Just to add my perspective, as someone who works with teens and young adults (in the US) group messaging is absolutely necessary so I hope it comes to Mudita. I need to be able to message another adult in edition to the young adults I am working with to ensure the children’s safety. Not having group messages would make this impossible and would hamper my use of the device.
I’ll also add that SMS is not used by a lot people anymore, a lot of people have moved on to other platforms for various reasons. While I agree that we don’t want a plethora of apps on the device I do feel including as many messaging apps as possible would just help facilitate communications more easily. My understand of the device is a device strictly for communication, which I think is great and the main reason I want this phone. But, without more than SMS communicating with others will be tricker. While I agree those other apps are damaging we can’t expect others to change their behavior just because we choose to do so. We need to meet people where they are. To me, that means
including as many message apps as possible.
I would be happy with full group message support but having the option to intentionally choose to install, WhatsApp, signal, Line, Discord, Facebook Messenger, etc. would be a huge win and would probably help adoption. I don’t think that brings the device into smartphone territory but recognizes that how we communicate has changed.
I could also suggest taking the approach Light has with their Lightphone 2. Additional features like podcasts, music, calculator, are all added via a computer. This way those who want barebones can have it and those who want additional features can have their cake too. I would trust the folks at Mudita to decide what is most intentional and only create those tools. Beyond a calculator and podcasts I don’t see a need for much else personally, but optional features could bridge the gap for folks that are trying to simplify. Most addicts don’t quit cold turkey, whether it’s chantix, or methadone there are options for afflicts to step-down gradually. It might be nice if Mudita could serve that niche as well.