The /e/ foundation has started selling phones with their own version of Android preloaded on them:
The /e/ version of Android is aiming to be de-googlised, but there are still a few remnants of G on them:
Just wondering what people think about /e/?
Should I list it as an alternative to Android? Is it degooglised enough to consider as a "least worst" option?
@switchingsocial It isn't entirely free software either. LineageOS is more free (libre) than that I believe.
The problem with Lineage is it's extremely difficult to install, much more difficult than installing linux on a PC.
The big advantage of /e/ is it's available preinstalled, so non-technical people can use it.
@switchingsocial @masterofthetiger I think there are several projects which are more or less like Lineage OS and are really good.Only this eOS is not really a big advantage.It's difficult to find good alternatives for phones.My best recommendation would really be: Buy some phones,install Lineage OS and resell them.Or find someone who does it for you.That seems to be the only way to get privacy-friendly phones.
I get that Lineage and similar are good, but if they remain so difficult to instally I don't think I can recommend them.
I'm *fairly* ok with tech stuff but I find Lineage installation instructions really scary and would not want to attempt it on an expensive device like a smartphone, and especially not on a friend's phone.
Given that situation, I guess there just is no alternative to Google Android for people like me?
Just to mention it since it does not seems clear from your thread. LineageOS is not an alternative to /e/. /e/ tries to give you an android operation system based on LineageOS which tries to reimplement the google services. You have to differntiate between the OS itself which is Open Source (AOSP, Android Open Source Project) and the Google Services and Apps which are proprietary. 1/?
When installing LineageOS you - normally - still Install the Google Apps (which include the Google Services). This is often done with "OpenGapps".
In my experience some "not that technical people" do think Installing LineageOS + OpenGapps would be better then their preinstalled OS in terms of privacy - since it is Open Source. This is not true.
The OS is probably better in terms of privacy, and it is Open Source. 2/?
But they are still using proprietary GApps which are certainly still invading their peivacy. (The "Open" in OpenGApps referrs to the packaging of the Apps. The Apps are still proprietary as they state themself. The name is quite confusing.)
Not Installing GApps is no option either, since the phone wouldn't be usable for a normal user. Thers no Browser, no Calendar, no Play Store, bad Navigation... 3/?
If you would install any non FOSS app it wouldn't work, and even FOSS Apps won't work often.
/e/ tries to reimplement the Google Services and preinatall alternatives for the GApps.
An alternative to this would be microG which is a real FOSS implementation of the GApps. It also tries to send as less to Google as possible and you have different options about this you can enable / disable. I have quite good experience with a. 90% of the Apps I use work with it without any problems. 5/?
I also heard some talking that /e/ is mostly LineageOS + microG preinstalled on Phones, which wouldn't be that bad in my opinion.
As @switchingsocial already said, there still isn't any perfect solution for non technical users.
A installation of LineageOS isn't that complicated itself. If you have some technical knowledge you can do it, but it will take a bit of reading and time. BUT depending on the Phone vendor it can get a lot complicater. 6/?
@switchingsocial Related to this topic, I briefly had a half-serious business idea of offering to install LineageOS on non-techy people's phones. But then I realised that it would probably turn into a nightmare of people complaining that various aspects of their phone is not working, or the whole thing is bricked.
For me on a Oneplus 3, LineageOS has worked perfectly.
Yeah... I guess this is the problem, hobbyists and tech enthusiasts are ok using unsupported stuff at their own risk.
As soon as you take tech to a general audience, they will expect support because they just want a device that works reliably, and Lineage isn't reliable enough across all supported models.
Installing Lineage is horrifically difficult, there is no way I would ever attempt this, especially as I might brick my phone:
By the way, is there any info out there about which parts of /e/ are non-free?
(I'm trying to get a "pros" and "cons" list basically.)
@switchingsocial @masterofthetiger I'm using it on a Galaxy S7. As you said, it's likely the least bad option for nontechnical folks. The main proprietary parts I've noticed so far are the Maps application (actually "Magic Earth") and the "Apps" version of the app store that includes and promotes proprietary applications by default.
That said, there is no better shipping option that I've found. Once the LibreM 5 or the PinePhone are released that might change
@switchingsocial Some Google play services maybe? Plus the normal firmware which is also found in LineageOS, and apps in the app store.
All in all, it seems to follow the trend of forgetting about freedom when it comes to privacy.
I'd argue that calyxos.org is a much better choice
a locked bootloader
full verified boot
a more secure implementation of microG (which can be enabled on first boot)
Fdroid built in
The #GrapheneOS Auditor app - designed to detect persistent compromise
They're working on an encrypted back up service, with support for Nextcloud -think it will land soon.
Supports the Pixel 2 & 3 with early support for Pixel 3a and Mi A2
@dazinism @masterofthetiger @switchingsocial
Good to know! When I upgrade to a compatible phone, I'll check on the progress of CalyxOS and GrapheneOS. Lots of folks should use an opinionated security focused distribution/ROM, though other folks need to be able to make their own security configuration, tool and interoperablity choices. It's a blessing to us all that we now have all these options.
@switchingsocial Happy user of /e/ here. It allows me to use and android without google stuff while I need some proprietary apps. It's absolutely wonderful.
@switchingsocial It's kind of the Ubuntu of Android.
@switchingsocial It is not really privacy-respecting.It has centralized shit like Signal and Telegram preinstalled which can't even be removed and it has MicroG what connects to Google servers and is required only by very few apps so it shouldn't be installed by default.
@nurinoas @switchingsocial They can't enforce those apps and they won't do it.They can't tell everyone to buy a smartphone where these apps work.There will always be two alternatives: 1. Card TAN devices which are only used for this one purpose which are cheap and privacy-friendly 2. (My preferred one) Just use the machines in the local bank.
@nipos @switchingsocial The roadmap for /e/ has the ability to remove the standard apps, this is still a product in development. I have found that /e/ continues to provide updates for the phone models it officially supports even after the LineageOS maintainers for some models have stopped providing updates.
so this is like jailbreak! haha
too bad Samsung s8 is not listed on there.. I wonder why..
@switchingsocial I think all options are worth listing, along with all relevant info on shortcomings, because even if there are more perfect options available stepping stones can still be necessary / helpful.
@switchingsocial /e/ is worth listing. They use some proprietary services like Telegram and Magic Earth, but it's not Google and they have good intentions (so far). If /e/ fucks up along the way, you can always remove them from the list.
Tested a community version of eOS based on Android 7 a few weeks ago on a OnePlus 3T.
The UX was completely mixed, not DAU friendly. Partly the eOS own UX, partly that of pure Android. Some elements are too big or inappropriate in color. Also the App Store had language problems, showed asian Apps.
Clearly not finished, yet. Dunno if there are more advanced versions or if I got a old version or somewhat, but if not, I really hope on future development.
So, in case that wasn't clear:
My setup with eOS wouldn't be worth listing. If the phones to buy do better, it may be. Unfortunately, I don't know that, as already stated out. Maybe someone here is deeper into e and can tell more?
(just installed it, tested for a few hours out of interest if its worth recommending for DAUs and then switched back to LineageOS, as I'm happy with it)
We have a #jolla first generation phone since 2014.
It still receives updates!
I have no ideas how much #degoogled its inner cores are.
It's at least an alternative to #android that made an attempt to bridge allowing users to run needed #apps from #publictransport, etc.
IMHO, this is what @ubuntutouchpl & #plasmamobile or @purism are completely missing.
A phone should offer #productiveness and #convenience but not lock me out or turn me into a #hermit...
@switchingsocial Is doing a factory reset and not signing in with a google account still considered google free? Or do they still snoop on the device itself?
Google still snoop on Android devices even if you don't sign in.
Android is designed to gather and pass on to Google information about how it is used, who uses it, where it is etc.
@switchingsocial Ok. Thank you.
@switchingsocial What about One Plus phones? Are they still snooping even though they run OxygenOS?
As far as I know it's Android with a manufacturer's interface stuck on it?
@switchingsocial Just found the answer on reddit. It does have the googld services. They have version without it called HydrogenOS but it is a Chinese rom. So prolly not any better, lol.
Yeah, this is the toughest area for alternatives
I wish it was like computers where you can just easily install your own.
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