A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Battery

Posted by mangdesign on July 06, 2018

An alternative to the alternative to WhatsApp…

Back in May, I gave an open source alternative recommendation for WhatsApp. That recommendation was called Tox. Tox is great, but for a week or two I tested it out, and I noticed during that time my phone’s battery life was not lasting nearly as long as it used to. I didn’t put 2 and 2 together at first. However, upon checking my battery history I came to the realisation that Antox (the Android client for Tox that I decided on) was using a lot of battery. There is an experimental battery saving option within Antox, so I thought I’d give that a try. To my dismay, it didn’t seem to make a whole lot of difference.

So, it is with displeasure that I have to rescind my Tox recommendation - not because it isn’t a good alternative - but because it ate way too much battery power. I think it was using somewhere in the vicinity of 8-10% of my phone’s charge on idle. Which, when coupled with VPN software and other apps running, my phone would have to live on the charger - not really a practicable solution for a mobile phone.

There is a possibility that it was simply the Antox client that has this problem. I haven’t had the time to test other clients, but I have thought about this. If you want to use it solely on your desktop computer, it is still a good open source alternative.

So then, what is a good open source alternative to the open source alternative to WhatsApp? Wire. Wire is awesome. I’m actually glad that I was forced to find something else. Quite frankly I feel that Wire is better than WhatsApp, which is really saying something, considering WhatsApp is backed by a billion dollar company. It of course has its quirks, but it is fantastic overall. What makes it so good?

  • It is open source!
  • It is secure (end-to-end encryption)
  • It has most of the same features as WhatsApp:
    • Instant messaging
    • Voice / video calling
    • Sending pictures / drawings
    • Sending voice / video messages
    • Pinning your location
  • And more!

Wire is available from Wire.com

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