Closed Poll: Future Fairphone OS Development

“Andorid based” includes for me AOSP as well.

An important step along the road to being fair is being fair to the user of the phone. Shipping with Firefox OS or Ubuntu would make a much clearer statement in line with Fairphone’s principles than Android. I don’t mind the Fairphone shipping with Android too much, as long as it is possible to install a Free/Libre Open Source operating system in its place.

It felt somewhat mocking to read the ‘If you can’t open it, you don’t own it’ postcard which came with my Fairphone, knowing that the device was forcing me to use Google products. I certainly don’t ‘own’ the software - it spies on me, and I have no choice in the matter as long as I continue to use this phone (I did try using the Fairphone without Google Play for more than a month, with all sorts of difficulties, and finally relented).

I don’t experience problems without Google apps. I even think that I run into less issues because there is nothing digging as deep into the system as Google Services.

This phone not being supported by Cyanogen is one reason for me to not buy it. Sustainabillity is not only about hardware.

I don’t use search, gmail, youtube, plus etc, but I found there were a lot of times when I couldn’t find what I needed in F-Droid, or I couldn’t use GPS properly with OSM etc unless I installed it via Google Play. I can’t remember specifically what other problems I was having and I don’t know whether they were related to earlier Fairphone updates or the lack of google services. Maybe I should try again.

Habe you Seen this thread? Cyanogenmod 11 for Fairphone FP1(U) Install guide + experiences

1 Like

The GPS-Issue should be resolved in the next update (1.7). Until then, you can use this app from F-Droid: FP1-EPO-Autoupdate (Automatically updates the EPO.DAT on the Fairphone) -

There’s a balance to be struck here. Fairphone shipping with a well known and recognised Operating System (i.e. Android) is something that is attractice to people who are interested in Fairphone and are not so tech savvy (or are, but do not have strong views on Google). However I totally recognise the genuine concerns that some have, and the wish to run their phones with a different OS. I also love the fact that my FP shiped rooted and with super user access, to give me control and options.

I’d suggest FP therefore ships with a plan vanilla android, for those who want to use it, but with the option of another OS (e.g. Firefox etc) for those who choose it (either at shipping or later). I don’t know if that is technically possible, but it could be a way forward.


I voted for “2”, but it is obviously a necessity to keep android-compliance. I use my FP1U without a google-account, that is perfectly possible, and this freedom ist the main factor in my opinion. This is the main point for a FP2, and so FP2 should open a path for both tracks.

1 Like

With Jolla/Sailfish would be nice.

1 Like

I used CM a lot on my former devices and would like to do so on my Fairphone. But Jolla, Firefox OS oder Ubuntu Touch would be great alternatives as well!

I can see it is not easy for the Fairphone Team to provide some solution for this. So I appreciate all efforts to achieve continued software support.

@Bjoern There is an unofficial port of Cyanogen Mod provided by chrmhoffmann over at xda-developers. Have you seen this? This port is to be used with care!

Thank you for the hint :slight_smile: Yes I saw this just before writing my post here. As I use my Fairphone as my primary device I need to have bluetooth working. So that is currently not an option for daily use. Although if he can get that working it will definitely be something I will give a try.

1 Like

This thread is geared more towards future software development (future device) but of course many of you are current Fairphone owners.

I just wanted to update you that our blog post talking about our current software support on FP1/U will hopefully be published next week (first week of December). Thanks for your patience, all.


My heart here is divided. I need the latest Android version. But I’d love to use Ubuntu for Android on my phone.

I guess it’s time to close this poll. All users like to have software updates as long as possible. An optional choice (which would also increase the amount of possible customers) would be the freedom to install other (linux based) OSes (CM, ubuntu, Tizen, whatever).

As a poweruser with some experience in installing “foreign” OSes I like to add that we really can’t have the choice with the current HW. All boils down to Linux kernel support of the SoC (CPU/GPU) and the board (documentation/schematics). Even if Mediatek started to slowly upstream SoC support, it’s still a long way to get this complete. For the GPU (PowerVR which is known to be the worst supported GPU on the market - regarding docs/source code) it is likely that we will never get a working code for future OS releases. While the board docs may be fetched from the released kernel source, the opening of the board schematics would speed up things. On the other hand, without proper GPU support there is no need to invest resources.

I hope that FP gets the message and plan for a more open source friendly HW (e.g. snapdragon) for the next phone.

Finally, we should not forget that FP wasn’t meant to be fair to the customers (as all other vendors), but to the people who produce it. Of course that doesn’t mean that FP can’t change this. The chances are quite good for FP2 given that it will be an own design. Let’s hope the best.

1 Like

To sum it up: Next Fairphone should be open hardware.


I agree concerning Android as the primary OS. Being an open-source user myself (switching my Desktop back to Windows would feel like dying a little death), I would probably not by a smartphone with an open-source OS. Why? Simply because a smartphone for me is all about the apps. Effectively this means iOS oder Android as for now. I am not talking about a good media player, a mailing program or things like that. This is fine on all OSes. I love using Amarok, Kontact and Firefox on my desktop computer. However, LibreOffice is a compromise. I am okay with this compromise because I am not sharing many documents and also Microsoft Office is more advances (I use it at work) I am fine with LibreOffice at home.

However, my Smartphone is a different story. I bought it because of apps. My local public transport company only supplies its app for iOS or Android. Same goes for our local car sharing company. Many of these nice modern communication apps for which you have to sell your privacy (WhatsApp, etc) won’t supply an open-source version. I remember when I decided to go for Jabber quite some years ago. Well, I was open-source, but communication was limited to me and some other nerds I knew. I use WhatsApp&Co not because I like it or its business model, but because of relationships. And yes, if you are globally connected, WhatsApp, WeChat and other can help a lot. The point is: When it comes to apps I am way more dependent on its creator to provide a version for my platform. The choice is not so much about the OS. Most people I talk to do not know that their smartphone has an OS or its name. They know that they can run the apps they want. Therefore I am limited (as for now) to Android or iOS.

The question is, which values I want to fight for. For me, having fair working conditions for the producers of my products and reducing the ecological impact of my life (e.g. repairability as is case for the fairphone) are way more important. I talked to some people at work about the fairphone (sales, secretary etc). There are quite a lot who share these values. But they do not really understand open-source or its values. They all have a smartphone and quite some apps they like. When I showed them by fairphone and they saw that it has the play store and all the apps they like but is fairer, they got really interested. Some consider buying one. Taking all this, I think Android is a good choice, People will not have any constraints when they use the phone while making a difference.

At the same time, I’d like to see a true difference, which means a smartphone running a fully open system. Best option in my opinion would be to provide and support Android as the default operating system for all those who simply want to buy a fairer phone while supporting pro users who want to port and run a fully open OS to fairphone. Logitech is doing something similar. While they do not provide drivers for Linux they support others in creating these drivers. I think HP is going the same track (luckily for me, as I do have a logitech webcam and an HP printer).


Yeah, that’s (mostly) wrong. Mozilla introduced the Web APIs as it still needs to provide access for to the devices hardware and services for the apps. Otherwise no app on Firefox OS would have access to the mic, the camera, wifi, bluetooth, battery and what not. See the full list in the link above.

Fun fact: when they started outlining the Web APIs there was the Vibrator API … it got fairly quickly renamed to Vibration API :wink:


I’m in two minds about this: on one hand the extensive use of Android and Android phones results in a lot of third party support however I don’t agree with some of my pre-conceived notions about Google utilizing my data. On the other hand OS’s like Sailfish and Firefox OS are great but are still early in earlier development and lack direct third party support even if they are potentially much better operation systems.

Has anyone voiced an opinion about a custom FP launcher on top of Android 5.0 if FP chose to stay with Android? The Nokia Z launcher was quite cool after all.

Overall I think I’d rather have an OS that was open source and reflected my personal desire for privacy where I want it.

1 Like