> Is F-Droid's Silence any better than Signal given it can run without
> Google Play Store?

I use CyanogenMod Android minus most of the Google malware (ie. no
Google play). In that configuration Signal refuses to work because it
(at least) depends on Google Play for notifications. Silence however
does not, and works great. On Android, with a sim card.

However, it is my (not deeply researched!!) understanding that the
Signal dev(s) do not like/permit other applications connecting to their
servers. No servers, no direct messages, all Silence messages are
necessarily SMS messages going over the phone network. So Silence will
not work outside of a phone with a working sim card.

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