Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mobilize PGP - IOS vs. Android

I have recently considered GPG quite a bit.   I can imagine quite a few uses for which is it not generally used that could greatly increase the authenticity of the internet, while at the same time generating a real world "web of trust" which if were as common in the vernacular as "Facebook" then many of our issues today on the net could be resolved.

I've demonstrated with a Tin Foil Hat listener how easy it is to set up gpg and use it with one of several desktop email clients.  I would have to say that I think desktop email support for gpg is a fairly common feature.  But I then thought that for my work and personal emails, I tend to process quite a bit of that on my mobile devices.  Mostly these messages are for consumption and processing and don't have a high security requirement.  But with both my ipod touch and my andoid mobile phone I thought I'd run the two head to head to discover what might be available and at what price.

Please also understand that this comparison does not enter into commercial phylosophy, political alignments or any kind of sponsorship agenda.  I just wanted to know which of the two device platforms would allow me to use pgp on a mobile device in the easiest manner.

On my IOS 4.3 iPod Touch 2nd Gen, I did find some application offerings for PGP (commercial version of gpg) which either cost ~$50 or ~$4 for decrypt only.  I found no applications which used gpg, but that might be due to the gpl limitations in the iTunes App Store.

On my Android phone I had already installed the APG app which is free in price.  This is the pgp portion of the solution since the native google mail app is great for the interface, it doesn't support pgp at all.  Then I discovered the K9 mail applicaiton which is also free and works direclty with APG for encryption support and it really does work.  I was impressed as well, K9 is very similar to the google mail app while maybe being even a bit more responsive.

So, in conclusion if gpg encrypted or signed email is critical to you or your work I would strongly recommending an Android phone with APG + K9 mail.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I was not aware of K9.

Anonymous said...

I am a happy user of APG and K9 on a galaxy-s2. Thanks to these guys.