Which is the best messaging platform in your opinion, and why?

Discussion in 'Smart Phones and Devices' started by Oubadah, May 25, 2018.

  1. Oubadah

    Oubadah [H]ard|Gawd

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    For me it's Hangouts. While not perfect, I always come back to this one. I don't know why it's not more popular, and I don't know why Google didn't put more effort into refining it instead of wasting their time on Allo and Duo, the two of which combined pale in comparison to Hangouts.

    Hangouts:

    - Multi-platform: iOS, Android, and a web version for PCs
    > Proper tablet version (unlike Allo)
    > Excellent web version
    - supports multiple chat windows open at once
    - Works with any browser (unlike Allo)
    - Gmail integration​

    - Proper multi device support.
    > No stupid limitations like one phone only. No "master" device.
    > No reliance on charge state of another device (unlike Whatsapp)​

    - Independent login on any device. No text codes or QR code scanning nonsense.
    > As many devices logged in simultaneously as you like​

    - Notifications work. Always.
    > Very fast and reliable notifications on iOS and Android (contrast with Telegram, which often takes a good 30 seconds to notify on iOS, and has issues with notifications ceasing to work after extended periods on some Android devices)
    ^ This is an absolutely critical one. You can have the best system in the world on paper, but if the notifications are unreliable, then it's useless (which is more or less the case with Telegram for me, at least on Android)​
    > Notifies for EVERY message. I hate the Facebook Messenger system of only notifying for the first two (or whatever it is) messages. That's just a recipe for missed messages. That should be strictly an optional feature.​

    - Chat history all stored in cloud
    > Seamless access from all devices
    > Fully searchable (via Gmail)
    > Readily exportable​

    - No clutter, stupid gimmicks or ads (unlike Viber)

    - Does not require phone number
    > If you want anonymity, making a burner google account is easier than having spare numbers (but not as easy as something like Kik)
    - Hangouts apps have fast account switching, and notifiy for all accounts​

    - Unified IM, voice and video calling experience. Why do I want this split out into separate apps?

    - Attractive, clean and intuitive UI. It's very easy to use, which is why I'm bewildered by the oft-repeated claim that one of Hangouts's reasons for failure was it being "too complicated" for the average person. My parents picked it up immediately, and they barely know how to switch apps in iOS.

    I know I'm forgetting some, but I'll add them when I remember.

    Areas for improvement:
    - notification repeat (like iMessage and Telegram)
    - Cannot change notification sound in iOS, but this isn't a deal breaker like it is in Skype, because the default Hangouts sound was actually designed to be audible in environments other than a completely silent room (grow a brain, Microsoft).
    - Mobile notifications are suppressed while web version is open, and there is a small delay between when you close the site and when mobile notifications resume. I wish there wasn't. I've missed many messages thanks to this stupid little delay.
    - Wish images were not compressed
    - Video and voice calling is buggy and unreliable in my experience.
    - iPad version does not support split-screen mode.

    Encryption/privacy? I've thought about this and concluded that I just don't care. I don't care if Google reads my messages. I'm not sending anything on Hangouts that needs end-to-end encryption. I can't control security on everyone else's devices, and encrypting the pipe between them means nothing if one of them is compromised.

    If anyone knows of another messaging platform that I might like based on the above, I'm all ears. Facebook and Skype seem to be the closest, but the inaudible, unchangeable notification sound makes Skype a non-starter for me, and I don't like Facebook, or their Messenger app's UI.

    Which is the best messaging platform in your opinion, and why?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  2. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    I use Hangouts more than anything else but have lately started using Discord in the past few months for real time chat between multiple people since it works quite well (in my own experience with it). I hope Google takes a break from fucking around with Hangouts for a while but something tells me they'll just keep screwing with it and sooner or later just dump it in favor of something they consider to be the Holy Grail of messages. Android Messages so far isn't all that great, I use it now and again with my carrier number but since everything I do is tied to my Google Voice number and has been for the past 7 years or so I hardly ever make use of the carrier number. I never give it out to anyone so the only way I get calls means it's spam and deleted or ignored immediately.

    My only real gripe with Hangouts is - as you noticed yourself - that it reduces the quality and resolution of images I send with it and I really wish it didn't - it's kinda shitty for Google to do that, and automagically stuff them into Google Photos as well (which you have to opt out of doing unfortunately). I don't use those kinds of photo dump services, but if they'd just stop reducing the quality and altering the resolution I'd be happier than I am, for sure.
     
  3. Aurelius

    Aurelius 2[H]4U

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    I use Hangouts and Facebook Messenger the most for cross-platform ubiquity, but in some ways iMessage is great... if you live in an Apple-centric household. Getting messages across your phone, computer and tablet while barely having to lift a finger? Sharing your Apple Watch activity as a message? Kinda nice.
     
  4. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    I still just text using Textra. It's just a whole lot easier as everybody that has a phone can get a text message. My shift at work has a group text that we chat throughout the day and it works just fine.
     
  5. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins Muh Feelz Got [H]urt Right in the Pussy

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    iMessage. Its already on every iphone and the default messenger. Is the best all around messenger available with just about any feature you could want wrapped up in it.
     
  6. Chas

    Chas [H]ardness Supreme

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    Standard text messaging.
    Limits my exposure.
    Doesn't coke-fiend my battery life.
    Just works.
    Minimal spying outside the primary OS crap.

    Putting a messaging app on my phone is about as attractive to me as having a sex change via belt sander with a 0-grit belt.
     
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  7. likeman

    likeman Limp Gawd

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    Assuming everyone you know has a iPhone

    Tend to find whatsapp is most common

    if Google would stop changing there mind on what chat app is best hangouts is going to business and separate chat Allo witch can't use sms to replace chat at the moment and video duo app
     
  8. HiryuuX

    HiryuuX Limp Gawd

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    I use Pulse since it saves SMS to the cloud and I can text from the browser. It is $5.99 a year subscrption though; previously I would use the paid version of Textra and Hangouts
     
  9. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins Muh Feelz Got [H]urt Right in the Pussy

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    Thats the thing though, it will fall back to sms if they dont. Its the one thing that Google can't seem to get right. I can send a message to anyone on my iphone using imessage and they will get it.
     
  10. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    normal texting. directly to who I want and no bs interface
     
  11. inbedwithhomer

    inbedwithhomer Limp Gawd

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    This is why the telco fuckwits and other walled gardeners need to get out of the way of RCS so we can all have nice things.
     
  12. likeman

    likeman Limp Gawd

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    They can't get out of the way of Rcs as they are The ones who need to have the servers on there network for it to work (unlike iMesaage witch apple control each network provider needs a Rcs server)

    Yep Google just needs the chat app (the default sms app) to be the app that is same as allo/iMesaage

    Ideally it should of been hangouts and they seem to be moving that to business only
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  13. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    iMessage

    Google could have had this beat years ago if they quit ducking around and built one thing that worked.
     
  14. UnknownSouljer

    UnknownSouljer [H]ardness Supreme

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    If you care about privacy, like that is your primary concern, then: "Signal". Works well. But no one is on the platform other than people concerned with privacy, which frankly isn't the average user. Mostly people that are in security based jobs or like me, that just don't like the idea of others snooping.

    Outside of that, I don't think there is a "best". Best to me is really going to be defined by which platform people are actually using. And I'll tell you right now that it's basically impossible to get everyone you know to migrate onto a single platform. It's hard enough to get organizations to do so.
    I'm involved in a lot of organizations or groups that all use different platforms, so I've pretty much used them all. Some platforms have greater US penetration and there are others that I use just because they have better penetration overseas or within specific ethnic communities (Kakao Talk as an example is mostly a Korean user base whether here or overseas).

    Right now I'm regularly in Whatsapp, and Band. FB Messenger a bit less. And Signal even less than that (since like I said, even if I wanted to use it all the time, the user base isn't there). I just also got onto Slack for another group, but so far they haven't really pushed using it, so I haven't really spent time in it. Personally I find all of these third party apps to be about the same. I like Whatsapp, because I can use it in a web interface and type on it. And I don't specifically have to use my phone. Band also has that feature. Signal does as well through Chrome/Safari plugins. I don't know of any other ones that do.

    And, as already has been mentioned by others, I'm on iMessage, and that probably is the way to go for me. Truth is: I have unlimited everything, so I don't really get the point anymore of using virtually any of these apps to communicate. It's just another app that I have to open in order to do a basic function that my phone already does. Although they have some more "features", I don't think any feature outweighs convenience or ease of use. Granted using a third party app helps a bit in terms of organization and reading threads, so I'll give it that. And at this point I literally know what organization is messaging about something if it comes from a specific app.
     
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  15. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    iMessage - because
     
  16. Oubadah

    Oubadah [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't know about watch, but I find iMessage to be less seamless than Hangouts, even across my iOS devices. For example, when you delete a Hangouts thread on one device, every other device will reflect that change. However with iMessage, it's possible to get different devices with different messages appearing (like right now my ipad still shows a thread I deleted from my phone yesterday).

    Just the fact that you can see SMS messages on your WiFi iPad is definitely a boon though (not to mention cellular calling)

    Another issue I have with iMessage is that, for me, the hand-off between SMS and iMessage is not seamless. The problem arises when the person at the other end does not have data. If you have no internet connection, iMessage knows and sends an SMS. Great. If the other person has no internet connection, iMessage does not seem to be able to determine this (though I've heard people say it can) and messages get stuck in "sending". I can't force my brother to always have data, so iMessage doesn't work so well in such instances. Of course, Hangouts etc. wouldn't work at all in this case, but it's still a pity that the seamless iMessage-SMS switching aspect doesn't work well in practice.

    What makes iMessage significantly better than Hangouts, aside from SMS integration (not sure why Google went backwards with this one) and a greater user base?

    Hangouts does work pretty well, it's just that no one uses it.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  17. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

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    Textra is the only Android texting app for me.
     
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  18. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    Whatscrapp by faceberg. I hate it but heaps of people use it.
    Skype would be second for biz.
    Signal third but the source code for server is not released so is likely CIA fuckery (like the rest) and cannot be trusted.

    Overall favourite by far: Retroshare. OSS, P2P, encrypted, image embedding, file sharing, groups, secure (as far as software goes) and best of all...
    >greentext
    But is PC/mac only for now I think.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  19. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    In China, everyone uses WeChat. And WeChat does it all, far more than imessage. But it's definitely a platform that is heavily control by the Chinese government. So the question whether Google should put the hammer down on messaging apps, stop letting carriers dictate RCS, etc, etc, may just come down to government regulations later.
     
  20. ZeqOBpf6

    ZeqOBpf6 Limp Gawd

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  21. Aurelius

    Aurelius 2[H]4U

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    I believe a more robust iMessage syncing is supposed to be in the pipeline soon, so we should revisit that in the next few weeks/months.

    I suppose I like iMessage in part because you don't usually have to think about it, it just... happens. Lock-in notwithstanding, it's good to know that you don't have to retreat to your phone to reply to someone. I'd also point to its app platform, more robust stickers, and more Apple-specific features like Apple Pay Cash money transfers and Watch integration (including sharing workouts, hand-drawn emotes, that sort of thing). Mind you, Google could be there if it wasn't changing chat app strategies seemingly every year.
     
  22. CookieFactory

    CookieFactory Limp Gawd

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  23. Tup3x

    Tup3x [H]ard|Gawd

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    WhatsApp. Because nobody uses anything else here in Finland.
     
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  24. hmz

    hmz 2[H]4U

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    I use whatever other people use and I really don't care.
     
  25. SultanGris

    SultanGris Limp Gawd

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    meh, not really worth it for having to downgrade to apple devices and lose all the extra features and functionality you get with android or pc devices though.
     
  26. Aurelius

    Aurelius 2[H]4U

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    Well, the grown-ups here are mature enough to know that you're not downgrading by using an Apple product. Please let me know when you're old enough to accept that Apple, Google and Microsoft products all have their advantages and disadvantages.
     
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  27. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Obviously iMessage is pretty much the best messaging platform considering that alone is what seems to keep a majority of users on iOS. That's for good reason with proper SMS fallback and integrated high quality picture/video sharing, animations, drawings, gifs, etc. That said, I've been happy with Hangouts and SMS/RMS for messaging with everyone I need to.

    Maybe some day Google will consolidate all of their messaging apps into one though and somewhat compete with iMessage, but that doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight at the moment still.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  28. Oubadah

    Oubadah [H]ard|Gawd

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    I feel like that’s more because of a lock-in cycle than because of the actual merits. Most people don’t give a rats arse about quality when it comes to sharing photos, and I don’t see what’s so unique about that other stuff. As for the SMS fallback, that’s nowhere near as seamless and reliable in practice as it sounds on paper (as I mentioned above).
     
  29. T4rd

    T4rd [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I disagree about most people caring about picture and video quality when sharing it with others. The difference in quality is huge between MMS (what most people use otherwise) and iMessage given that it has to be compressed to hell and back over MMS and looks like complete garbage in comparison. Same thing with videos. RCS is fixing most of that, but getting it to work between carriers and phones/apps is still an issue and seems like it will be for a while still until all carrier fully adopt it. Even with those issues you noted with iMessage above, it's still better that it tries to fall back than it not getting sent at all. It seems to work fine for everyone I know that uses it at least. But I meant to just say SMS integration within iMessage in general too instead of SMS fallback, which is still a good feature even if it doesn't work flawlessly.
     
  30. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Most people care about the quality of the photo/video they shared or are viewing.

    The SMS fall back is pretty much 100% seemless unless a recipient is not in the same country and even then that’s not really a fault of iMessage.
     
  31. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I really liked hangouts, I think if Google decided to fully support it it could kill the messaging fragmentation on Android.
     
  32. Oubadah

    Oubadah [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't think they do. Maybe if it's MMS-quality they'll care, but I was thinking iMessage vs other proper messaging platforms. I know that I'm the only one in my family who notices the difference between images shared with Hangouts vs iMessage. The vast majority of images sent via iMessage are only ever viewed on <6" screens by people who aren't as discerning as the average denizen of [H].

    If the recipient isn't registered with iMessage, or the sender has no internet connection, then it's seamless. Where problems arise is when the recipient has no internet connection, in which case it's anything but seamless in my experience (unless they've improved that with this latest update) Incdentally, I'm glad to see that the syncing improvements Aurelius mentioned are now in effect. That's made iMessage a whole lot better in my estimation, but the lack of cross-platform support is still a deal breaker for me.
     
  33. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It was one of the leading reasons why people chose iMessage over other messaging platforms early on. There’s quite a big difference between iMessage video/picture and typical text quality. Even on a sub 6” screen.
     
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  34. Mchart

    Mchart 2[H]4U

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    Message syncing across devices was just added to iOS 11.4. Just go into the iCloud control panel area and enable it.
     
  35. AltTabbins

    AltTabbins Muh Feelz Got [H]urt Right in the Pussy

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    iMessage.

    • It handles group texting great.
    • Every IOS and Apple device has it installed.
    • Lossless picture and video messaging.
    • No having to find a messaging app that everyone in your group of friends and family uses and come to an agreement to use that.
    • iMessage in the cloud now backs up and syncs all of your messages across all devices.
    • And the biggest one, SMS fallback. It blows my mind how google has dropped the ball on this. Hangouts used to have it and it and arguably made it better than iMessage, but in typical google fashion they discontinued the functionality. They decided to change their best messaging app to be a half assed attempt at being like slack.
     
  36. Oubadah

    Oubadah [H]ard|Gawd

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    If by "typical text quality" you mean MMS, then I just acknowledged that...

    Yup, that's another thing I acknowledged in my last post. It certainly is a big improvement.
     
  37. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I don't particularly like any of them.

    Usually I just don't have a choice, and have to use whatever the person I am trying to contact uses, so a variety of standard SMS, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. I don't use fancy features. Mostly plain text, and the occasional picture.

    If I had my druthers I'd stick entirely to email. I don't see the need for instant messaging.
     
  38. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    Protip: there is no best messaging app for any and all peoples, but there can be a best one (from available options) for you and how you do things yourself, sure. :)

    Nobody has done it right yet with a truly useful multi-platform approach that can get a message through regardless of the actual communications medium (cellular/Wi-Fi/etc), not sure anyone ever will. Even email still has problems in today's interconnected world. Face to face is still the very best but of course that's not possible unless they're in the same room with you, and "video chat" and conferencing doesn't count. :D
     
  39. CHANG3D

    CHANG3D [H]ardness Supreme

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    The whole entire country of China uses WeChat. It is their social network, messaging, id and payment system... Best messaging app ever...

    Not!

    I use WhatsApp, Line, and Facebook Messenger with SMS on my phone
     
  40. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I guess that's great if you only ever message a minority of all people who have phones. I mean it does fallback to SMS for non-Apple users, but then you're not getting all the features.

    Everyone's contact list is different though, I guess. Mine mostly has people on Android devices.