Moving away from Android

Has Republic been looking at an alternative to android? I sure would like
to distance myself from Google yet stay with Republic.



What would be the alternative? iOS? There was an iPhone beta, but it’s being discontinued. 99.4% of the smartphones in the US are using Android or iOS. I have a cheap flip phone on another provider, and it uses Android.


Ohh, you know, like Ubuntu Touch or the like.

Given the 0.000000001% market penetration, the failure of the Ubuntu Touch team to crowdsource their own hardware, and the fact that Canonical discontinued development in 2017 throwing it to the open source community exclusively for volunteer development AND the guy that started the project said: “I took the view that, if convergence was the future and we could deliver it as free software, that would be widely appreciated both in the free software community and in the technology industry, where there is substantial frustration with the existing, closed, alternatives available to manufacturers. I was wrong on both counts.” I’d put it at somewhere between no change and really no chance.

There are at least three almost-viable alternatives:

  1. Librem 5 phone
  2. pinephone
  3. a de-googled Android ROM using microG

I scan this topic every six months and it’s time for me to scan again, so I can’t say for certain that any of these alternatives are past beta. I mention them in case you want to do some research.

Samsung has apparently put Tizen on the backburner for phones. Huawei is working on Harmony. My guess is that Huawei would gladly put Harmony on the backburner if the US trade ban were lifted. These are/were well backed efforts for an alternative smartphone OS. I don’t see any other viable alternatives to Android and iOS coming down the road soon. Palm, RIM, and Microsoft all had nice alternatives, but the market chose Android and iOS…for now.

Huawei is off the table for me. I won’t have an OS from China.

Anyway, I guess the answer to my first question is “Nope”.

That would be the key. The Librem 5 extracts a high price for privacy by selling a phone with components that were mid-range 3 years ago at near current flagship prices. And who knows when they’ll ship.

The pine phone has awful specs and while reasonably priced would provide an sub-par experience because of the lack of the newer LTE bands where most new coverage is being deployed.

microG could be a reasonable option although I have no idea if they remove the necessary API hooks along with degoogling it.

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