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77

Google reinstates federated chat app Element on Play Store after wrongful removal

Google reinstates federated chat app Element on Play Store after wrongful removal

Element is a popular client for the federated chat protocol Matrix, and we highlighted it in our roundup of the best open-source alternatives to Google Hangouts last year (back when it was called Riot.im). Unfortunately, the app has been pulled from the Google Play Store without warning, in what seems to be another instance of Google mistaking third-party client applications for hosting all viewable content.

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41

The best free and open-source alternatives to Hangouts and Duo on Android

The best free and open-source alternatives to Hangouts and Duo on Android

We've already explored free and open-source alternatives to many Google apps and services in this series, but there's one critical category we haven't mentioned yet: messaging services. Keeping in touch with friends and family is what most people use phones for, but as with social media, the vast majority of messaging platforms are black boxes with questionable data practices.

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