Matrix is a free open source and secure chat system.
I would like to know if now is the time to replace email with matrix.
So today I decided to test the Element matrix client (https://app.element.io/).
It is made by the group developing matrix, so it respects privacy.
There are web, iOS and android apps, available on the app stores.
I created my account in the web app without email, it is a good thing since I want to replace email. The address of account is @username:matrix.org.
- on the web app: username and password are needed
- on the iOS app: username and password are needed, it connects to matrix.org by default and it is possible to use other homeservers
- on the android app: @username:matrix.org and password are needed
- 1-1 works well on all platforms
- Group chat works well on all platforms
Verifying the session
I connected on the web app and my phone simultaneously, I got popups asking me to verify my session.
It is a bit unclear how it works, it seems there are no buttons on the iOS and android apps to proceed, only a skip button.
On the web app, I chose
Compare Emojis then a set of emojis appears both on the phone and in the web app then I clicked the button
They don't match.
- 1-1 Voice call: It works fine between all platforms, it is a bit slow to connect after accepting on android.
- 1-1 Video call: It works fine between the web app and iOS, on android I can't receive or make video calls, they disconnect after a few seconds
- Group video call: It is using jitsi and it didn't work at all, none of devices connected to the conference call
The messages are encrypted, the web app created a passphrase which I stored in a secure manner. After I logged in again on the web app, I was asked for the passphrase.
It looks promising, chat and voice calls already work fine, I will keep using it. Self hosting a homeserver (synapse) requires time since it is updated frequently and takes a lot of ressources so I'm waiting for efficient and mature homeserver software.