Tag Archives: Email

Mail Encryption for Android?

So, now that the saga with having a decent GPG mail client for Mac has been finally resolved (huge kudos to the guys at gpgtools!), it’s time to get some encryption love on an Android device.

I don’t know if you ever ended up searching for any decent GPG/PGP/SMIME (not that anyone uses SMIME) mail client for your Android, but the selection in the past couple of years has been pretty slim. Aside from the old K-9 (and paid for Kaiten), there isn’t really much out there. And these clients aren’t up to speed. Lacking PGP-Mime support means you can’t read most emails sent from a desktop machine (gpgtools uses OpenPGP mime format), add the fact that there isn’t much of an Exchange server support (no ActiveSync) and you are left wanting more (it was actually easier to download the encrypted message .asc, save it locally, fire up APG, decrypt it, save the plaintext locally, open it in a text editor, and delete all the clutter you just left on your sdcard. ugh.).

So, when I found _another_ mail app that claims to be able to do GPG, and Exchange, and isn’t a UI disaster, I had to give it a go.

Enter R2Mail2 (yeah, I know… marketing isn’t their strong suite). So far I have to say that installation has been a breeze (don’t forget to go through the weird process of managing the certificate store in the app, then adding your GPG keypair). And it works as advertised (!). OpenPGP mime support, encryption, decryption, signing, and yes – even Exchange (!!).

For what it’s worth – I’m giving it a try (meaning – the pay for version). Just giving my extra 2c to help you get on the PRISM “gotta-see-what-he’s-emailing-about” list 🙂

 

Apple, meet GPG, GPG, meet Apple.

Why is it so f&^#ing difficult to get this right? I’m looking at you “recently identified as the most valuable public company” – Apple!

The guys at GPGTools are doing some fantastic work in bringing a comprehensive GPG implementation into Mac OS X, and Apple seem to not only ignore the need for such an important tool, but consistently screw things up with Mail such that every new OS X update the  GPGMail plugin is rendered useless.

As a longtime supporter for gpgtools, and a longtime user of Apple products (sans the funky iPhone of course), I urge you – get this thing fixed.

And now – as I usually tell people who just rant and not offer any advice – how to somehow get things working:

The current solution for having a decent PGP experience on Mac OS X (and please – correct me if you have anything better/easier than this) is to do he following:

  1. Install Thunderbird. This is required as Apple’s Mail won’t work with any encryption plugins (that I know of) to handle PGP/GPG encrypted/signed emails.
  2. Install Enigmail. This is a “just works” plugin for Thunderbird to handle GPG. It simply just works. No hassle, great default config, recipient rules, the works…
  3. Install DavMail. This is a tricky one – it basically provides a local proxy for Microsoft’s OWA and “translates” it into IMAP/POP3/SMTP. The tricky part is that the application is not yet “signed” by the developer, and on Mac OS X 10.8.1 it simply won’t run in the default configuration (you’ll get a prompt to literally throw the application to the trash because it failed to start). Initially I just though botched download, but then realized that it’s got to do with Apple’s new gatekeeper… You’ll have to change the security settings to allow applications that were downloaded from _ANYWHERE_ to run (as opposed to application from the AppStore and “identified developers”): System Preferences -> Security and Privacy -> General.

It sounds like a kludge, and it is. But for now it works. At least until gpgtools manage to get enough support to have a version that works on Mountain Lion, or until Apple wakes up and start working with these guys and finally integrate it natively into the OS X Mail client.