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Old 20 May 2022, 01:25 AM   #1
Folio
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FairEmail Android Client

It looks like the Android email client FairEmail will no longer be developed. See the announcement on the FairEmail web site:

https://email.faircode.eu/

and the related Hacker News discussion:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31434372
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Old 20 May 2022, 02:28 AM   #2
digp
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Shocking news. Best android email client ever.
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Old 20 May 2022, 04:33 AM   #3
TenFour
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I just looked on my phone and the app is still showing in the Play Store with no information there about any problems. I guess it takes awhile to get delisted, or will it remain just with no further development? Tried using it a few times and it seemed OK, but nothing amazing.

Can't say I am an expert on what is happening with this, but Google explains the problem with this statement as re-published by the developer:
Quote:
As mentioned previously, your app (APK Version: 1898, Track: Open Testing) doesn’t comply with Google Play policy. Your app is uploading users' Contacts List information without a prominent disclosure and your app is uploading users' Contact List information without posting a privacy policy in both the designated field in the Play Console and from within the Play distributed app itself. Kindly understand that all active versions of your app should be compliant with our policies.

Last edited by TenFour : 20 May 2022 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 20 May 2022, 07:34 AM   #4
Folio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
I just looked on my phone and the app is still showing in the Play Store with no information there about any problems...
Yeah, I have it installed and Google Play Protect is not flagging it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TenFour View Post
... Tried using it a few times and it seemed OK, but nothing amazing.
Is there an Android client that you do like that you would recommend? If FairEmail becomes unavailable, I'll be looking around for a new client.
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Old 20 May 2022, 07:43 AM   #5
TenFour
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Well, I've fiddled around with a lot of email apps, and I keep coming back to the email app provided by the email service. I use the Gmail app with Gmail and the Outlook app with Microsoft email and the Fastmail app with Fastmail, etc. They provide the most reliable app and you have only one support to reach out to if something isn't working. Otherwise, the app developer tells you that something isn't right with your email service provider, and then the email service provider tells you the problem is with the app. Otherwise, the default phone email app on Samsung phones seems OK, and almost everyone I know that uses an iPhone uses Apple's app.
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Old 20 May 2022, 10:11 PM   #6
FredOnline
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Marcel Bokhorst has put up a FAQ page: https://faircode.eu/faq.html
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Old 21 May 2022, 07:49 AM   #7
jarland
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Not being as talented of a developer as Marcel, I don't know if I can contribute anything of value. But I am pretty dead set on not wanting to see this project die. Whether that means learning his code and working on a fork or donating to someone who might do it better, I'm up for the idea.
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Old 21 May 2022, 09:52 AM   #8
ioneja
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Originally Posted by jarland View Post
Not being as talented of a developer as Marcel, I don't know if I can contribute anything of value. But I am pretty dead set on not wanting to see this project die. Whether that means learning his code and working on a fork or donating to someone who might do it better, I'm up for the idea.
Great idea. Please post if you have any traction with it. FairEmail is indeed good, would be a shame to see it disappear.
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Old 25 May 2022, 12:34 AM   #9
SideshowBob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folio View Post
and the related Hacker News discussion:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31434372
From that link:

Quote:
If you read the details of the Play Store complaint, you will see that they say the app was uploading information from the user's contact list without properly disclosing to the user that this was happening [1]. This is a violation of Play Store policy (a disclosure is required). It's not an unreasonable policy.

You can see in the app's source code where some of this happens [2]. In short, the contact list is read off the device, email addresses associated with each contact are parsed out, and the app does HTTP requests to remote servers to get the favicon associated with each email contact domain. Note that this is the sending of information off each user's contact list (the email address domains) to those remote servers. As such, it requires a disclosure to the user.

The developer's response is that he refuses to add a disclosure to the app because he is not uploading "contact info". [3]. Ok... not a great response. Certainly I would expect apps to disclose whether or not they are using any information on my contact list to reach out to third-party servers, even if only domain names. In any case, it's Play Store policy.

In the end, he finally removed the favicon feature. And Play agreed to allow the app back into the store. [4] But he has not yet backed down on shutting down the whole project because he's still upset.
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Old 25 May 2022, 11:26 PM   #10
TenFour
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Looks like the FairEmail app is returning. https://www.androidpolice.com/fairem...rivacy-policy/
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Old 27 May 2022, 06:08 PM   #11
FredOnline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredOnline View Post
Marcel Bokhorst has put up a FAQ page: https://faircode.eu/faq.html
The FAQ page is being updated with the current state of play.

Today:

Quote:
May 27, 2022
Google's privacy and policy department has confirmed approval of the test version. Version 1.1901 has been released as a test version, with all reported bugs fixed, and the plan is to release this version publicly on the Play Store after evaluation.
Edit:

Quote:
May 27, 2022
Version 1.1901 has been released to the Play Store as a "production" version after confirmation from Google's privacy and policy team. It may take a few hours or more before FairEmail is available again worldwide in the Play Store. Thanks for all the support!

Last edited by FredOnline : 28 May 2022 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Edit:
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