Alternative to Jami

Im starting to lose my Jami converts purely down to the extreme battery usage of Jami on iOS. My brother has sent me a screen shot shoing Jami is typically using 67% of the battery in his iPhone 10, vastly more than even his high definition GPS running tracker.
For weeks if noth moths I have joined threads in the past highlighting the unacceptable power usage Jami seems to be using on the iOS platform however the problem is getting ignored.
Yes, the phone has been checked for updates, the latest Jami client has been installed. Hes even gone as far as factory resetting the phone. Nothing fixes the battery vampire known as Jami.

So it seems Jami is getting close to getting scrapped in our group ask it just has far to many issues for daily use. Can someone recommend a GNU complient messenger thats available on all popular OS both mobile and desktop?

Thanks

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Good morning @amtrakuk :slight_smile: One of the many benefits with Jami is that they really welcome your suggestion about enhancements. It sounds like you might have successfully found an opportunity to enhance Jami. All contributions are welcome.

Are you interested to contribute a suggestion about reducing Jami battery usage? If yes, feel free to create a new ticket. If you are not familiar with this. Find the steps at https://git.jami.net/savoirfairelinux/ring-project/-/wikis/tutorials/Bug-report-guide#how-to-report-a-bug

The steps in the page above are the same for both suggesting enhancements or flag bugs

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I’ve been highlighting this issue for a long time. I have moved form my iPhone to android because of it. Its so obvious but not much is being done about it - 37, 42, 54% of the battery being used is simply not acceptable! Is it a virus or something, I’ve asked what is using all the battery, why is it doing it, when will be it fixed? Months on and no one has addressed such a critical foundation problem!

I am down to 2 converts from Whatsapp as the battery drain is far to much and moreover the support to address is very poor. The other one is using an Android device.

*** You need to get the very basic problems fixed first - No point in having a car with no wheels ***

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Hi @amtrakuk, I’m sorry about the less than ideal experience with the iOS client and the battery drain. As I don’t use iDevices myself I have no way of testing it. I’ll ping the primary developer/maintainer of the iOS client to see if they may be able to help diagnose/debug the issue. Thanks for your bug reports, your patience, and for using Jami. :slight_smile:

“The very basic problems”, for me, are encryption and avoidance of a central server.
Power consumption comes waaay behind, whatever its level, and on Android, I have zero issue there anyway.

I suspect the absence of central server means more regular communication on the network, as you don’t get ‘automatic pushes from the server’ where someone calls you : that’s the very purpose of not having a server, mind you, and I definitely buy it.

Now if your priorities are other, well we just don’t aim at the same thing : feel free to change, instead of insulting the devs here.

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Sorry… but even without a push service, this amount of battery usage is either a bug or a design flaw.
I agree with @amtrakuk such battery drain is unworkable.
imo, either don’t pretend to have a solution for ios, or create a way to not drain the battery.

i wonder if there are people on iOS who are able to use it without such battery drain. If so, how?

IMO, it is not fully right to totally ignore usability issues, like battery drain or inconveniences in UI. You see, it is you, and me, and the developers, and many other people on this forum who really understand the importance of encryption and avoidance of a central server. But if we really want to avoid using proprietary communication solutions, we need to convince other people to use it too.

In many cases people do not even want to talk with you if you do not use the communication software they are used to. It is even harder to convince someone to try another communication solution. And the slightest inconvenience for them will guarantee that they will return to their previous favorite application and shame you every now and then for even proposing to communicate using this thing. And there is no way to explain them why encryption and avoidance of a central server is more important than convenience. They just have another worldview.

Also, in my country it is not possible to find a job where they would agree to use a software inconvenient for them to talk with me. I am so tired of painstakingly configuring virtualization solutions just to talk with people I need to talk with. I really hope that some day it will be possible to use Jami as my main way to talk with people.

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Sadly I’m down to one jami contact my brother left today saying he will go back to WhatsApp and has deleted Jami from his iPhone. The only other contact uses an androidso no real power issues however he says I’m the only one he has on Jami mainly using Signal so not a good situation my end.

I agree with you, security is paramount however as I found out, if there us a glaring issue that has been identified but not addressed in a reasonable time, people will move on or back to a different platform.

To attract and keep users, Jami has to be perfect and live up to peoples expectations. If not people will associate Jami with a bad experience and revert back to their previous service.

The converts I moved over to Jami are everyday non techie users who expect things to largely just work, as they are comparing what they have moved from (whatsapp, FB messenger etc). Unfortunately there was the unjoinable peer issue which has largely been resolved - sadly I lost about 5 users because of that. Now I have lost 3 more iPhone users because of the excessive battery consumption - one was even adamant Jami is some virus because it was using so much battery. I am down to 1 other android user who is trying to get me on to Signal as I am his only other Jami contact.

As a test I have flashed up my iPhone 5S, 50% of the power used in 11 minutes was for Jami

Hi, could it be that you haven’t mentioned anything about your settings? There are a few post refering to the same issue of battery consumption and I saw your replies on some of them, but never read anything about your settings.

  1. Do you have proxy DHT enabled?
  2. What about “Allow running in background to receive calls and messages.”?
  3. I don’t know if iOS version has some kind of push notifications; if so, have you checked them?

On the other hand, related to alternatives to Jami, I’d like to mention: Tox, Briar and XMPP protocol. Tox and Briar are free and distributed. XMPP is a protocol, so there are many apps that you can find for different platforms. It is an open protocol and there are free apps that work with it. One important difference is that it implies decentralized communication (instead of distributed).

Hi there.

On the iOS client I can’t see any option to switch proxy settings on or off. Even in advance settings there are no mention for any connection options. Unlike the Android version where you can enable or disable the advance connection options such as the Proxy settings. I feel not being able to change any connection settings in the iOS client maybe a problem?

Hello again,

The team investigated this, and the high battery consumption issue on iOS devices seems to be due to an issue in one of the libraries Jami depends on. A workaround has been added in Jami for now, and a bug report has been opened upstream. I believe the workaround will be included in upcoming releases of Jami, so please upgrade to new releases when they become available, and let us know if the situation improves or if the significant battery drain still remains.

More details: Huge battery drain when using Jami (#563) · Issues · savoirfairelinux / jami-daemon · GitLab

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Thanks… It would be a great help. I will keep a trial on my iPhone 5s

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Oh, I see… I don’t know if that’s a problem. I just wasn’t aware of the available settings on iOS client and supposed it would be basically the same as on Android and GNU/Linux. I once had that problem with battery and wanted to point it out.

I think the only three alternatives that can compete with Jami is XMPP, Matrix and Sessions. However unlike XMPP and Matrix, Jami is a P2P where as XMPP and Matrix is federated like email. Sessions uses a Tor like system but is not P2P like Jami.

I hope someday Jami implements some kind of “VPN” setting like Tor or the Loki network which can be enabled or disable

Thanks for the suggestions… You just reminded me, I still need to see if the battery drain has been resolved on iOS.

I was toying with XMPP however OMEMO adds complications, moreover issues exist between differing OMEMO compliant messengers.

I was looking at TOX but for some reason my phone indicators shows it at constantly sending/receiving data - not sure what that’s all about.

For the most part text messaging between JAMI client is ok. However I did giveup on trying a voicecall Jami to Jami - just nothing seemed to be happened, a connecting and ringing tone wouldn’t go a miss.

@amtrakuk
Hi. They’ve put work in a new version, and the iOS battery issue should be fixed now.
mentioned in this last blog

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Sadly we didn’t even get to trying the battery. We sent a few messages and fell fowl of the “unjoinable peer”. Filtering the expletives I got the following points;

  • The infrastructure may seem like it should work but in practice its unreliable putting it kindly it was suggested the whole system needs to be scrapped and thought again.
  • A convert is not willing or interested in compromise just because its open source. It should work reliably out the box.
  • You wouldn’t buy a half working car.

This is an opinion of the only user I had left, I can see where they are coming from.

I wish the project and developers all the best in the future. My advise is go back to the beginning and rethink how the infrastructure works, use XMPP with OMEMO (or your own) encryption? XMPP can potentially handle voice, video, file transfer, and messaging. These are all reliable tried and tested with thousands of servers around the world that are used for other messaging platforms and some enforcement services so the chances of it being shut down are minimal. It would be good to rewrite Jami to use XMPP and all the encryption installed and preconfigured as part of the build. To the user all they do is install and use. The XMPP registration could be anonymous in the form of a public key as now for privacy.

IMO, there are a lot of XMPP clients, and all of them are not so good. So, the world do not need another one. It would be better to get codebase of a pair of existing XMPP client and server and invest huge amount of efforts to correctly implement all XEPs and ensure that UI is really good than to implement a new client from scratch.

What I am trying to say is that it would be a great loss to throw out the decentralized architecture and rewrite everything with federated architecture, like in XMPP or Matrix. As I see it, the whole point of Jami is to develop something different, with fundamentally different approach and thus fundamentally different behavior, threat models and use cases. It is always very laborious to implement a fully decentralized system which works correctly, but when such a system is finally implemented and works as intended, it becomes very powerful. There are good examples of working decentralized systems in other fields, so I do not see any reason why Jami can not success in future with current decentralized approach.

But, maybe it would be good to make it clear, that Jami clients for Android and iOS are still in Beta so that users would not have too high expectations.

As a user I will patiently wait until Jami become stable enough.