Good android OS for android


I’m currently using the stock Android OS for my phone. I’ve been thinking of moving to another more privacy focused alternative os but I can’t decide what. LineageOS is popular and it is nice to use. However one think I’d need to have are Android based apps like whatapp and so on due to that I can’t give up on them quite yet (family and friends mainly). Is it worth upgrading to LineageOS or any other ROM if I still need Android based apps that aren’t completely Foss?

Edit. I have a OnePlus 5T

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First of all, before we give suggestions, we need to know what model of phone you are using/planning to flash an alternative OS to. Not all phones support flashing an alternative OS.

Assuming you have a flashable phone, once you move, you can still have access to your social media app via logging into their web broswer based clients. But to my understanding, not all social media have a web page client - Instagram comes into mind.

Its a lot of hassle compared to the regular way of accessing apps but it is one of the more privacy respecting methods of participating in social media without ever installing its apps.

Do check if your accounts are accessible via your phone’s web browser (or desktop web browser). If they are availble, be prepared to do this in the forseeable lifespan of your mobile phone.

Alternatively, some apps in the F-Droid repository (the “app store” of Lineage OS) has web app front ends like Frost and Slim Social to facilitate access of your accounts. They are still web based but is wrapped around an easy to use app.

All in all, if you understand and accept what you are leaving behind it is worthwhile to switch to an alternative OS.

One more thing. Lineage OS also can suffer from lack of updates. You are, after all, at the mercy of it’s model maintainer. If the maintainer gets bored and gets a new phone or moves on out of the project, you are left without updates on your device. AFAIK, all LOS ports are volunteer run and only goes so far as their volunteerism spirit lives.

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Probably, the most privacy focused alternative OS for Android phones is Graphene OS. Unfortunately, it only supports Pixel phones, but you might consider it when you buy your next phone.


However one think I’d need to have are Android based apps like whatapp and so on due to that I can’t give up on them quite yet (family and friends mainly).

Get lineageos with microg.

Microg is a open source google play services alternative that respects your privacy. This version of lineageos also comes preinstalled with f-droid with system permissions (so it can automatically update and install apps).

If you really want to switch to a googlefree phone, this is byfar the best choice for you right now.

I’ve been using it for years and it quite decent (obviously not as good as a phone with google, but still very, very good).

Bonus points, you could create a seperate profile for Whatsapp using “Shelter” (available on f-droid), however then your contacts would have to be in both profiles

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I have LineageOS without microG, and whatsapp worked, though without notifications (you need to open app to check messages). And that was ok for me, as I planned to delete account anyway. All the others work well, Signal, Element, Wire, Threema (with 5 min polling, calls might be an issue), Tutanota… If/when Whatsapp and Threema PC versions become standalone clients, than it won’t be such an issue for people who use PC a lot

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what you still use that spyware
check it out Stop Using WhatsApp
use caylx os
the best of both worlds as it supports micro g

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I’ve been thinking of moving to another more privacy focused alternative os

I think @hexa is looking for privacy.

@Jay, doesn’t having proprietary Google apps and services bundled into an OS, not only via microG, but also not replacing Google as the provider for non-proprietary services, make it…well, umm, not so much privacy oriented let alone, “degoolged”?

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Switching from whatsapp to an alternative is easier said than done, unless you want to keep a very small contact list. I believe is near impossible to convince everyone in your contacts to just change their habits only to please you. The best thing IMO would be a frontend like Frost for Facebook and Freetube/Newpipe for Youtube, but I don’t know if its possible to develop such thing or if it would even help to protect your privacy.

There’s always this way of doing it:

On your end, anyways, that is…

Too bad most of mainstream society simple do not care about stuff like this:

Source: Apple’s App Store ‘PRIVACY LABELS’
Citation: Chess Lesson Deal: Learn Chess Online With This 92% Off Discount


I think you’re confused about what ‘googlefree phone’ means, that or we have completely different interpretations of what and how the source code does.

LineageOS is a highly customizeable mobile OS, which is a lot of fun, I do remember that very well… :slight_smile:

Kind of like - when I was in high school, 20 some years ago, seeing other people doing fun stuff, and wanting to be part of it, and talk like them, though really I was just spinning my wheels literially and figuratively speaking.

Not getting where I wanted to, causing more harm then good my way of life and my goals.

I listened and repeated after the wrong and misguided people.

Like burning out tires doing break stands etc, like everyone else, all the time, rather then buying a condo quicker and having security and privacy in having my own home rather then renting, like the others did who wanted to have fun.

Anywho -

LineageOS adds Google services to it (microG) along with not replacing Google
as the provider for non-proprietary services.

microG is a very small subset of Google play services.

What microG does is reimplementing a small subset of Play services in a hacky and incomplete
way, with less security, because they don’t implement features like certificate pinning for
services and apps (TLS and local components), as well security checks.

The apps that work can stop working at any time, if they start using more of the APIs,
or microG’s implementation stops working with Google’s servers.

microG doesn’t offer an alternative push service but rather has an incomplete implementation
of Google’s push service. The Firebase Cloud Messaging push does not work reliably.

Note apps can use FCM when available and still have working push without it.

Forking Cyanogenmod, which was forked from Google’s Android, which was based on AOSP which never had Google’s services, then adding the same Google’s services to it in a different way doesn’t make something ‘degoogled’.

Oh, don’t forget about Root. That completely destroy’s Androids Security Threat Model, to say the least.


googlefree phone

PS. Data in a work profile is owned by the service managing the work profile. If you use shelter, that means a third-party app gets to control that data. Could you please explain to me how that is private? I’d love to hear any more expert advice on privacy.

Conveneince and cool customization gimmicks does not mean privacy.

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Like GrapheneOS for older phones, DivestOS emphasizes privacy and security. It is great if your phone is supported. No microG, so many apps depending on Google services will not work.