I have an Android phone. For the most part it gets the job done, except it’s always reporting back to the Google Mothership, which I do not like at all. That Google spyware is a deal breaker for me with Android. I’ve had iPhones, and I like them, except over time I get tired of always having to do things Apple’s way, plus I get bored with iOS. But there is a couple of ways I can get a third choice in smartphones. Here is my current Big Plan, to de-Google my phone life.
Plan A: /e/ Foundation. I’m a donor and supporter of /e/ Foundation’s effort to de-Google Android. What makes their effort different is they realize that you can’t just fork Android and say you are done. You have to come up with replacements for all those Google apps you can’t avoid or delete on Android: Gmail, Chrome, Maps, cloud storage, Google Play, Calendar, SMS and more. Google has infested Android so deeply that it becomes useless without all those Google services.
/e/ Foundation is coming up with a whole host of open source cloud services to replace the Google spyware. Plus they are forking Android, plus they intend to bring out phones with this all pre installed.
My worry is they won’t have a phone I like that will run on US GSM networks.
Plan B: If I can’t get a suitable phone with /e/ Foundations OS pre-installed I may try to install their OS on my existing phone. I’m not keen on trying this, but I might.
Plan C (Provisional): Purism Librem 5. This is Linux on a smartphone. This is heavy duty privacy. I have one on pre-order. While I like the idea I have reservations: 1. This is new untested waters. I really have to have a phone that just works in all the core smartphone functions. No excuses. My fear is that i will be a perpetual beta tester. 2. Purism will provide the basics: email, phone, SMS, calendar, browser etc. all untried on a phone, but after that I would be totally dependent on web apps via the browser. 3. will this be another walled garden? If I can get a working phone via Plans A or B I will cancel my pre-order.
Plan D (If all the above fails): Back to iPhone. iPhone isn’t really private, but it’s way way better than Google Android. I don’t like this though, the Xseries of iPhones are way over priced and don’t have a fingerprint reader. Duh!
The bottom line is I hope /e/ Foundation succeeds and soon. I’d like to buy a T-Mobile US phone with a big screen from them and switch to their services and apps.