Feedback from first time user, while also trying to migrate my friends to Ring
In general I would characterise my experience as "frustrating until it reached the point that the behaviour became understandable and acceptable". I consider myself a technical user, and the lack of any kind of information in settings and error messages was very frustrating. Even a link to technical documents would be better than nothing.
Most of my notes are listed as bullet points below, and they come from my experience with using GNU Ring mostly via the Android app.
- Android 8 phone
- GNU Ring version 20180931
- It took me some time of tweaking and experimenting with settings on my phone and on
my peers' phones to reach a desirable state
- "enable DHT proxy" should be on by default? It seems to improve the experience. But there is no explanation as to what exactly it does, and what effect it has against anonymity. Who are the proxies? What can they really read? How can I set-up a proxy, and use that one?
- "enable push notifications" same here, it seems to help to actually deliver messages to sleeping devices (doze mode). Had to search in the web quite a bit, most helpful was a post in the news. I can't link to the specific item, it's one from here: https://ring.cx/en/news
- Even with both push notifications and DHT proxy on, on both peers, some messages seem to fail and some calls seem to take more than 30s to wake up the device, even completely failing on the 1st attempt. Is Ring really using high priority push notifications for calls?
- I tried to tell my friends to tweak their settings, and different people had different settings already active. It seems that it differs depending on whether they opened the account on Android, or if it was an old account.
- Many times messages appear as "failed" with no other explanation
- it would be nice if I could click on a questionmark button next to "failed" to get more info, like "user is not reachable, and offline messages are not supported" (or are they supported?)
- Sometimes messages appear as successfully sent, but I know this is impossible as I was offline when writing them
- After I initiate a call, I need to press the "speaker button" twice to have the voice actually utilising the phone's speaker.
- With one specific person we had echo cancelation issues: I can always hear myself when I call him. He also has Android 8.
EDIT: One thing I forgot to mention is that verifying a peer's identity is not straightforward and this leaves a bad taste, as I was expecting much more from a privacy-oriented software. Here are specific examples of bad experience:
- I open Ring on Linux (GTK+) and I am greeted by this message:
"This is your ring username, copy it and share it with your friends: ring:jimis".
- Where is the full SHA of my public key? Isn't that the identity? How can the identity be verified by just a username; I'm exploring the UI and it's still impossible for me to find the SHA!
- When I receive an invitation by a contact I would expect clear instructions "please verify the SHA that you also received through a different channel".
- Case in point, I managed to connect to a stranger on the Ring platform! Because of a capitalisation error, I sent an invitation to ring:UserX instead of ring:userX and we accepted the invitations because SHA verification is so well hidden.
This ticket is about improving the default user experience, not about getting specific answers to my questions. I understand that there might be too much information in this report. Feel free to create separate issues to track individual items.
Thanks in advance, Dimitris