New Android releases with OAUTH2 and improved e-mail interactions
March 14, 2019 by holga
A new major Delta Chat Android release (0.200) is now on Google Play and soon on F-droid with lots of improvements addressing popular complaints and feature requests. Delta Chat remains marked as “Beta” because expectations are understandably high when it comes to using a new messenger. However, many of you know from everyday-usage that the Beta series work increasingly well. Please continue or consider helping us to evolve Delta Chat by providing feedback, contributing improvements or a little donation. If you join our channels you’ll also get to hear many of the upcoming good news earlier than here ;)
But now on to the highlights of this release!
You can now configure your existing e-mail account without providing your password to Delta and you also don’t need to enable “less secure apps” anymore. OAuth2 is currently supported for gmail.com, googlemail.com, yandex.ru, yandex.com and yandex.ua. There is no longer the need to enable “Less secure apps” somewhere deep in settings. We’ve implemented OAuth2 independently from Google libraries. The authorization just opens the system browsers and of course you still have the choice not to use OAuth2.
This means that you only need to provide your e-mail address and GMail/Yandex will then ask you to confirm to give access to your e-mail account so that Delta can send and display chat messages. Please remember that Delta Chat is serverless as well. All Delta Chat apps are Open Source and can be verified to not transmit your address/account information anywhere else than with the e-mail provider of your choice.
With Delta Chat you can message anyone if you know their e-mail address. They can read and reply with their standard e-mail app without signing up anywhere or installing anything. However, we finally addressed a popular complaint regarding which e-mails are shown as contact requests. You will now by default only see e-mails as contact requests if the other side sent a Delta Chat message. Non-Chat e-mails will not show up unless they are a direct reply to a chat message that you sent before.
If you want to see both chat and normal e-mails from an accepted contact, you can enable that in “advanced settings”. Some people also like to read all their e-mail with delta chat and they can enable seeing “all” messages as contact requests.
We made the algorithm more robust that automatically moves chat messages to the DeltaChat IMAP folder. You should now see less clutter in your INBOX with your regular e-mail app. There were many community discussions in the last year around this topic and we hope we finally found a way that is robust and easy to understand. All chat messages will be automatically moved to the DeltaChat folder. Also any reply you get to a chat message that you previously sent to a regular-email user.
We fixed issues with several providers, among them the Cuban “Nauta.cu”. If you didn’t know, Delta Chat had quite some uptake with Cuban users as any traffic that leaves the island is expensive while using the “Cuban intranet” mail server is relatively affordable with mobile data plans. Whatsapp is practically not available there – a not so uncommon reality that large parts of the western world experienced during #facebookdown a few days ago.
We also reduced message size for group-chats by not gossiping encryption keys with every chat message anymore. Also there is a higher compression options for images.
There is better support for sharing files from other apps through Delta Chat channels.
The Android v0.200.0 changelog entry and the Core v.0.41.0 changelog entry contain more details. The following contributors were involved in release issues and commits: Alexandex, Angelo Fuchs, Asiel Díaz Benítez, Björn Petersen, Besnik, Christian Klump, cyBerta, Daniel Böhrs, Enrico B., ferhad.necef, Florian Haar, Floris Bruynooghe, Friedel Ziegelmayer, Heimen Stoffels, Holger Krekel, Iskatel Istiny, Lech Rowerski, Moo, Ole Carlsen, violoncelloCH.