Applications for everyday use

So I’ve been using whatsapp, signal, telegram, mobilepay etc. apps on my iOS and Android phones. On the Sailfish, it seems that the only way to get these is to use some 3rd party appstore, that has a link to some 3rd party repository that has some .APK files. (yes, Aptoide has a “trusted” seal of quality, but still…) Is this really the best way to install these apps?

Considering that Sailfish is “The mobile OS with built-in privacy”, isn’t this is a bit against that? I mean when considering a real world scenario with your family and relatives using these services, is the answer really “don’t use them”, or maybe it should be a way to sandbox them so that they can be used without leaking too much information?

Some of these apps (Signal, Whatsapp) provide APK from their official websites.
A better alternative is to use Aurora Store (get it from F-Droid) which gets its APK from the play store directly.

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I guess it is very personal.
For me, I preferably tell my family/friends “don’t use them”.
I explain people I give preference to SMS and MMS and when it’s costly (other countries), I ask to use Telegram (Fernschreiber) or Signal (Whisperfish).

Just in case I’d absolutely need an Android app, I sat up the following:
I created a second user on my phone for daily use, putting all my data there.
When/if I need Android, I switch to the “Device Owner” account.
This way I am (almost) sure Android apps will not access my data even if I forget to deny access.
Same if the app refuses to work in case I decline to share data.

So I can share everything, a bunch of emptiness!

Some report that using a second user can cause the phone to loose all data and get into a boot loop.
It happened to me ‘only’ once, right after I tried the command apkd-launcher
But it only lost the primary “Device Owner” account which was empty.
Since some weeks, it now works well.

Another trick I was using to hide contacts to Android:

In e.g. this thread, you’ll find some more links and infos about Android privacy:

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You cant have privacy when the apps you use are tied to companies that use your data to make money. Yes people don’t care and choose convenience over privacy but the truth is you cant have both unless you make some conscious decisions about what you choose to use.

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There are a variety of things that can help. Micro-g, aurora store, but some leakage is inevitable

If it’s just about how to get those apps, you can download them from websites like to your phone and install them, simply by tapping in SailfishOS’ list of downloaded files.

When it comes to where these apps “talk to”, that’s of course something over which an OS has only limited control (when the apps are still expected to work that is :wink:)

But user has control: empty home = no data leak

So, what I’d really like to know: does SFOS Android layer even give apps access to SFOS home, or just to the Android subfolders?

And what’s wrong with simply not giving these apps permission to see Contacts?