Ask / Submit

[Question]Signal private messenger and Alien Dalvik

asked 2016-01-13 14:54:39 +0200

kmeex gravatar image

Hello and thank you for your support beforehand. I have scratched my head couple of days to trying to get Signal private messenger work with Jolla. My gf uses Jolla phone and I am using Android phone. I did factory reset to Jolla phone and installed google play services. Google Play version of Signal messenger works sort of. It can do encrypted messages and voice calls, but it suffers from connection errors a lot. The problem is that I can't call/send messages with Android to Jolla but otherway it works perfect.

When I was using my other two Jolla phones I did not need Android support so Alien Dalvik is somewhat new to me. What I discovered so far it seems that: 1. When last android app is closed Alien Dalvik does "cache wiping" and closes chroot and shutdown. When I do ps -A | grep crime.securesms I do get Signal process number but if I close the Signal app window in a couple of seconds journalctl -f shows that kernel sends killing signal to that process. I do have background services allowed in Signal app.

  1. If I reboot Jolla phone and do ps -A | grep crime.securesms the process is started when phone starts. If I do my call now (from Android) it works. BUT, if I open Signal app window in Jolla and do some blaablaa then leave the window open or close it, process is first <defunct> and then it is get killed.</defunct>

  2. If I try call from Android and when it does not work, it seems that when I open some android app in Jolla Phone (it really does not matter what app) I get notification shows "Missed Signal Call".

  3. Also if couple of android apps (whatsapp,fb etc. is open) it defects the Signal app that I can't get my call/sms through. (I think it is the way how OOM killer is working but not sure). The crime.securesms process is still shown as active.

  4. In Jolla phone in deep sleep messages/calls are not working also.

  5. Only way to get this working right now seems that when problem appears my gf restarts dalvik and do force shutdown to the Signal app and wipe cache. Then starts it again.

  6. The weird thing is that EVERY time my gf is calling me from Jolla to Android it works but not otherway.

So my question is that is there some workaround to this? 1. Can I modify Dalvik that it not get shutdown, when last android app is closed? 2. Can I do something to Jolla powersave mode that Dalvik detects the push notification and "wakes up"? 3. And last this might be bug in how the Signal app works but I thought it would be easier to hack with Jolla scripts that stab the Signal app source code ;)

Does anyone suffered this same behaviour? Does the Jolla store version work differently? I would be very pleased to hear! Thanks Kmeex

edit retag flag offensive close delete


Maybe this is the dead end and I am ending up to talk myself ;) I might be wrong but it seems that when Alien Dalvik is started process named dexopt is responsible to start all android apps that have background services enabled. I can see com.whatsapp / crime.securesms / facebook.katana services starting. That is the point when I am able to make call from Android to Jolla phone. I discovered that as long as I don't open Signal app UI and then close it, or Jolla does not go into deep sleep I am able to make calls and text messages through. When I ran ps -A |grep stuff I noticed that if I close Signal UI that would kill whatsapp and facebook processes (also background services) too (even they are running in "app grid"). But if I close either facebook or whatsapp applications (Signal UI not active) that would not kill any background services.

That makes my wonder what is the difference between closing Signal UI (that kills everybody;P) and closing Whatsapp UI for example? Why Alien Dalvik thinks that Signal is the last android app running and then closes down even when there are many background services running? I started to think that it is not necessarily an Alien Dalvik's fault rather than bug how Signal sends the exit message when user closes the UI. I am no Dalvik genius so if any of you have good thoughts how things work please point me to the right direction!

Thanks Kmeex

kmeex ( 2016-01-13 21:23:41 +0200 )edit

1 Answer

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2016-01-15 16:41:54 +0200

Mario gravatar image

updated 2016-01-15 19:05:05 +0200


I'm usining "Signal Jolla Edition" from the Jolla Store and it works fine.

As explained in the App description, the "Signal Jolla Edition" uses WebSockets instead of Google Play Services to connect.

Of course you can still chat with e.g. Android users that use the regular Signal app.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that not everything works fine. Actually, in "Signal Jolla Edition" I cannot see all my contacts. However, contacts will be found by typing-in their phone manually. Once the chat is established, it stays there. But I haven't got any connectivity issues, as described in the initial post.

edit flag offensive delete publish link more


Thanks for your reply Mario! I first tried the Jolla Edition but it didn't create the app launcher icon although it still showed in Jolla store as an installed app. Tried different ways. There is a workaround for that but I gave up and tried Google Play version. Because it worked reasonably well minus the connection drops I gave a loook how Alien Dalvik Works. Can you also make encrypted calls in Jolla Edition? And do you have background services option checked? I read somewhere that using WebSockets instead of GMS may cause delay of sending messages. Do you encountered that?

When talking the Google play version I noticed that it makes difference if you use Wifi+3/4G or just plain mobiledata/WIFI. That is Alien Dalvik's fault for sure. Did you notice that using Jolla Edition?. So if any of you who use the Jolla Edition could tell about message delays or encryption call support I change immediately to that version ;))

Thanks Kmeex

kmeex ( 2016-01-16 15:54:46 +0200 )edit

@kmeex the Jolla Edition uses Websockets which especially on Mobile connections might suffer from a delay (just like any other messenging app like whatsapp aswell). The newest version (which I uploaded to the Jolla Store[harbour verification process currently]) disables the calling feature as it tend to crash when being called [not when calling though]. This is a limitation of the Websockets version currently.

As for installing apks after you installed Google Play Services. I had several users that had this issue which is caused by the Play Services and renders installing of apks useless alltogether. So this is a bug that appears only if you have play services installed.

leszek ( 2016-01-17 13:45:00 +0200 )edit

@leszek Thank you for your reply! Good information. The Google Play version's calling feature on Jolla crashes too sometimes so it isn't bulletproof solution either. Might try to remove GMS and try your version ;) Do you have information are they trying to fix Websockets problem that causes the encrypted calls to crash? Or is it limitation that needs awful lot to fix? Call feature would be very nice and I think you agree ;) But in the end Big thank you for your efforts to make Signal work better with Jolla! Really must try your version!



kmeex ( 2016-01-17 14:28:54 +0200 )edit

@kmeex See this github repo and the issue tracker for the websocket version. In general they are working on fixing bugs like calling:

leszek ( 2016-01-17 17:04:14 +0200 )edit

I also tried installing Signal Jolla Edition and also had the experience, like @kmeex, that it didn't create the app launcher icon although it still showed in Jolla store as an installed app. Do I need to install and enable the Android emulator in order to use Signal Jolla Edition? If not, then do I need to follow the instructions at to see and launch the Signal application?

brainwane ( 2016-01-27 06:28:35 +0200 )edit
Login/Signup to Answer

Question tools



Asked: 2016-01-13 14:54:39 +0200

Seen: 1,491 times

Last updated: Jan 15 '16