Why does Zood for Android use Google Maps?
There are two reasons:
The goal of this project is to move privacy protection forward for a large swath of the population, not just the folks most dedicated to privacy who are willing to sacrifice lots of functionality. I believe to achieve this goal requires taking practical steps, that may not always be in accordance with a theoretically perfect product, and iterating on that to improve privacy going forward. However, I think the current iteration of Zood Location does an excellent job of balancing privacy with functionality. I take a lot of inspiration from Signal in this regard. Yes, Signal uses telephone numbers as an identifier, but they have enabled message content privacy for millions of people as a result. And it's easy for me to recommend them to anybody I communicate with because "it just works". If I wanted to get my family and friends to sign up with some other theoretically perfect privacy communication system like Element, it would never happen. It's too confusing for them and they would just not use it. They would all end up going back to SMS which is the absolute worst result.I do have an open issue to make a configuration of the app compatible with F-Droid's requirements for inclusion, and thus make Google Maps an optional requirement. However, if I focused on trying to achieve that first, Zood Location still wouldn't be available, and the app would be unappealing to most potential users as well.