[APP][5.0+] FairEmail - Fully featured, open source, privacy oriented email app

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M66B

Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
26,282
56,706
Maybe it is a dumb question. But did Google properly understand that you don't think you violate their Code? Maybe you should sprinkle an "allegedly" into your 3 points. Sure it would make no sense to ask Google where, when and what is sent if "you coded the malicious feature". But the people responding are probably not the best paid people. And I think they have to answer to a lot of dumb and malicious people.
We have a saying in Dutch which translates like "Who demands who proves". In other words, if you accuse someone, you need to present proof. Why should I prove I am innocent? That's the world upside down.
 

M66B

Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
26,282
56,706
Hallo,

ich bin auch ein (bisher) sehr zufriedener Nutzer von FairEmail. Nachdem ich FairEmail plötzlich nicht mehr im Google Playstore gefunden habe, bin ich auf den Golem Nachrichtenartikel und das Forum hier gestoßen.

Nur mal eine Laienhafte Einschätzung von mir (ich kann natürlich auch komplett falsch liegen!):

Mir kommt es irgendwie so vor, als würden Google und M66B "aneinander vorbeireden". Google bemängelt - so wie ich das verstehe - lediglich, dass eine Datenschutzerklärung fehlt bzw. diese nicht alle relevanten Informationen enthält. Diese ist wohl notwendig, sobald die App irgendwelche Daten verschickt (was jede Email App ja macht). Von irgendwelchen Favicons, Third Party Services oder über an ein Konto / Email gebundene freizuschaltenden Pro-Versionen ganz zu schweigen.



Und zumindest ich finde die Datenschutzerklärung von FairEmail wirklich etwas "kurz geraten":

Zum Vergleich mal die sehr ausführliche Datenschutzerklärung von Aqua Mail

Vielleicht kann man die beiden Datenschutzerklärungen mal vergleichen (u.a. Bereich Payment und Third Party Services) und sieht so, was bei FairEmail noch nötig ist, um Google zufriedenzustellen.

Falls es daran liegt...
Most privacy policies violate the GDPR which requires a privacy policy to be as simple possible to understand. Instead you find "definitions" and other hard to read legal language. This is explicitly not allowed because Joe and Jane (no offence meant in any way) should also be able to understand what happens. The privacy policy of FairEmail doesn't contain legal language and is just to the point. I wish that all privacy policies were like this!
 

truephoenix

New member
May 21, 2022
2
9
Perhaps that can help with the privacy policy:

From that website

By April 22, 2022, every single application published by the Google Play Store will be required to have a privacy policy and declare how it collects, protects, and handles private user data....
More: https://termly.io/resources/templates/app-privacy-policy/#privacy-policies-for-ios-and-android-apps
 
Last edited:

ccMatrix

New member
Jul 26, 2009
3
6
A long time ago I had a similar issue with Google play and just gave up. Since it was a hobby project the time and effort were not worth it.

Google has automated processes that flag the apps. Giving out the info about what line or code triggered their flag would basically help people with bad intentions to navigate around those. So they have their policy of not giving out any helpful information at all. So the same policy that should block real malware and spam apps is blocking honest developers who have no way than pure luck (like you did with changing random code) to bypass their algorithm.

I wish they would handle popular apps and developers with good standing differently and they really should. But I wonder how the community can force Google to change. They really should become more developer friendly.

Hope your talk next week can be more fruitful and maybe after some hiatus you can find it in you to continue the app. It is an amazing mail client and there are so few decent ones on Android especially with such a feature set. Try to remember what made you develop the app in the first place. Taking a break from development and Google Play hastle is absolutely understandable.

I wish you all the best!
 

inreverse

New member
May 21, 2022
1
2
I registered this account only to post in this thread.

I recognized the value of FairEmail a couple of years ago and I wanted to donate to show some appreciation.

I always donate to useful FOSS projects. However, it was never "possible" for me to donate to FairEmail. Maybe it was Google who put these rules in place, but my only option to donate to FairEmail would be to give Google my credit card. I would have accepted random credit card processor or even PayPal. I don't have bitcoin. Giving the credit card info to Google just felt wrong.

Those who appreciated FairEmail the most were probably the same people who avoided Google the most. Expect zero loyalty from Play Store users. In Play Store you are just an "app making machine".
 

heisert

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2015
443
221
Hamburg
Hmm you want new features from the dev who said he didnt want to work again on the app again???

Sometimes its a good idea to read 2-5 posts before reply...

@M66B i hope you will come back. Its still the best Android Email Client in the World!
There must be something really wrong in the Google Code console. Why are there still bad Email clients with lower privacy in the Play Store?!
 

ruq

Member
Apr 6, 2022
13
4
Motorola Edge (2021)
Hmm you want new features from the dev who said he didnt want to work again on the app again???

Sometimes its a good idea to read 2-5 posts before reply...

@M66B i hope you will come back. Its still the best Android Email Client in the World!
There must be something really wrong in the Google Code console. Why are there still bad Email clients with lower privacy in the Play Store?!

whoops. I was just passively voicing my thoughts. sad to hear the app won't be worked on again (at least for the moment). sorry about that.
 
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testeurdeouf

New member
Jun 16, 2020
2
0
Thanks for your Works @M66B Fairemail is the best email client i ever try, so... Big Thanks
Take care of the one with you, she is probably a big part of all your work, and i believe need more attention than google policies !!!
 

testeurdeouf

New member
Jun 16, 2020
2
0
Hmm you want new features from the dev who said he didnt want to work again on the app again???

Sometimes its a good idea to read 2-5 posts before reply...

@M66B i hope you will come back. Its still the best Android Email Client in the World!
There must be something really wrong in the Google Code console. Why are there still bad Email clients with lower privacy in the Play Store?!
Too much download ? i also think that's is the best of the store, so.... jalousy
 

M66B

Recognized Developer
Aug 1, 2010
26,282
56,706
There are a couple of features I wish this app had:

- Per email account notification sounds (I came from Spark Mail)
- To not have the send button right above the keyboard. I bumped it once. RIP.

Nice to haves:
- A cleaner look (not more minimal, just a reskin I guess).
Per account notification, please see this FAQ:

https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/blob/master/FAQ.md#user-content-faq145

Send button: accidents can happen wherever it is, that's why there is a confirmation needed by default. It seems you disabled the confirmation. Maybe you want to enable it again?

Cleaner look: the appearance is one of the most discussed things. If you ask 10 people about how things should look like, you'll get 20 opinions.
 

mkasimd

Senior Member
Apr 7, 2021
215
435
Düsseldorf
I've never dealt with apps, but the basics should be the same as how we do things within my party. I'll get back to you in a few hours later tonight. ATM, I'm a little in a rush due to a close relative's wedding tomorrow.
@M66B, I just sent you an email with some comments and suggestions. If you cant find it due to too many mails in your inbox: search for a disroot FROM address or alternatively for "Privacy Policy" or my XDA handle in the subject field :)

You can reply by email if necessary, I'll probably notice it quicker than here anyways.
 

sssubito

Member
Nov 7, 2015
12
32
Hm, Google is not giving details to devs to try to prevent "malicious" actors to dodge bullets when their apps got flagged? First, guys'n'gals, tune down your sarcasm/irony detectors... OK, done?
Now that is a well proven industry's pinacle policy, isn't it: yay, security by obscurity! Proven to work... always!
@google, seriously!?
But unfortunately they seem to believe in it just because it makes their efforts way easier and cheaper. Not helping, though.

@M66B
You're a nice guy if you still believe in some good within people who behave badly. Actually there's likely some good in everybody. But to be frank, if someone trolls you, just try to ignore it. It's a well proven strategy: don't feed the trolls. It's not your duty to try to find any good in those, you shouldn't waste your time, energy and mood to babysit any troll/jerk/misbehaving individual. It just doesn't do you well.

Who am I to give you any unasked advise. No pun intended! I have read the pages from maybe the beginning of this week when things started to go south (health of your girlfriend (best wishes for her recovery!); issues with Google; you being triggered by "unfair" 1* nonsense from people in Google Play Store reviews; you fed up with all of this; ...). Maybe take a brake, you seem to need it. Clear your mind of frustration by Google "dev support" and review trolls. They don't deserve this much dark power over you.

As I said before, I like FairEmail Pro and will continue to use it for what it is. Many low or lowest star ratings are barely worth your comment, they expose the writer mostly as some troll or, well, not the brightest candle on the cake (pun intended!). Try to stop getting triggered by those, try to ignore them, they don't do you good and demotivate you apparently. I don't give a sh** on such reviews when I scan ratings of an app because there're always some percentage of such ill-fated ones.

If Play Store issues can't get resolved, too bad but so be it. I am willing to look into Github or F-Droid for FairEmail, because your app is plain too good to not go for it.

Take my ramblings with a grain of salt and maybe some humor. In German there's a saying "Die schlimmsten Schläge sind Ratschläge" which doesn't carry over well when translated to English "The worst blows/punches are advice". Oh boy, what have I done...
 

EtherealRemnant

Senior Member
Sep 15, 2007
3,739
1,168
37
Denver, CO
I am very sad to hear this news. I have used Android off and on since 2009 and I have only ever bought a handful of apps because most of them just aren't worth paying for. When I switched to this OnePlus 9 in February or March and my Gmail notifications weren't coming in, I switched to FairEmail after doing some searches online and trying a few other apps, and I liked it so much that I bought the pro version within days. I have read back some pages and I understand the reasoning so I just wanted to say thank you for the great app no matter what you decide and I hope your girlfriend recovers soon. :)
 

Itcouldbeyou

Member
May 14, 2010
29
21
We have a saying in Dutch which translates like "Who demands who proves". In other words, if you accuse someone, you need to present proof. Why should I prove I am innocent? That's the world upside down.
I am not saying you have to prove anything. Google has to prove it, I agree. I simply said write "where it allegedly sends contact info". I'd deny their claims in every statement.
 

Top Liked Posts

  • 8
    So, I can safely ignore reviews like this and also any improvement requests, agreed?
    Of course you can do that. You don't need to add any more features, Marcel. Fixing bugs is more than sufficient and highly appreciated.

    Focus on what's more important for yourself.
    5
    Version 1.1948 is available on GitHub now

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases

    Edit: this version will be available in the Play store test program too after Google's approval.
    5
    The problem is that the average Play store rating is constantly decreasing and that this is demotivating. For example:
    As I said, I only see the US Playstore where that is certainly not true. 4.7 and steady still today. So maybe the rating is 3.9 and dropping in the German store, I don't know. I would be surprised if that was the case though. In the US store, very few apps get a better rating than Fairemail.

    You have some unfortunate situations for sure in your life right now and we empathize with that. We appreciate the work you put into this app and also your responsiveness to questions, etc. However, some of us would just hope you could see that positive side and good wishes and not focus on the trolls and the few bad reviews, (most of which are the trolls). The trolls see that they get under your skin and that just encourages them.

    Please try to see the glass as half full and not half empty. No scratch that. In the case of the US Playstore rating, the glass really is 94% full. Try not to focus on it being 6% empty.

    Edit: waiting for the next death threat now ...

    Of course, that should not be happening. I would think it is a matter for law enforcement but maybe that is naive of me to think they will or even can do anything.
    3
    Marcel - Please just post links to all the other negative Playstores you refer to. Then maybe we will understand. For now all I see in the playstore is an incredibly excellent rating and almost nothing but people who love the app.
    You may not understand it. And it's okay to not understand everything.

    People have feelings. Marcel does have feelings as well. And you cannot rationalize feelings. You have to respect them the way they are.

    I think we should end this discussion and just respect Marcel's choices.
    3
    Version 1.1948 has an experimental keyword feature: if you enable debug mode in the miscellaneous settings (the last option), you can define global keywords, which will always be available for all folders and for which also a small button will be added just below the message actions.
  • 20
    QUESTION ABOUT FAIR EMAIL OPTIONS:
    Assuming the starting point of no on-device Google Account...

    Q: Which of these Fair Email Google mail server options is "most" private?

    1. 2SV/2FA (using any of a half dozen secondary methods), or,
    2. What Fair Email terms "GMail (Android)", or,
    3. What Fair Email terms "GMail (OAuth)".

    Note Marcel knows the answer, so he can instantly nip this tangent in the bud by answering that question in a single word... (where I suspect the answer is undoubtably #3 but others strongly think it's #1 apparently, so I could be wrong - but it's NEVER gonna be #2.

    The desired single word answer is "none". Google scans all your messages and you can only hope that the gathered information isn't used in an un-private way. Option 1 (assumed to be app passwords) and option 3 do not send extra information to Google. Option 2 requires an on-device Google account. You can control the sync options of a Google account via the Android settings. If these options work as expected and are turned off, no information should be sent to Google. This applies to all other Google services and apps, like Maps and Drive, too. You'll need to go into the settings and turn things off and trust that Google honors this.

    I expect to see no more messages about this subject anymore, with no exceptions for anyone. If you want to continue discussing about this, you should create a new XDA thread for this.
    16
    The next version will have optionally VirusTotal integration, so you can check attachments easily:

    Screenshot_20220723-102554.png
    13
    That guy really needs his email. I wonder who he thinks will maintain the app after he killed you 🤔
    Given the messages I just received I am pretty sure this guy is reading here.

    To this guy: I am doing my best to hold this project together and what you are doing isn't helping, on the contrary. Instead, if the app is dear to you, you can better help and complain to the right people, mainly Google.
    13
    Version 1.1941 is available on GitHub now.

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases

    Besides a series of small improvements and minor bug fixes, VirusTotal Integration was added. Please see this FAQ for more information about configuring and using this new feature:

    (181) How do I use VirusTotal?

    Note that the app hasn't been restored in the Play store yet. For the latest status updates, please see here:

    13
    Using a Gmail account in FairEmail will inevitably leak your IP address, and thus your rough location, but nothing else, except the obvious: the messages you receive and sent and their meta data (sender, receiver, subject, etc).

    Note that it is not a good idea to use a VPN to hide your IP address because you'll probably run into "Please log in via your web browser" at an inconvenient moment.

    For HOTP and TOTP I recommend FreeOTP+.

    I think enough has been said about the privacy aspects of a Google account now. Whether a Google account on your device is a privacy concern or not is off-topic here. If you want to keep discussing about this, please create another XDA thread for this. You can leave a link to the created thread here if you wish.
  • 241
    ic_launcher.png

    FairEmail
    Open source, privacy friendly email app for Android

    banner7_long.png


    See here for a description:
    https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email/

    See here for screenshots:
    https://email.faircode.eu/#screenshots

    Downloads:
    https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email#user-content-downloads

    Frequently asked questions:
    https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email/blob/master/FAQ.md

    Please read this before requesting a new feature:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/blob/master/FAQ.md#user-content-get-support

    This XDA thread is about using the latest version of FairEmail.

    For support on authorizing an account you should consult the documentation of your provider, see also here.

    Off topic comments are allowed as long they are related to FairEmail and are in the general interest of the followers of this thread.

    Discussion of purchases is not allowed here, please contact me via here instead.
    69
    How was the call with Google today, Marcel?

    Google was pretty friendly and cooperative and told me the favicons are indeed the problem, and it can/should be fixed by updating in the privacy policy to "disclose how your app accesses, collects, uses, and shares user data":

    Privacy Policy​

    All apps must post a privacy policy in both the designated field in Play Console and within the app itself. The privacy policy must, together with any in-app disclosures, comprehensively disclose how your app accesses, collects, uses, and shares user data, not limited by the data disclosed in the Data Safety section. This must include:
    • developer information and a privacy point of contact or a mechanism to submit inquiries
    • disclosing the types of personal and sensitive user data your app accesses, collects, uses, and shares; and any parties with which any personal or sensitive user data is shared
    • secure data handling procedures for personal and sensitive user data
    • the developer’s data retention and deletion policy
    • clear labeling as a privacy policy (e.g., listed as “privacy policy” in title)
    The entity (e.g., developer, company) named in the app’s Google Play listing must appear in the privacy policy or the app must be named in the privacy policy. Apps that do not access any personal and sensitive user data must still submit a privacy policy.

    Please make sure your privacy policy is available on an active URL (no PDFs) and is non-editable.

    So, I have updated the privacy policy and added this new table:

    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/blob/master/PRIVACY.md#summary-of-shared-data

    I am not sure if it covers everything, so feedback is more than welcome. @mkasimd maybe you can take a look?

    Note that I have also enabled BIMI, Gravatars, Libravatars and favicons for the Play store version again.

    The short term goal is to release a Play store test version (and associated GitHub version) and to get the update approved. I will think about the next steps after this has been accomplished. Given the huge number of supportive messages I received (much appreciated!) the project will be continued in some form in any case.
    50
    Version 1.1900 is available on GitHub now and in the Play store test program after Google's approval (which is the main goal of this release).

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/FairEmail/releases

    My girlfriend is slowly recovering too :)
    47
    It is time for a new, modern, open source, privacy friendly email client for Android.

    I have just released a first alpha version for feedback on the design and features.

    Not for production use yet!

    Most of the stuff basically works, but be prepared for crashes and error notifications.


    Safe email is a working name, but it is for several reasons not a convenient name, so suggestions for a name are welcome.
    37
    I have just released alpha version 0.15

    Changelog/download:
    https://github.com/M66B/open-source-email/releases

    With a bit of luck the next version can be a beta version.

    I am putting a lot of effort into this project, so thanks are appreciated.