Stingle Photos is an open source gallery and camera app that comes with built-in cloud backup and sync, and strong encryption and focus on security and privacy as its most notable features.
These also differentiate Stingle and promise to make it a true alternative to the likes of Google and Amazon Photos. The Android app is already available in Play Store for free, including 1 GB of free cloud storage space, while those behind it say that Stingle will soon come to iOS as well.
If this interests you, check out our deep dive here.
The app encrypts photos and videos before uploading them to Stingle cloud, meaning that they are accessible only by the user with a private key.
The encryption model employed here relies on what's known as “trust no one” (TNO) encryption that uses Libsodium, a library that Stingle says was created by leading cryptographers and is well-vetted, while the model itself has been developed together with ZCoin's crypto team.
This is an important point when it comes to privacy, the attention to which starts with Stingle requiring only an email and password to register, without asking for any other personal data from its users.
Stingle also says the app does not collect any personal information, analytics, nor does it serve ads. As with any app or service that makes such strong claims, it's always important to be as transparent and detailed as possible in disclosing how it all actually works, and Stingle tries to do this with its comprehensive white paper dedicated to the way security is implemented and the way the service functions.
Another key point here is that the app's source code is publicly available on GitHub for review, audit, and contribution, shoring up the security of the app, which is, thanks to the encryption model, left as the only potentially weak link in the security chain. The code is released under the GPLv3 license.
This leaves the question of the business model behind Stingle, and it is to – after the initial 1 GB of storage that is offered for free – charge from $2.99 for 100GB to $239 for 20 TB per month, with a number of plans and price points in between.