A collection of non-free (as in freedom) Software preinstalled on the Fairphone 1(U) and possible alternatives

Following the discussion on another topic (Which out-of-the-box apps are Free Software),
i would like to collect apps that come on the fairphone out of the box that are not free software and dicuss possible alternatives. That might be useful for future fairphones or software releases and for users installing them themselves (from f-droid.org for example).

Due to it’s nature this is probably a high volume topic with a lot as short posts and dicussions. Please stay on topic here :-). My current idea is to post the apps as replies and a i will regulary incorporate them into a list in below. For free alternatives, see droid-break.io:

Candidates for non free* apps below**

1 as in freedom, eg. open source
2 it is not yet verified if the source for these apps is available under a open source license

Backup & Restore

Developer: Unknown, probably Mediatek
Removable (via Settings -> Apps: No
Removable with third party app*: Unkown
Size: 24 KB



Developer: Unknown, probably Mediatek
Removable (via Settings -> Apps: No
Removable with third party app*: Unkown



Seems to be based on AOSP email but possibly modified
Developer: Google AOSP, probably Mediatek
Removable (via Settings -> Apps: No
Removable with third party app*: Unkown


  • K9 Mail - Classic and widly used open source email client for android. Supports GnuPG encryption with addons as well as push mail. Install from F-droid, Play Store or Website


Messages seems to be modified to support dual sim.
Developer: Google, probably Mediatek
Removable (via Settings -> Apps: No
Removable with third party app*: Unkown

No Alternatives know yet:

Replacements for proprietary Google Apps

Google Search Widget (Local, eg. on device Search)


I am pretty sure the Music app is part of the Android AOSP package and therefore is open source.

You are right. I am now using the Android Emulator with an 4.2.2 to compare with the Fairphone’s app and Music seems to be part of AOSP. I removed it from the list.

Thank you very much for this initiative! It’s very helpful to have such a list.

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@ben: In the other thread, you mentioned “some complicated cases like apps that are part of aosp but more or less modified by mediatek (messages for dual sim, email, camera app”. Do they seem unmodified by comparison to AOSP when checking in the emulator?

Because then maybe they should be on the list.

I thought dual Sim support is available in AOSP as well, so I’m not sure if any changes needed to be made by MediaTek for dual Sim support in the (AOSP) apps

Actually i am pretty sure there is no dual sim support in AOSP.

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For dual sim see below: I think there is no dual sim support in AOSP. The Camera App looks different, it might be that Mediatek released the source but i do not know. Strangely my Emulator does not have the Email app :confused:.

Fortunately email is easy, there’s the K-9 Mail app in F-droid & it’s doing a really good job.


There isn’t any navigation or map software on the phone out of the box.

But I’ve successfully installed OsmAnd~ from F-droid, and it works fine with the SatStat program for GPS data. It works fine here in Denmark, but I only have map data for Denmark, I suppose it would be good to test it for bigger countries too. It’s based on OpenStreetMap.


Works great in Germany, too.


Continuing the discussion from Alternative Apps(tores): Living without Google:

[quote=“ben, post:23, topic:535”]
I was suprised, i do not think there are GApps preinstalled, which apps to you speak of?[/quote]

Yeah. Sorry, misunderstanding.^^
I thought the EMail app etc. where GApps but as this thread here makes clear they are modified by Mediatek or Kwamecorp.

I made a bugreport (logcat+dumpsys+dumpstate) and it shows Google in 20 lines (kernel compiler, System Updater, some sensors …) but Mediatek in 1348 lines (of 41633). But Kwame is nowhere mentioned. fairp[hone] is only mentioned in 512 lines …


I am under the impression that TextSecure replaces the Messages app; can anyone comment on that?
(However, I wasn’t bold enough to try to delete the original app via Titanium Backup.)

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Used it in a couple of countries in Europe so far. Works. Best thing about it is that it’s working offline. Siedenote: I recently tried out GoogleMaps on the FP, and it’s unbelievably easier to use. The search functions of OSMAnd~ are terrible in comparison. If you want to look up something quickly (so to say, on the fly :wink: ), the GMaps app is the way to go. If you just want a map+routing, OSMAnd~ is great.

Yes, it can, but i do not know if you can remove the messages app and TextSecure still works.
Note: TextSecure has no dual sim support!


I didn’t notice, since I’m again only using one. Really good to know! (Slightly OT: any idea where to drop a feature request for dual-sim support?)

I can probably try out what happens if I remove the messages app, since my phone is somehow crippled at the moment, anyway. Repartitioning seem to have caused quite a lot of mishap, in my case. :frowning: Going to open a thread on that elsewhere…

Camera: Open Camera (OpenSource and free of charge): http://opencamera.sourceforge.net/
Also in PlayStore.
I’m trying it out right now and it seems slightly better than FP’s default camera app - jpg compression can be reduced a bit, and it has manual focus and macro options.


Anyone knows about an alternative for the google search bar widget ? Duckduckgogo doesn’t perform any in phone search (contacts, mails, apps, …). Everythingme offers a great alternative, but not free, and I would like to find a stand-alone in-phone search widget.

I’ve seen there is Quickdroid which seems to provide a phone-wide searching of music, contacts, apps etc., but not web searches.
If you don’t mind having a separate app for searching the web this could be what you are looking for.

The problem here is that the Android API does not support multi SIM hardware in any way. See this AOSP issue from 2011:

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