as an X on the app bar.

User agent and night mode controls are now available from the options layout menu.

A bug was fixed, introduced in Privacy Browser 2.12, that caused the system bars to disappear after viewing a full-screen video. The Clear Data options menu item was fixed to be ghosted when all submenu items are ghosted (previously broken on Oreo [Android 8] and newer). The size problems with the Waiting for Orbot message were partially fixed. Note that in the future I plan to redesign the Waiting for Orbot message to use a dialog.

With this release the target API was bumped to 28 (Android 9 Pie). An updated Italian translation was provided by Francesco Buratti and an updated Spanish translation was provided by Jose A. León. The Russian translation was also updated.

The next major release of Privacy Browser will have the option to encrypt exported settings.

 

by Soren Stoutner at October 30, 2018 18:49

October 27, 2018

NewPipe

NewPipe 0.14.2 released, introducing grid layout for tablets

We have just released NewPipe 0.14.2. Just like NewPipe 0.14.0 this version mostly brings UI and UX improvements including new layouts for tablets and an additional linear layout in “Downloads”.

Furthermore, Android 9 support was added and the subscriptions page received a small upgrade. Also, several bugs were fixed and new translations were added.

New tablet UI

@nv95 brings a completely new feeling to NewPipe on tablets. He implemented grid layouts for video lists like for example the search, a channel’s videos or the trending page. He took a look at the subscriptions page, too:

On top of that, he also made the video detail view responsive. From now on, next and recommended videos will be displayed at the right side of your screen if your screen’s resolution is large enough.

@jludden implemented an additional list layout for the downloads. This might help with these videos which titles have the same beginnings.

Improved subscription handling

This version brings also interesting changes to the subscription page. @somethingwieredhere added a new longpress menu to it. From within the menu you can share and delete a subscription. This can be really useful whenever a channel was deleted or renamed by YouTube. So, if you have had dead channels before, it is now time to clean them up! And for those, who have discovered incorrect subscription counts in the past, this will not happen again - hopefully.

Android 9 compatibility

@boredomdenied made NewPipe run on Android 9. Targeting API level 28 requires our app to request the FOREGROUND_SERVICE permission. This is a normal permission, so the system automatically grants it to the requesting app. But NewPipe needs to request it. Otherwise the popup player will crash. You can find a detailed description of this permission on the Android developer site which addresses the behaviour changes for apps targeting API level 28+.

Despite the work @theScrabi and @boredomdenied put into this, we are aware of a bug which resets the playback position when switching between players. Due to the fact that bigger changes in the player code are needed, we aim to fix this and other minor Android 9 related bugs in the next release.

Further changes

@ritiek added separate gesture controls to the player. You can disable either the brightness or volume gesture and still use the other one. You can turn both off, of course.

@MaX-Lo made the player remember the last aspect ratio. In case you have a 18:9 / 2:1 device or just like to view video in another than the default aspect ratio, you will definitely enjoy this improvement.

@coin3x fixed the video queuing behaviour. When the latest queue already finished playing, enqueuing a new video or audio will start the stream by its own.

@theScrabi worked on improving NewPipe’s localization handling. For devices where the content country and the actual location differ, the number of views and video descriptions are now displayed in the correct language. He also added a new content setting which allows you to set the content language.

Speaking of localization, we would like to thank all translators who updated 30 translations and added support for Galician. Altogether, NewPipe comes with translations for nearly 55 languages! If you find incomplete or missing translations in your language, feel free to improve them.

@BO41 cleaned up the code which results in a smaller app size and tiny performance improvements.

@theScrabi took a look at another bug in this version: after fixing time parsing for formats like 02.56, people can use NewPipe in Finland now.

Get the new version

We recommend you to install the F-Droid app as it notifies you as soon as an update for NewPipe is available.

Please let us know about your experience in the latest release, especially bugs that need to be fixed. As usual, you can reach out to us via IRC (#newpipe on FreeNode), open issues on GitHub or ideally use our built-in crash reporter to send us machine-readable issue reports.

October 27, 2018 11:00

October 25, 2018

Adguard

AdGuard for Windows v6.4

AdGuard for Windows v6.4

Getting a complicated and function-packed product such as AdGuard for Windows to a release state is never easy: after each implemented fix or improvement there always seems to be yet more room for "one last touch". However, it's about time we wrapped up all cumulated updates to roll out the fresh version of our program.

What's new?

This version makes a strong accent on the Networking issues. This doesn’t mean everything else was abandoned, on the contrary, there’s been a lot of ad blocking and UI-related fixes and improvements, it's just that the network-related fixes happened to be the most important ones. Oh, and let’s also not forget about the improved Popup Blocker!

[Improved] Popup Blocker has been updated to v2.5 #2295

AdGuard for Windows v6.4

Popup Blocker settings

Popup Blocker is an extension (userscript) that is added to AdGuard by default. As it’s clear from its name, it helps block various popup windows (most of which are all kinds of ads). It’s been around forever, but the new version for the first time features its own UI accessible from “Extensions” settings tab. You can whitelist websites there or disable notifications for certain websites. The blocking capabilities have been improved too, of course.

AdGuard for Windows v6.4

Popup Blocker notification

[Fixed] Unrelated TCP connections get reset when starting AdGuard service #2291

This one probably requires a little bit of explaining. AdGuard needs to reset network connections when it starts/restarts its service in order to properly filter them. What AdGuard doesn't have to do is resetting connections that it is not going to filter anyway (think of whitelist and some non-browser apps). So from now on, only relevant connections will be reset, as simple as that.

[Fixed] Avast Free prevents AdGuard from suppressing QUIC #2310

The current way of whitelisting apps from filtering for WFP driver has been extended to TDI driver. Not sure what's the difference between those drivers? Don't worry, the important part is, this change allows to avoid compatibility issues with other software, especially with antiviruses.

[Improved] TLS version has been upgraded #2337

TLS is a web protocol that is essential for today's Internet. Up to this moment we were using a draft of TLS 1.3 technology (#2155), as we always wanted to be at the cutting edge. Now, as TLS 1.3 standard was officially accepted by IETF, we are happy to say that AdGuard supports the most modern encrypting standards.

Note: some antiviruses (cough Avast cough) are still using the older version of TLS (v1.2), so in order to avoid compatibility problems we switch to TLS 1.2 if one of these AVs is detected on the PC.

To sum up

As always, we don't mention here less significant but numerous other fixes and micro-improvements, but be sure that they have been deployed, forming a solid foundation for best user experience and the future of the product's development. If you are dying to see the full changelog, head over to GitHub, as usual.

by Vasily Bagirov at October 25, 2018 16:04

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 27: New Servers and First Alpha Release of F-Droid 1.5

This Week In F-Droid 27, Week 43, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Two new heavy duty servers, first alpha release of F-Droid 1.5, metadata cleanup, automatic buildserver setup, Portuguese Courts rule against Google, and F-Droid confirmed malware-free. There are 4 new and 32 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Two new servers from the GCC Compile Farm Project

Many thanks to the GCC Compile Farm Project, who have arranged two bare-metal servers for F-Droid, each with 16 cores, 145 GB RAM, and 2.6 TB disk. These are actually old Facebook machines, but the specs are still pretty impressive! And this is in addition to the F-Droid mirror from Tetaneutral.

The GCC Compile Farm Project is a facilitator for free software developers to get access to resources. The management system for this project is hosted by Tetaneutral, and the machines themselves are hosted by various organizations around the world. These two machines will actually be hosted by the Oregon State University Open Source Lab (OSUOSL).

For people who will be working with them: Remember that these machines have real hard disks, not running in RAID configuration. They should only hold disposable content, as the hard disks could fail.

First alpha of F-Droid client 1.5 released

F-Droid client 1.5-alpha0 is out with a new ROM feature. There is now a way to pre-install F-Droid with additional repositories. These repositories can only be added, and can’t override the main f-droid.org repositories. Also, the user is free to disable and delete, so this is only for the initial setup.

So for example, Lineage could supply an image with a standard F-Droid APK pre-installed, and have it preconfigured with a specific repository. Or this could be Replicant, Fairphone, etc. This feature was designed in cooperation with Emteria, who largely implemented it, with substantial contributions from F-Droid people.

F-Droid metadata cleanup

@Izzy has been working hard behind the scenes, doing the dirty grunt work that nobody else wants to do. In this round, he is removing all the website links which merely point at the source code.

If you follow the “Website” link from an app’s description page, it should lead to a real website. Otherwise, it should be absent. Our metadata is full of cases where the website links to the source code, either directly duplicating the “Source code” link, or pointing somewhere very similar, for example to the README file. This work is fixing that, and unifying the way in which we link to things, which makes for a smoother experience.

Progress with automatic buildserver setup

This week we created the new fdroid-bootstrap-buildserver project in GitLab. This project holds the ansible script responsible for setting up and configuring a buildserver fully automatically. It has already successfully set up two buildservers. Once the script can do everything, which is quite close, the whole buildserver setup, including host and guest, will be recreatable and thus disposable. This is huge for us, especially in combination with the news above.

Portuguese Courts rule against Google on behalf of Aptoide

Aptoide is an alternative app store. Incidentally, the one the F-Droid app was originally forked from. Apparently Google have been remotely removing/hiding the Aptoide app store on over 2.2 million devices in the last 60 days.

Fortunately, the Portuguese Courts ruled that Google has to stop doing that. This isn’t the end of it, as Aptoide will also be filing for damages caused by this. Read the full story here.

Independent academic confirmation that F-Droid is free of malware

We only just learned of this, although the study was actually conducted in 2017. We now have another independent, academic confirmation of 0 malware in F-Droid. Download the results of the study here (PDF).

New apps

Updated apps

In total, 32 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Major More updates for the simple mobile tools. This time Calculator, Music Player and Notes updated to major version 5, again bumping up the minimum required Android from 4.1 to 5.0 and replacing the G+ button with Reddit.

  • Periodical was updated from 1.16 to 1.18, bringing updated translations from Crowdin, and reverting language codes back to their generic form to avoid missing translations when a regional language setting is used.

  • Major Zapp released version 2.0.0, with background playback of “Mediathek” videos, automatic pausing when a different app plays sound or during a phone call, a lockscreen widget, progress bar only showing when the video really stalls, and minimum Android version increased from 4.4 to 5.0.

  • AntennaPod was updated from 1.6.5 to 1.7.0, with the new ExoPlayer, a fix for Bluetooth Forward, preferences + search redesign, notification improvements, different screens for feed info and settings, sort queue with Random or Smart Shuffle, true black AMOLED theme, improvements to feed parsing, and a fix for being killed by Android Oreo.

  • Major AFWall+ released version 3.0.0 with better support for Android Nougat, Oreo and Pie; a firewall toggle tile; adaptive icons; notifications channel; compatibility with magisk 17.x; better handling of background processes; and updated libraries, translations, and bug fixes. The minimum required Android was bumped from 4.0.3 to 5.0.

  • SQRL - Main updated to version 0.11.0, now handling screen rotations, offering manual language choice, and implementing x=n functionality. It has three new languages: French, Japanese and Spanish.

  • Your local weather updated from 4.2.6 to 4.3.1, with rewritten background services for faster and smoother updates, indication of wind direction in the current weather and forecast, and an option for time format.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:matrix.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at October 25, 2018 00:00

October 20, 2018

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 26: Tagesschau F-Droid repo and translation workflow improvement

This Week In F-Droid 26, Week 42, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Tagesschau running an F-Droid repo, starting up translation improvements, finalizing buildserver automation, and 2 new and 79 updated apps.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Tagesschau running their own F-Droid repository

We recently learned that Tagesschau distributes their official app through their own F-Droid repository at https://service.tagesschau.de/app/repo.

We see this move as a great step towards user rights and freedom. Sadly the app isn’t free and open source software, although it is financed with public money. If it is public money, it should be public code as well.

Background for non-German readers: Tagesschau is essentially the German national TV news, airing every day at 20:00. For a longer and more nuanced description, please refer to Wikipedia.

Starting up translation improvements around Weblate

@_hc and @uniq will be working together to improve the Weblate workflow as part of a funded effort. The work is specifically targeted at Markdown, like we use on this website. Effort will also be going towards app store translations like Fastlane and Triple-T. In addition, there is a little bit of time to work on stabilizing Jekyll, so that it can support more than 9 languages on our site. If you are a Ruby developer who likes to help with the latter, please get in touch.

Buildserver automation

@uniq has been finalizing his awesome buildserver automation, with some help from @_hc. This same ansible setup can also be used for verification servers.

New apps

  • Adaptive Brightness Tile: Quick settings tile for adaptive brightness.
  • BookmarkOS: This application will allow you to share urls directly from your Android browsers right into BookmarkOS.

Updated apps

In total, 79 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Featured Did you know that nowadays apps can track where you are and what you’re looking at using inaudible (to humans) high-frequency sounds? Listening via your phone’s microphone, apps containing certain trackerware pick up tones from TV, radio and web page ads, but also billboards, retail outlets and sports stadiums. See this SC magazine article, for example.

    Enter PilferShush Jammer, both a passive and an active microphone jammer. Its primary mode of operation is to hold an exclusive lock on the microphone, blocking other apps from even opening it. If that doesn’t work, or if you suspect system apps are in play, it also has an active jamming mode, emitting its own tones from the phone’s speaker, which hopefully interfere with these tracking sounds. Obviously this is less reliable, and of course, it’s even better to not install hostile closed-source apps in the first place.

    So this week PilferShush Jammer updated from 2.0.13 to 2.2.2, and it can now scan other apps, list their capabilities, and show which ones contain the NUHF beacon SDK. It can also scan a single app and show if it’s accessing the microphone, among other things. Finally there are a new notifications channel, and other small improvements and bug fixes.

  • Yalp Store was updated from 0.43 to 0.45-legacy, adding multiple accounts support and properly handling APK splits, and a slew of other bug fixes and improvements.

  • PocketMaps is a map viewer with navigation system. It was updated from 2.3 to 2.6, now showing the unzipping process on the status bar, and with a new select-option to enter map on each startup, a help entry in the main menu linking to online documentation, and several crash fixes.

  • MatLog Libre shows a scrolling (tailed) view of the Android “logcat” system log, hence the goofy name. In version 1.2.0 the widget was fixed for Android 8+, and a filtered tags setting, progress bar loading from file and kernel log in shared zip were added. Among other small improvements, several crashes were also fixed.

  • Major The “simple mobile tools” File Manager and Flashlight were updated to 5.0.1 and 5.0.0 respectively, bumping the minimum required Android version to 5.0 (from 4.1), and replacing the G+ button with Reddit, among some small fixes.

  • Major Open Link With was updated from 1.9-floss to 2.3-floss. This app lets you open a link in another native app when you’re stuck in the browser. It now supports browser selection, letting you choose between all browsers (previous behavior), one single browser, or to never suggest any browsers at all. Frequently-requested advanced settings were also added, and you can now set OLW itself as a browser, making all link clicks go through OLW automatically instead of having to use “share link”.

  • Password Store stores passwords in simple text files which are encrypted with OpenPGP. This update to 1.3.1 covers a new adaptive icon, ability to install to external SD card, different password sort order, display of HOTP code if present, secure password entry, and other bug fixes and smaller improvements.

  • Conversations was updated from 2.3.2+fcr to 2.3.4+fcr, updating translations, fixing connection issues with user@ip type JIDs and fixing sending OMEMO encrypted files to ChatSecure iOS users.

  • Featured Huge updates for Mastalab yet again! This week it updated from 1.15.2 to 1.17.1, covering:
    • Full PeerTube support: Comment/Follow/Boost/Reply/Fav from your own Mastodon account!
    • New layout for PeerTube instances
    • New video player to make PeerTube compatible with all devices
    • Complete internal overhaul of live updates, now using websockets with the wss protocol on streaming URL
    • Ability to allow live updates only when the app is running
    • Added a red border to media that don’t have a description when composing
    • Several smaller enhancements and bug fixes
  • Riot.im and miniVector both updated from 0.8.15 to 0.8.18. Riot is a Matrix client for (group) chat and VoiP/video, with optional end-to-end encryption. miniVector is a lightweight fork of Riot, dropping some heavy dependencies and needing less permissions, at the cost of lacking VoiP/video support. Changes include improvements to dialogs, video messages, and the previewer activity; a new Status.im theme; and support for “lazy loading”, a huge under-the-hood change which reduces startup time, memory, and data consumption. This last feature is still considered unstable, and needs to be enabled via a “labs” setting.

  • Syncopoli is an rsync client for your phone (currently only in the direction from phone to remote). Version v0.5 adds the ability to add multiple source directories, ability to verify ssh host fingerprint, proper space and string handling in rsync options, global configuration to exported config file, and various typo and crash fixes.

  • Blokada v3 (ad blocker) was updated from 3.4.100500 to 3.6.101401, with improved general tunnel stability, decreased data usage, new advanced settings screen, a setting to prevent the system from stopping Blokada when power saving, a setting to only update lists on WiFi, other small enhancements, and numerous bug fixes.

  • The Light has the bible in multiple languages. Version 3.4 is a small maintenance release adding 13 articles and 7 Youtubers.

  • Emerald Launcher is a lightweight customizable launcher which supports icon packs and has a good number of settings for its size. This week it updated from 0.5.6.2 to 0.6.0.2, now with shortcuts, fullscreen mode, “show keyboard on start” option, switch categories with volume buttons, improved tutorial theme, pick custom icon from memory, and several fixes.

  • Manyverse was updated from 0.18.10-02.beta to 0.1810.16-beta, and now lets you edit your profile picture, and does the initial sync 5x faster or better.

  • AnySoftKeyboard was updated from 1.9.2055 to 1.9.2445 bringing:
    • Power-Saving mode improvements - you can pick which features to include in Power-Saving.
    • Also, we allow switching to dark, simple theme in Power-Saving mode. But this is optional.
    • New Workman layout, Terminal generic-top-row and long-press fixes. Done by Alex Griffin.
    • Updated localization: AR, BE, EU, FR, HU, IT, KA, KN, KU, LT, NB, NL, PT, RO, RU, SC, UK.
    • Fix for small suggestions text on some devices

Beta Updates

The following app was also updated, but will not be shown as upgradeable unless you enable “Unstable updates” in F-Droid settings:

  • ownCloud was updated from 2.9.0-beta.1 to 2.9.0-beta.2

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:matrix.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at October 20, 2018 00:00

October 17, 2018

Fairphone

From founder leadership to growth leadership

Five years ago, in 2013, I took a massive leap of faith: I decided to transform the Fairphone campaign into a company. At that point, I had no experience running a company, and I had certainly never made a phone before. But what I did have was a clear vision – I wanted to dig deeper into the electronics supply chain and help people understand how the industry works. I wanted to change the way people think about the products they bought and owned. And I wanted to make a direct contribution to creating fair electronics.

By training and by nature, I’m a designer, maker and instigator. All of these qualities were essential to getting Fairphone off the ground. We were creating something out of nothing: “building the plane and flying it at the same time”, as I like to say. Our small but mighty team slowly grew, and our accomplishments grew along with it. We made two different phones, sourced conflict-free minerals, collected e-waste and introduced worker welfare programs. What we were doing struck a chord. We not only got attention from the press and our peers, but more importantly, our movement started to take off. We had a fiercely loyal community who believed in what we were doing, while constantly challenging us to go the extra mile.

From product innovations to supply chain improvements, the team was achieving amazing things, but it wasn’t always smooth sailing. As the company began to move beyond the initial start-up phase, we were undergoing some growing pains, which affected everything from our cash flow and production schedules to my personal health. So we started to make some major changes to prepare Fairphone for successful, sustainable growth.

Over the past two years, we’ve been focused on creating a stronger foundation to scale up our company. For example, we’ve improved our financial position by attracting new impact investors, and recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign. These investments will help reach new markets and further professionalize our supply chain operations to improve the availability and quality of our products. In addition, we’ve strengthened our governance by establishing a supervisory board and building a more experienced management team.

In September 2017, we hired Eva Gouwens as our managing director. With a more practical, operations-driven background, we recruited Eva specifically for her experience in running a growing business with social and environmental goals. At Tony’s Chocolonely, Eva led an impact-driven social enterprise through a crucial transition and helped them achieve their next wave of success. Her skills complement my own, and personally, I was very enthusiastic about having her on the executive team to share the responsibility of leading our company.

Over the past year, Eva and I have been working closely together to define areas for improvement and develop a shared vision for the future of Fairphone. We’re aligned on our mission to establish a market for ethical products and motivate the industry to act more responsibly. And we know that to achieve it, we have to keep scaling up. That brings me to our next transition as we prepare for successful growth: it’s time for me to pass the torch on to Eva, and allow her to lead Fairphone through this exciting new era as the company’s CEO.

This is not a decision I have taken lightly. But as our company transitions from the start-up to scale-up phase, our leadership has to transition along with it. The type of leadership required to create a company is not the same type of leadership required to help a company mature. Therefore, the next logical step for Fairphone’s success is to move from founder leadership to growth leadership. Eva is the right person to do this, and she’ll officially be guiding the company forward in her new role from 1 November.

I’m excited about what this transition means for Fairphone, and I’m happy to share that I’ll still be part of the company in the years ahead. After a short sabbatical, I’ll be returning to take up a founder position in the supervisory board. This will allow me to have more distance from the operational aspects of the company, while still being able to anchor Fairphone’s creative and strategic vision throughout this next phase.

I’d like to be the first to warmly congratulate Eva on her new role, and I’m looking forward to being part of Fairphone’s next era of growth, albeit from a slightly different vantage point.

The post From founder leadership to growth leadership appeared first on Fairphone.

by Bas at October 17, 2018 07:30

October 16, 2018

Adguard

Introducing AdGuard Home

Introducing AdGuard Home

As many of you probably know, AdGuard provides a lot of ways to block ads in form of various apps and browser extensions. Some even heard about AdGuard DNS, a way to block ads without installing anything on your device. And today we are announcing the official release of a completely new product — AdGuard Home, which carries a lot of cool new stuff with it.

The short version: AdGuard Home is a network-wide ad-and-tracker blocking DNS server. Its purpose is to let you control your entire network and all your devices, and it does not require using a client-side program. At the same, AdGuard Home features a web interface to easily manage the filtering process.



Where it started

The first step towards AdGuard Home was made two years ago, with the announcement of the AdGuard DNS beta. For the first time, we offered a way to block ads without having to install anything on your device, like a browser extension or an app. And while AdGuard Home is a standalone project, it took a lot from its spiritual predecessor.

In fact, we should probably "thank" Apple for speeding up the development of AdGuard Home. When Apple decided that you couldn't control the traffic on your own devices anymore, we sought ways to put users back in charge of their own gadgets. Naturally, the DNS approach looked the most promising. It's too bad Apple won't allow apps that manage DNS requests anywhere near the AppStore — well, what if you didn't need any apps? And this is the main strength of AdGuard Home: you can set it up anywhere, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Honestly, I would be lying if I said that we implemented 100% of everything that we wanted. That is why we are calling this version of AdGuard Home "v0.9".

One of the main reasons is that the installation of AdGuard Home is currently not the easiest task for an unprepared user, simplifying it is one of the highest priority tasks as we move forward.

Don't get me wrong, it works perfectly fine in its current state, there's just even more we want to add — and we will, in the official v1.0 release that will be announced before you know it.

But we simply couldn't wait any longer, so meet AdGuard Home 0.9!

Why use it?

It is probably not news to you that ads and trackers follow you on the web wherever you go, not only on your computer, but also on your smartphone (in fact, probably even more on your smartphone!), and even in things like smart fridges, smart vacuums and — God help us all! — smart light bulbs!

Even if you have nothing against companies gathering data about you, tracking can be plain dangerous. Ads are no better — they have long become a gateway to all kinds of malware, viruses, crypto lockers, phishing and more trackers.

Given how densely we are surrounded by gadgets in our life, it can get really tiresome to find, install, configure and maintain an ad blocker app for each of them, and, as I've mentioned already, in case of "smart furniture" this is not possible at all. This is where AdGuard Home comes into play — and shines. It provides a unified solution for blocking ads and trackers on all devices within your network, most commonly your home Wi-Fi network, but nothing prevents you from setting it up in your workspace or anywhere else.

Features and advantages of AG Home

The first thing you will notice is the web interface. We think it looks neat and tidy:

Introducing AdGuard Home

AdGuard Home Dashboard

Let's have a look at the main tab. Here you will find all kinds of statistics, including a vivid graphical representation. As you probably noticed, it looks just like a normal app, but you only need it alone to manage filtering on all your devices within the network.

Unlike application-based solutions for Android and iOS, AdGuard Home is not dependent on media giants like Google and Apple and their countless artificial limitations. Your personal preference is the only deciding factor

Now let's go to the "Settings" tab and look more closely at each of the options offered.

Introducing AdGuard Home

Manage filtering process

Ad blocking

The name speaks for itself. This is the main module, keep it enabled if you want AdGuard Home to block ads and tracking in your network — and it will block a lot. Just look at this comparison:

Introducing AdGuard Home

Ads are gone now

And this is not just aesthetics, look at the amount of saved traffic and load speed:

Introducing AdGuard Home

AG Home saves time and traffic

That is more than 3Mb of traffic and 15 seconds of load speed, and that's only one page.

Browsing Security

Introducing AdGuard Home

AG Home blocked a dangerous website

This stands for anti-malware and anti-phishing protection. AG Home will block all potentially dangerous requests to malicious and fraudulent websites, protecting you from online threats.

Parental control

Introducing AdGuard Home

A page is blocked by Parental control

This is useful if you have kids and you don't want them to access websites with inappropriate content.

Safe search

Introducing AdGuard Home

AG Home enforced "Safe search"

In the same vein, this option enforces "Safe search" mode in the most popular search engines (when enabled, it omits adult websites and pictures from being displayed in the search results)

Custom upstream servers

At the bottom of the "Settings" tab is a window to select a preferable upstream DNS server. Don't bother yourself with it unless you know what it means — this option is not essential to the quality filtering at all, but rather is a nice bonus.

AdGuard Home was developed based on the production-ready AdGuard DNS software, which has been used successfully by millions of users from around the globe for the last two years

Filter lists

Introducing AdGuard Home

Add third-party filters

The third tab is devoted to filter settings. By default, ad blocking will be managed by the AdGuard SDN filter, but you have an option to add other filters and hosts-based blocking lists (basically, those are lists of rules that tell AG Home what exactly to block), or even create your own custom filtering rules. Multiple filters and hosts lists are available on the Internet.

AdGuard Home is developed by AdGuard — known experts in ad blocking and privacy protection. Over 25,000,000 users entrusted us with their online safety and never looked back

Query log

Introducing AdGuard Home

Monitor network activity

In the next tab there is a query log that offers everything you would expect from it — complete information on each and every request, all kinds of sorting. For each blocked request, there is a small tooltip telling you what rule it was filtered by, additional information about its origin and an "Unblock" button right next to it. Similarly, for unblocked requests there is a "Block" button. The log keeps track of the last 5000 queries and, of course, you can download the log file.

Open source

AdGuard Home is an open source project. We would be delighted to see any feedback, suggestions or other contribution from you. Whatever it is you have for us, the place to go to let us know about it is always the GitHub repository.

In summary, AdGuard Home gives you complete control over what is happening within your network.

How to set it up

Currently, you can install AdGuard Home on MacOS, Linux (x32 or x64), and Raspberry Pi. There is no need to go into technical details — we have the installation process described in the dedicated GitHub repository. Also, detailed guides on installing AG DNS to VPS and Raspberry Pi are available in our Wiki.

Further plans

We are not going to stop here: on the contrary, we have big plans regarding the future development of AdGuard Home. Here is a short list of what we are planning to do next:

  • One-click setup of your private VPN integrated with AdGuard Home
  • Improve the UI, make it better both functionally and aesthetically (send us your suggestions!)
  • Enhance the encryption options — DNSCrypt and DoH support, a possibility to run in the encrypted DNS server mode
  • Make it easier to use AdGuard Home with mobile devices (e.g. Mobileconfig for iOS)
  • Integrate AG Home with AdGuard applications

Being optimistic and looking a bit further, we would like AG Home to eventually become the privacy protection center for you and your devices, simple to use and easy to configure, where you can set up a personal proxy, VPN or encrypted DNS just in a couple of clicks.

Can I uninstall my ad blocker now?

The main advantage of AG Home lies in its ability to protect the whole network. When it comes to the sheer "filtering power", DNS-based ad blocking is inherently less potent and flexible than the approach taken by browser extensions and especially less so than dedicated tools. As an example, this article compares AG for Android and hosts-based ad blockers, and it gives a good impression of their relative capabilities. Whether you need this level of protection or not is a matter only you can decide.

And that's about it, hope you'll like AdGuard Home and will find a good use for it!

Do you have any questions or suggestions? We're answering everything on Product Hunt today!

by Vasily Bagirov at October 16, 2018 20:47

October 12, 2018

Adguard

Moderator of the Year

Moderator of the Year

Autumn is in full swing, October is outside the window and it means that a year has passed since our first moderators began managing AdGuard translations.

At that time, when we approved our first candidates we were not expecting a lot because work on voluntary basis is, frankly speaking, not for everyone. But we couldn’t even imagine how many passionate people would join us, ready to contribute their efforts to AdGuard and reveal our product to the world.

Now it’s time to announce the results of the year and, as promised, to reward the best of the best AdGuard moderators.

And the prizes go to...

Luckily, we don’t know what the term "bad moderator" (as well as "bad translator") means. We are fortunate to attract only the most skilled and responsible volunteers to our team. We are proud of working with you and always glad to provide you with AdGuard keys.

But there are some moderators among you who help us with all the diligence trying to translate a lot, keep a close eye on updates, check and approve translations in time, report different mistakes and inconsistencies, always answer our emails and messages etc. We feel their huge interest in growth and development of AdGuard and now we want to lift the veil of secrecy and call their names in order to reward the Moderators of the Year! (Yes, you’ve read it right – "the moderators" – as the choice was very difficult).

Can’t wait to learn their names? Okay, let’s start :)

We are pleased to introduce you the winners in the nomination "Moderator of the Year" – those who definitely deserve to be called the best of the best ones!

(Drum roll…)

1st Place – Moderators of the Year

  • Erik Lennartsson – moderator for Swedish
  • Alex Silva – moderator for Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Samuel Pahus – moderator for Danish

Congratulations! We really enjoy working with such responsible and devoted people like you guys, and as a reward you will receive some special presents from AdGuard ;) Thank you!

But that’s not all. We didn't accidently mention first place for the winners. As it has been said, the choice was very difficult, particularly as we had to take every single translated word into account to choose the real winners. And it turned out that there are some moderators who are very close to the victory and have a good chance to become the best ones in future! We believe that they should be rewarded as well.

So, second place and four awardees at once!

2nd Place – Top-class moderators

  • Bekir UÇARCI – moderator for Turkish
  • Lancelot Yu – moderator for Chinese Traditional
  • Peter Hubinsky – moderator for Slovak
  • YanJun Sun – moderator for Chinese Simplified

Our warmest congratulations and applause! :) Thank you!

Dear winners and awardees, all the delivery details will be sent to you in a personal email.

Your enthusiasm is what we are proud of

Moderator of the Year

There are many other moderators in AdGuard who didn’t get on the list but maybe put even more spirit in what they’ve done. No need to worry – we see all your efforts and progress and we are always glad to send you some pleasant souvenirs. Besides, there is also a number of new active moderators who have recently joined us. Just keep it up and become "Moderator of the Year" in future! We will keep our fingers crossed for you :)

By the way, if you just intend to join our moderators, then send us an email to translate@adguard.com using a questionnaire template from this post.
But please note: there are only few languages left for which we have no moderators yet.

Truth be told, there are no winners and losers when it comes to volunteering because being a volunteer is already one of the highest personal achievements. We bow our heads before you and congratulate ourselves on working with such good-natured and talented people. If you are with us, then we are on the right path.

Thanks for your inspiration and encouragement!

by Anna Alpatkina at October 12, 2018 14:27

This Week in F-Droid

TWIF 25: Tor Browser, Matrix room enhancements and mirror beta testing

This Week In F-Droid 25, Week 41, 2018 Feed

In this edition: Tor Browser in Guardian Project, Matrix room improved, F-Droid bottom bar improvement, beta mirror up for testing, and 11 new apps and a record-breaking 114 updates.

F-Droid is a repository of verified free and open source Android apps, a client to access it, as well as a whole “app store kit”, providing all the tools needed to set up and run an app store. It is a community-run free software project developed by a wide range of contributors. This is their story this past week.

Tor Browser available in Guardian Project repository

An alpha version of the new Tor Browser is now available via the Guardian Project repository. It is the same APK as from the Tor Project website. The Guardian Project is working on getting it built reproducibly, and once that is done we will work to add the reproducibly building Tor Browser to F-Droid.

Meanwhile, we are looking for a volunteer who want to add a not-reproducibly-building version to F-Droid. It would be great if someone who has experience with building Fennec could try building Tor Browser.

Growing our presence on Matrix

We have had an IRC room on Freenode since at least 2014, and that room has been bridged to Matrix since Matrix started bridging Freenode. Over the last year, we have been customizing the Matrix half of the room, adding a nice room avatar among other things, but the amount of customization we’re allowed that way is limited.

So this week we went and made a Matrix room, and bridged it to IRC manually. The upshot of this is that we now have a Matrix room which is fully under our control. This has allowed us to set history visibility to public, so anyone can now read back the logs at https://view.matrix.org/alias/#fdroid:matrix.org. We have also listed the room in matrix.org’s room directory, so people who search for F-Droid can actually find us.

Finally, the room can now be reached at #fdroid:matrix.org. This alias previously belonged to a third-party F-Droid room which has been running on Matrix since January 2017. They have graciously allowed us to use the alias for our room, for which our sincere thanks.

Compact bottom bar in F-Droid client

@Licaon_Kter is working on a modified bottom bar in the F-Droid client, which has more room for text by collapsing the inactive items. This should fix problems with text getting cut off in languages other than English. You can see it in action here.

Tutanota on F-Droid spotlighted at Linux Journal

Tutanota, and the story of how they made their app suitable for F-Droid, have been spotlighted at Linux Journal. Of course, if you’ve been following our blog, this will sound very familiar.

Beta mirror up for testing

Tetaneutral is a non-profit ISP based in Toulouse, France. They have offered to host a mirror of our main F-Droid repository, as well as the archive. We are currently beta testing the setup, and if you’d like to give it a try, tap here on your mobile device to add it as a “user mirror” for f-droid.org. (Link will not work on a PC or if you don’t have the F-Droid app installed.)

New apps

  • Cool Mic is an open source Icecast source client. It livestreams audio captured by your Android device’s microphone or mic in / line in jack to any Icecast server.

  • Ever wanted to create a fictional setting — for your next novel, comic, screenplay, or what-have-you — but find it difficult to keep everything organized? World Scribe eases the creation process by letting you keep track of every important element in your world, including the ways in which they’re connected.

  • Cryptolitycs gives quick and easy access to cryptocurrency related information and allows the user to follow the cryptocurrency market.

  • Identify Dog Breeds: Identify over one hundred different dog breeds with your smartphone.

  • CPU Info: Information about device hardware and software.

  • XOverrideHeadphoneJackDetection is an XPosed module that allows you to manually override the headphone jack detection of an Android device.

  • Calcvac: Calculate logitudinal one-dimensional pressure profiles in vacuum pipes.

  • SQRL - Main: An implementation for SQRL (Secure Quick Reliable Login).

  • Flyve MDM Agent: Manage and secure effectively your mobile devices and applications.

  • Quickly quit: Quickly quit what you were doing.

  • Featured Manyverse: At last a mobile client for the Secure Scuttlebutt protocol lands in F-Droid! SSB is a peer-to-peer protocol and social network optimized for off-line and off-grid use. You can share messages locally using bluetooth or local WiFi, directly with your friends over the internet, or optionally tap into more centralized nodes called “pubs”.

    For in-depth details about the developer, André Staltz, and his motivations you can watch the It’s time to build our own Internet TEDxGeneva talk and the recent Reinvent the social web. If you’re more inclined to read you can see his viral blog posts called The Web began dying in 2014, here’s how and the follow up A plan to rescue the Web from the Internet.

Updated apps

In total, 114 apps were updated this week. Here are the highlights:

  • Major Lots of changes for VPN Hotspot, which updates we haven’t been picking up since early June. Updating straight from 1.3.2 to 2.0.3, it has refined masquerading rules, starting on boot, dark theme and Android TV support, identifying and blocking unwanted clients, recording per-client bandwidth, and a ton of UI improvements and fixes. Note that the functionality of this app is limited without root access.

  • PasteBin is a client for Ubuntu pastebin. It was updated from 1.0 to 1.5, now with a stable and responsive UI, new recent post and about options, new custom toolbars and menu bars, and the usual bug fixes.

  • DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser updated from 5.10.3 to 5.10.4, adding optimizations to its HTTPS upgrading solution.

  • TrebleShot allows you to send and receive files over available connections, and pause and resume transfer process even when an error is given. This update from 1.2.7.2 to 1.2.7.5 brings improved support for Android 9 (Pie), a theme update & dark theme, and an improved look for the app and the QR scanner, as well as new and updated translations and bug fixes.

  • PocketMaps is a map viewer with navigation system and support for offline use. This update from 2.0 to 2.3 allows to load GPX files to show an analysis and route, mute voice guidance when in a phone call, make downloads visible in the notification bar, now accepts geo: links from other apps, and several UI improvements.

  • Calculator 4.2.0 has some updated libraries + translation updates.

  • File Manager 4.3.1 has some bugfixes and translation improvements.

  • Gallery 4.6.5 adds notch support for Android 9 (Pie), faster video seeking by dragging a finger at the bottom seekbar, a different way of displaying fullscreen GIFs, a new toggle for trying to show the best possible image quality, keep Favorite items marked after moving, and many smaller improvements and fixes.

  • Elementary is a simple Periodic Table and element reference application. Version 0.9.0 now requires at least Android 4.0 (up from 2.3), and has updated videos for Argon, Tin and Dubnium.

  • Major Qz (pronounced “queues”) connects to an RDS/TMC receiver to receive live traffic messages, helping you avoid congestions. Version 2.0.0 is out, with the ability to send new messages as TraFF feeds to applications supporting it, updates to location tables, and fixing a bug causing the message list UI to miss some updates.

  • Major Wownerujo is a fork of the cryptocurrency Monero with primary alterations. Updating from 1.6.4.0 to 2.3.0.1, the app is now based on Wownero v0.3.0.0 Cool Cage.

  • Tricky Tripper is an offline-compatible utility for managing travel expenses. 1.6.0 fixes online retrieval of currencies, but without support for El Salvador Colon and Sambian Kwacha.

  • Tutanota 3.37.2 contains updated Terms & Conditions.

  • EtchDroid helps you write images to USB drives. You can use it to make a bootable GNU/Linux USB drive when your laptop is dead and you’re in the middle of nowhere. It requires no root. Version 1.3 brings a dark theme, ability to open images from a file manager, and adds a workaround for an Android 9 (Pie) issue.

  • NetGuard was updated from 2.207 to 2.212, now checking for always-on VPN, updated translations, and some fixes.

  • Tachiyomi is a manga reader. Version 0.8.0 brings quite a few changes, adding a new reader with many fixes, GIF support, showing all entries in the library even if their extensions are not installed, and several bug fixes.

  • Conversations is an instant messenger with support for group chat, based on the XMPP protocol. Starting with version 2.3.0+fcr it brings support for TLSv1.3 and can now disable screen & switch to ear piece in audio player, enable foreground service by default for Android 8 (Oreo), view per-contact media files in contact and conference details screen, preview and ask for confirmation before sending media files, use consistent color generation, fix Quiet Hours on Android 8+, and addition of a video quality selector.

  • Featured Mastalab is a featureful multi-account client for Mastodon. Lots of new features in this jump from 1.13.6 to 1.15.2, now with video and Peertube support:
    • Long-press on bookmark button to bookmark toots with another account
    • Verified URL on profiles (currently only available on mastodon.social)
    • Support for blocking whole instances
    • Allow to share videos
    • Howto videos in menu
    • Manage Peertube videos (fullscreen + comments)
    • Screen name not displayed in non-compact mode
    • Filter issue with local timeline
    • Follow Peertube instances with the ability to comment on videos with Mastodon accounts
    • Direct messages in a column (can be hidden in settings)
    • Many other changes, improvements and bug fixes
  • Markor 1.3.0 is out with an “Auto” theme, automatically switching between dark and light theme based on time of day. It also supports Chrome Custom tabs, will now start editing documents at last known cursor position, and enables link highlighting in plaintext format. Long-pressing an image now adds img-src with max-height, long-pressing the “Special key” jumps to top/bottom and long-pressing “Open external” opens context search. On top of that you’ll find improvements to TextActions and Representation, and bug fixes.

  • OsmAnd~ 3.2.2 fixes a crash on startup that occurred with non-latin maps, improves rendering speed on Android 8.0 devices, adds support for the polygon (non-amenity) objects editings, and adds a “Measure” button to Actions in the context menu for the distance measuring plugin.

  • Open Camera 1.44.1 adds a lot of new capabilities:
    • New photo mode “NR” Noise Reduction, takes a burst of photos and aligns and merges to reduce noise (Camera2 API only, only supported on high end devices)
    • New photo mode “Focus {}” to enable Focus Bracketing (Camera2 API only)
    • New option Settings/”Ghost image”, to overlay either last photo taken, or a selected image on your device
    • New option Settings/On screen GUI/”Show audio level meter”, to display on-screen audio level when recording video
    • New option Settings/Video settings/”Video flat (log) profile” to record video with a flat profile (Camera2 API only)
    • New options under Settings/”Processing settings…” for setting Edge Mode and Noise Reduction Mode filtering options (Camera2 API only)
    • New option Settings/Photo settings/”Distance unit” to allow using feet instead of metres for GPS altitude on photo stamp and video subtitles
    • On-screen flash icon (to show whether flash will fire or not) now supported for front screen flash
    • New Camera2 API debug option under Settings/”Photo settings” to disable taking photos whilst recording video feature (if your device has problems recording videos with Camera2 API enabled, try disabling this)
    • Camera2 support for high resolution photo resolutions (required for supporting highest resolutions on some devices, e.g., Nokia 6, Samsung Galaxy S6)
    • Launching from intent now recognises request for front or back camera
    • Video bitrate options for 150Mbps and 200Mbps (may not work on all devices)
    • New video audio source options: UNPROCESSED (requires Android 7) and VOICE_RECOGNITION
    • Partial Greek translation (thanks to Wasilis Mandratzis-Walz)
    • New option to disable ever showing the “What’s New” dialog (under Settings/On screen GUI/ “Show What’s New dialog”)
    • Many other updates and bug fixes
  • Major Apparently we haven’t been able to update PDF Converter for 2 years. We now have 8.3.3 in the repository (previously 1.0) with too many changes to list. Of note is that we also picked up some older versions, and version 2.5 is the latest one that will install on Android 4.4. All versions after that require at least Android 5.0.

Tips and Feedback

Do you have important app updates we should write about? Send in your tips via Mastodon! Send them to @fdroidorg@mastodon.technology and remember to tag with #TWIF. Or use the TWIF submission thread on the forum. The deadline to the next TWIF is Thursday 12:00 UTC.

General feedback can also be sent via Mastodon, or, if you’d like to have a live chat, you can find us in #fdroid on Freenode, on Matrix via #fdroid:matrix.org or on Telegram. All of these spaces are bridged together, so the choice is yours. You can also join us on the forum.

by Coffee at October 12, 2018 00:00

October 11, 2018

Fairphone

Proud and grateful: Celebrating our crowdfunding success

In May, I joined Fairphone as the company’s chief financial officer (CFO). While I expected a fast-paced, quickly evolving environment, I’m not sure I was prepared for just how exciting the first months would be.

Part of my role includes overseeing the investment strategy, which is crucial for Fairphone’s goals of scaling up and expanding our impact. So in my first month on the job, after speaking with the CEO Bas van Abel, potential investors and some contacts at Oneplanetcrowd, we hatched a plan: now was the time for a crowdfunding campaign. To us, it made complete sense for our funding and growth plans. But we couldn’t execute something this ambitious without a lot of help…

Dream team hits the ground running

In mid June, we dropped the news on the brand team: “Hey guys, we have this amazing idea for a crowdfunding campaign! It’s going to support our investment goals, give our community the chance to become shareholders in Fairphone and help our company make a bigger impact! Just one thing – do you think we can launch it in about a month? We want to grab people’s attention before they go on vacation in August.”

Happily, it seems that Fairphone is filled with people who have a can-do attitude, even though it meant a lot of us had to quickly shift our priorities. And it wasn’t just the brand team that needed to be involved – we also required input from the management team and supervisory board, and our legal and finance teams worked their magic to compile, review and approve a ton of information in record time.

Besides the Fairphone team, we had amazing support from external sources. Oneplanetcrowd – a Dutch crowdfunding platform focused specifically on sustainable innovation – went out of their way to answer questions, offer guidance and do everything they could to make our campaign a success. They also introduced us to Gijsbert Koren, who became our indispensable crowdfunding advisor and project manager. Gijsbert mapped out deadlines and deliverables and kept us motivated with his big smile and positive attitude. He somehow managed to make everything sound like fun – including staying at the office very late to do some extra user testing. Our dream team was rounded out by Dietwee, a hands-on creative agency who helped bring the Fairphone story and our crowdfunding ambitions to life. In record time, they assembled an international team and whipped up a promo video filmed with a Fairphone 2.

Fairphone’s crowdfunding promotional video

Most participants ever in a Dutch crowdfunding campaign

On 18th of July, we were ready to launch our campaign. It was obviously a nail-biting moment: Would people connect with our story? Was our community ready to invest? What if everyone was on vacation?! As we frantically refreshed our campaign page, it was clear that we didn’t have to worry. One by one, our amazing community members, combined with Oneplanetcrowd’s network, began investing in Fairphone’s vision of making a greater impact.

To our surprise, we already reached our initial crowdfunding target on 25 July: 1 million euros! We were elated, but now it was time to shoot for the stretch goal. Could we raise 2.5 million euros by the time our campaign closed on 16 August? The answer was a resounding YES. And we not only raised the maximum amount – we also had the most participants ever in a Dutch crowdfunding campaign! We’re unbelievable grateful to each and every one of the 1827 people who invested in Fairphone’s future.

Building a more sustainable industry

Bas van Abel, Fairphone’s founder and CEO, summed up how we were all feeling:

“We’re humbled and inspired by the outpouring of support from our community. They have been crucial to everything we’ve achieved so far, and as shareholders in Fairphone, they’re making an essential contribution to our future success. We want to thank everyone for helping us reach another milestone together, and for believing in the possibility of fair electronics.”

Fairphone employees celebrating reaching our €2.5 Million milestone!

The money raised with our crowdfunding campaign is an important part of our overall investment strategy and will contribute to our vision of a more sustainable electronics industry. A few of the ways we’re using this investment to reach our goals include engineering, certification and tooling for our new product, working to integrate fair cobalt into our supply chain, expanding our marketing efforts and sales operations and exploring new business models like offering Fairphone as a service. These activities will help our company grow, professionalize, reach new markets and ultimately increase our positive impact. (If you’re curious to learn more, please read our investment sheet.)

No matter how you helped – from committing your hard-earned cash to sharing our posts with your friends – we’d like to thank you once again for making this campaign a success. You’ve made my first months at Fairphone unforgettable, and I can’t wait to see what else we can achieve together.

The post Proud and grateful: Celebrating our crowdfunding success appeared first on Fairphone.

by Allard at October 11, 2018 14:15