Advice for kid approaching teens: Whatsapp alternative

Daughter (12) wants to start to communicate with her friends abroad that were left behind. Daughter has mobile with UBports, friends will have devices with Android or Ios, I suppose. Any recommendations?


True friends will install an app which works on UBports, too.
But it might be difficult to explain to her.


This is supposed to support Whatsapp, not sure how far along it has come though.

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Replace mobile?

with tin cans and string?

Seriously though, she's 12 years old. My Daughter was sensible enough at that age to accept stuff that couldn't be done without throwing a fit. The fun started when she was 16 :crazy_face:


Why not? That's all we had in the good'le days! : )

I suppose that is when you started carrying a baseball bat?

Myself I would have started soon after I see boys noticing her.

Telegram. It’s cross platform, (in theory) uses encryption on communication, and has all the same features as WhatsApp. It’s open source and has a port to Ubuntu touch. I use it across Manjaro, Mint, W10, Android, and iOS. No issues on any of those.


It lacks video call function. For that I use Wire, it's available on Manjaro but I don't know about UBports.

On UBports there is a program called Wire UT, but the notes say 'video chat currently not working'. However, I think the kids will be fine without video calls.
@A-MAN, any experience with Signal as comparison?

Telegram is quite nice, but the backend is not open source. And I don't see any options for E2E key management anywhere in it's interface, so I am not sure it's encrypted at all.

I don't know about UB Ports compatibility, but I prefer Matrix as a chat platform. Or Wire.

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Riot + Ur own Riot server deployed via Yunohost

As teen or kid (I'm a kid : never grew up) challenging established order with own (secretive) stuff has always been a must.

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I’m afraid not. Sorry.

Quite some time ago now, Facebook bought whatsapp; just like Instagram and Facebook, they're data-mining whatsapp to get information about users for advertising data--etc.

I suggest reviewing some alternatives to whatsapp that are open-source and have a reputation for protecting people's privacy. is one of the more popular ones that support Android, iOS, and the web too.

Though I wouldn't suggest using KIK, it has a lot of adult themed rooms in it; and other not so good stuff.

I'm not familiar with LINE, but it supports Android and iOS.

"11 Alternatives to Whatsapp that Actually Respect Your Privacy":

Here is a more general list, that does not focus on privacy protection.

"WhatsApp Alternatives":

I don't know who wrote that article, but they did not give enough credit to Signal IMO. First historically it is not a telegram clone, as it was in the past an app called TextSecure, which provide SMS encryption (which is still possible with Signal) it was later combined with RedPhone, another App for encrypted calls via the net. OpenWhisperSystem did develop the widely adopted Signal-Protocol. In contrast to telegram, encryption is not optional, it's the default. To present it as just a "telegram clone" is rather an understatement.

I think Signal, Threema and Wire are viable options for the OP. Where Signal would be the closest to WhatsApp and the only one which is not backed by a cooperation, but a foundation. Threema is closed source and not available for free.

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I haven't used Signal myself, so I can't offer an opinion on it.

I appreciate your insights, this will help me to figure out which one I want to use too.

I haven't dumped whatsapp yet, but I'm going to; anything facebook.

Thanks again.

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I use Signal. Have for years.
Whatsapp uses Signal's protocol as well, which is open source.
Signal has all the text, voice, and video functionalities, and groups. With emoji reactions, if those are your thing.
But like with Whatsapp, you have to convince all parties to use it.

By the way, I also use Linphone.

No server between users when connection is done.
Sometimes late versioning on Linux desktop.

Thanks everyone for the input. We played around with Signal and Telegram, but the novelty soon wore off. They're back to ordinary, simple phone calls!

Signal worked fine between to UBports phones, but we did not try with Android/IOS. Telegram worked fine on UBports and Android. We haven't explored all functionalities, so can't give a comparison.
One problem at the moment with UBports on LG Nexus 5 phones is that it can't handle video files. This bug doesn't allow it to replay any videos received, nor record any to send. Spoils a bit of the fun, I suppose.

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UBports any good? I'm looking for an alternative for my tablet :slight_smile:
Archos Xenon 101b
Edit - oops...trying to keep a dying thread on life support by piggy-backing...please disregard my post...
In Manjaro style, I'll so my homework before I post a a new thread...
My sincere apologies...

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