GnuPG is all you say it is. While AxCrypt and PGP/GnuPG has many things in common, I can’t resist sharing two anecdotes that illustrate the vital difference in my mind.
– The history of AxCrypt actually started when I personally needed a solution to this problem. I found PGP (the original). I also tried to use it, and found “PGP for Dummies” – the documentation for simplified use. It was 20+ pages of tightly written word document. This was when I decided there has to be an easier way to package strong crypto…
– The way I heard the story of Snowden and GPG, is that the whole thing almost fell through because he pretty close to despaired when trying to get these journalists to understand how to use it… ;-) He apparently struggled for months. In the end I believe they used TrueCrypt to encrypt physical hard drives or USB drives with the data. An interesting read, that reflects this is https://theintercept.com/2014/10/28/smuggling-snowden-secrets/ . This quote illustrated my point “The frustrating and ironic thing about GPG is that even experts make mistakes with it. Even, as it turns out, Edward Snowden.”
Anyway, that’s the driving force behind AxCrypt. To make strong crypto packaged in a way that non-technical persons can use. That’s why we don’t ask users to chose algorithms etc, and try to keep options as well to an absolute minimum.
But, yes, GPG/PGP is indeed good stuff from a cryptographic point of view. I’ve also debated countless times whether to implement AxCrypt using GPG/PGP file formats – but here alas also I’ve backed out due to the complexity.