I came across everyday topic on Techlore Discussions about free and open source keyboards for Android and discovered this little gem. It is FlorisBoard, a virtual keyboard for Android which respects privacy of the user. I can sigh with relief and finish my search for that singular keyboard for typing stuff on the go.

It has everything I need and more.

  • Multilanguage support: detailed layout options, popular presets
  • Swift and glide typing experience
  • Customizable gestures: switch language by fast swiping the keyboard itself left and right, change case by swiping up, the infamous cursor swipe on space bar
  • Emojis
  • Clipboard
  • Smartbar: quick actions and clipboard cursor tools
  • One-handed mode
  • Other look-and-feel settings
  • @[email protected]
    link
    fedilink
    57 months ago

    Genuine question: is there any way for any keyboard application to be privacy disrespecting if their internet access is blocked off by a firewall?

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      87 months ago

      I’m going to take a guess and say that it might be possible for it to still be, for example GBoard may share info with the other Google apps who then share it with the world.

      Otherwise, if it’s completely blocked from the outside world? Definitely not.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        17 months ago

        Do you know if there is any way to check and potentially also block inter-app communications like that?

        • @[email protected]
          link
          fedilink
          17 months ago

          I’m sure there’s some way to monitor that using ADB or another tool, but at that point you’re wasting so so much time that you should just get an open source trusted app.

    • Captain Beyond
      link
      fedilink
      -57 months ago

      This is the open source community, not the privacy community. Privacy isn’t the only reason to prefer free software. Some of us enjoy having the four freedoms.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        57 months ago

        I am not sure what you intention was with your reply, so maybe I am misreading it.

        “… that respects your privacy” is most of the post title. I was simply asking whether a keyboard application could be privacy disrespecting, if it doesn’t have network access. It was genuine question that I want to learn the answer to, and I was hoping that somebody might be able to provide a sensible answer.

        • Captain Beyond
          link
          fedilink
          27 months ago

          Strictly speaking if you can control what the proprietary application has access to and what data leaves it, you can make it respect your privacy. This doesn’t make the proprietary application equivalent to true Free Software, which respects your freedom to use, share, modify, and share modified copies, but it does reduce the harm that the proprietary application can do to you.

          You could say that the privacy community is about restricting what bad actors do, whereas the free software community is about good actors making tools that serve their users. The two concerns are confused so often, I see people come into free software communities suggesting that a firewall is a substitute to software freedom. Maybe that’s why I came off as a little harsh there. If you want to learn more I would suggest reading the philosophy of the GNU project.

          The reason why people say free software is privacy respecting is because it usually doesn’t do all those harmful things that you need a firewall to block. If it did, the community can create a version that does not.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            27 months ago

            Oh, this was no attempt to say “Just use proprietary software and block it”. I use a (different) FOSS keyboard myself, and as far as I am able to, I try to only use FOSS. I’m all for it.

            It was just a question that emerged from the combination of “Android keyboard” + “privacy”. Keyboard are potentially very sensitive applications, and I was wondering if there were some mechanisms I did not know about that could breach privacy.