Proton Mail Android 4.0 has a new repo + still relies on FCM for push notifications

The Proton Mail android Github repository has been archived, and a new repo opened with the stable release of the redesigned app.

Unfortunately, this redesign does not include the promised native push notification support, instead still relying on Google Play Services. Now you are no longer warned that push notifications will only work with that dependency!

Changed the tag because the link to the Github release is now outdated for the Proton Mail recommendation. Feel free to change if this is wrong!

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No wonder, broken promises are Proton’s specialty, in addition to playing on words, the unspoken and so on.


This is why it’s better to use and any generic email client!

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Alternative push notification support will come when they publish the app on F-Droid.

The Play Store version will rely on FCM.

The F-Droid version will have its own notification implementation.

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Notifications are also e2ee, right ?

Google has no way to see the content of the notification ? Like the subject and the first lines of the email, right ?

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Google still has access to the metadata, which is not encrypted


Yes, everything is E2EE. FCM is just used for waking up Proton Mail, and then Proton Mail sends the notification.


What metadata?

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That the notification exists, for one

If this is something that one cares about, then they shouldn’t be having Google Play Services on their phone in the first place.

I don’t: meaning I can’t receive notifications!

You Have Mail (Email Notification without Google Play Services)

That’s what I currently use, though if my phone (Pixel 6a, GrapheneOS) auto-reboots then I have to manually check my email (see You Have Mail stops running after app restart from GrapheneOS system update · Issue #42 · LeanderBB/you-have-mail · GitHub), and accessing Proton Mail via the webclient is inherently less secure.

I just think it’s absurd that I need a 3rd party app (whose development could cease at literally any time, and has only been active for a year) to receive notifications when this is not a problem for anyone else (such as Signal or Tuta), and has been on Proton’s radar for years. Proton’s official excuse (as per the CEO) is “too much battery use,” yet that is also not a problem for the aforementioned.

Signal’s notification implementation is the absolute worst, wouldn’t run it on my phone without a power bank if I were traveling or something.

The reason why Proton hasn’t implemented alternative push notifications and hasn’t published the app to F-Droid is because most of Proton’s userbase uses their iPhones or has Google Play Services.

These two things are on the list, but not at the top of it because not enough Proton users will benefit from them.


As long as it’s not open in the foreground, I’m usually at <1% battery usage for Signal, though admittedly in the foreground it is a bit higher.
As to publishing on F-Droid, I get the argument that it’s a “niche” feature, but again I can just point to my former examples, for who the same also holds true. Proton markets itself as caring about user privacy, yet outsourcing push notifications to Google is exactly the opposite of that, no matter how convenient is may be.

The version of Signal published through the Play Store also has native push notification support as a fallback, despite the near certainty that if the user installed it through the Play Store, they have access to FCM.
How many people do you think actually benefit from that? The point is it doesn’t matter, it is just the right thing to do when your brand is privacy.

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It’s just a convenient thing to do to publish the same apk on both the Play Store and their site.

Response from Proton on Reddit: