Want to Know More about deGoogled Phone Operating Systems?
- What is the Easiest To Use deGoogled Phone?
- What is the Most Privacy Friendly Smartphone?
- Which is the most Secure Smartphone?
To answer those questions, we MUST discuss the different operating systems. It’s ALL ABOUT the OS folks. For example, some people really like using Windows. Some are die-hard Mac. For phones, some people are Android only and some are Apple IOS only. The same goes for deGoogled Phones.
Here we will give a basic overview of the Operating Systems that GetPrivacyFreedom flashes on our ROM’s. If you want a quick answer, just go to the CONCLUSION. As of December 2023, we deGoogle with Graphene OS, e/OS, and Lineage OS. We are currently experimenting with iode and Divest OS, both forks of Lineage and having some unique features. I am a bit apprehensive about CalyxOS as it being part of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and having possible government ties.
deGoogled Phone Basics:
The deGoogled Phone Operating Systems are all based on AOSP (Android Operating System Project).
All are Open-Source code which provides auditable privacy, unlike Google and Apple “closed-source” where the code is proprietary and spyware can be hidden.
All of them are Pro-Privacy, deGoogled, unGoogled, google-free, google-less phone operating systems in which the purpose is;
…to remove or disable any feature or code that is sending data to Google servers, to sever your identity from your device helping you to maintain PRIVACY, and keeping your data safe from hackers and resellers.
All OS’s have capabilities of APP Tracker management, Location faking, and IP address faking.
Heavy OS-focus and is the most SECURE and PRIVATE Operating System, while still VERY user friendly. It is NOT “out-of-the-box” ready to go for a non-techy person, BUT is when the right Apps are added. We do by default add our favorite App package as part of the phones we sell.
USER FRIENDLINESS – GrapheneOS is simple to use. It basically has all of the features, bells and whistles that anyone is used to with a normie Google or IOS device.
PRIVACY & SECURITY – GrapheneOS improves the privacy and security of the OS from the bottom up. It deploys technologies to mitigate whole classes of vulnerabilities and make exploiting the most common sources of vulnerabilities substantially more difficult. It improves the security of both the OS and the apps running on it. The app sandbox and other security boundaries are fortified.
GrapheneOS WILL NEVER include either Google Play services or another implementation of Google services like microG, which /e/OS and Lineage use. It’s possible to install Play services as a set of fully sandboxed apps without special privileges via the “sandboxed Google Play compatibility layer.” To quickly learn HOW-TO-USE this awesomeness, check out this video. Koodos to Side of Burritos for his work! Please “buy-him-a-coffee” if you find his video helpful!
CAMERA – By default, EXIF metadata is stripped for captured images and only includes the orientation. On “normie” phones, metadata like timestamp, phone model, exposure configuration and location tagging are in every photo taken and data that can VIOLATE PRIVACY, especially when photos are put on a cloud. /e/OS or Lineage may not have this feature, but a simple App like Scrambled Exif can be added. As far as camera speed, I find it a bit delayed, while the other OS’s perform quickly. The photo quality is superb.
SUPPORT – GrapheneOS has a very active community primarily based around the official chat rooms on Matrix. There is an official Twitter community for GrapheneOS discussions. The official Twitter account for the project is @GrapheneOS which is used for official announcements. You can also contact email@example.com for topics related to GrapheneOS. Personally, I have only contacted them one time ever to confirm some OS release dates. Point is, their OS rocks!
ON WHAT PHONES? ONLY available on the Google Pixel phones. Also check out this Exclusive Interview With A GrapheneOS Developer and see What exactly Graphene OS is, How it provides privacy and security, and Why only on Pixel devices.
USER FRIENDLINESS – This OS pushes for user Personalization and Preference and is as simple to use as any other OS. I will admit I like the complete control I have on App placement on the home-screens vs /e/OS, which is a bit rigid. But I am the kind of guy that wears flip-flops for complete toe freedom even when doing construction. I loathe shoes and socks that try to make my toes compliant! ha!
Con: App updates are not automatic. It’s best practice to simply check for updates once per week.
PRIVACY & SECURITY – It is not as Secure as Graphene, but features monthly security updates to every supported device, enhance existing privacy touchpoints around the OS and keeps you informed of how the system shares your data. Optional MicroG replaces Google services.
SUPPORT – Lineage OS has been around for a long time and extends the functionality and lifespan of mobile devices from more than 20 different manufacturers thanks to the open-source community of contributors from all around the world. You can expect support for newer devices sooner, along with a wide range of old devices, when compared to other custom Android ROMs.
ON WHAT PHONES? – Available on the Motorolas, Samsung Galaxy S10’s, OnePlus’s and some Pixel’s.
/e/OS is a fork of LineageOS and Heavy on the USER experience, while still providing excellent Security and Privacy. This is a great OS for newbies and non-techies, but is still fully customizable for whatever APPS the user desires.
USER FRIENDLINESS – This Operating System allows the phone to be pretty much out-of-the-box privacy-ready. /e/OS focuses more on apps and online services which are crucial components of our everyday experience. The online services, including search engine, email platform, cloud storage, and other online tools, create a unique privacy enhanced environment.
It also has a basic App-Package already installed which of course are Open Source and spyware free. They include; Music, Calculator, Calendar, Maps, Notes, and Email, Phone, Messenger, and App store in which any other Apps can be added easily.
What’s really convenient is that the App Lounge is compatible with all your favorite Android Apps. This is really helpful for those needed Apps like Door Dash Driver or Uber Driver for example. These CANNOT be found on Fdroid or Aurora Store which is used for Lineage or Graphene.
BUT this could be detrimental if adding Privacy-Violators like anything Google or other Big-Tech Apps. See our blog about how Big-Tech Apps spy on you. One has to use great discernment for what is really needed on the phone. A viable option is to simply use websites for banking, weather, etc.
One other thing to note is that the App icons are much like that of IOS IPhones and Ipads in how they look, feel and function. This may be a Pro for some. I personally do not like it, but surely not a deal breaker for Android fans.
PRIVACY & SECURITY – /e/OS how done a spectacular job with their “Advanced Privacy” module that offers the following features:
- Tracker management: users know in real time the number of active trackers used by installed applications. All trackers’ activities can be cut, with some granularity by application.
- Location faking: /e/OS users can choose to have their location faked for applications that use location. Faking goes from “random plausible locations” to a specific, chosen location.
- IP address faking: /e/OS users can choose to fake their IP address, for all application, or specific applications. This is made possible by redirecting the internet traffic through the TOR network.
- Also, a “hide my email” address alias is provided to each user, for user who don’t want to disclose their real email address.
What is also noteworthy is that the App Lounge provides a PRIVACY ANALYSIS showing Permissions required of your device and the Trackers attached to the App. This an awesome feature!
SUPPORT – /e/OS is growing fast. They sell their own “Murena” phones as well which helps with resolving bugs quickly. Their support group is fairly large as well, and the support forum is active with quick responses to device problems.
ON WHAT PHONES? – The device list is constantly growing and as this is written is available or can be flashed on these phones at Get Privacy Freedom: Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+, S10, S10+ [GSM carriers only, i.e. not Verizon], and on the Google Pixels except the latest model, which are compatible with all carriers. It is also available on the Motorolas. Here are all of the e/OS devices we offer.
There is a slew more to say about /e/OS but you can find More Details here if you wish.
All of these deGoogled Phone Operating Systems are exceptional and I have personally used all of them.
Graphene OS is my favorite because of their exceptional Security and in the end making one of the most Most Secure and Privacy Friendly Smartphones with the Google Pixels. My wife, son, mother and other extended family of all ages and non-techies use Graphene OS. Here are the Privacy Smartphones with Graphene OS we sell. But Graphene is not out-of-the-box ready to use unless there are some good trusted Apps added to it. Yes, we can add those on our phones before they ship out. One very useful features of Graphene is that Google Play services can be installed as a set of fully sandboxed apps without special privileges via the “sandboxed Google Play compatibility layer. This feature helps remove some inconveniences when entering the de-googling world.
/e/OS offers a lot of security/privacy features out-of-the-box and a whole realm of user-friendliness with the App Lounge and creating an Operating System for “Everyone”. Therefore, it makes one the Easiest to Use deGoogled phones. With their ecloud storage and emails, you can’t go wrong here. I highly recommend /e/OS as it is evolving into a Top-Notch degoogled phone system. Their Device compatibiltiy list is growing fast so expect to see a lot more phone options from us running /e/OS. Here are the Privacy Smartphones with e/OS we sell. Note that LTE Verizon doesn’t work on the Samsungs.
LineageOS comes in last barely, but I still love Lineage because of their compatibility with so many phones and devices. For example, I still use my old Google Pixel 1 phone and it works great! …and they have a lot of newer phones that are supported as well. If you don’t like the Pixel phones, or supporting Google, then there are many more phone models here that may be to your liking. Lineage default browser is setup as Google, SO CHANGE THAT FIRST THING if getting a Lineage OS phone. (We change this as part of deGoogling your phone). Lineage is obviously not as focused on Privacy which is a just bit of a concern. Here are the current Privacy SmartPhones with LineageOS we sell. I do not recommend Lineage OS for the beginner UNLESS some Pro-Privacy Apps are loaded for you. (which we can do). Just one App can violate your privacy and connect your device to YOU.
Want another opinion? This review by It’s FOSS is very helpful as well.
What deGoogled Phone Operating System do I Use?
As of 2023, I currently use Lineage OS on my OnePlus 6 dual sim “work phone” and Graphene on my Pixel 6a as my super-secret “batphone”. But, I tend to switch back-n-forth between different phone models and Operating Systems. I like to run different ones which helps reveal pro’s and con’s …which I can relay to users in various ways. As of December 2023 I am experimenting with Divest OS and then Iode OS.
You won’t go wrong with choosing and using any of the deGoogled Phone Operating Systems. Just make the decision to Get Privacy Freedom and join the Privacy Revolution.
God Bless, Jonny