Closed Poll: Future Fairphone OS Development

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.

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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.

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I hope this changes in the future. Most mobile apps from local transport for example a effectivly secret web-apps or add least provide a service that would work equally well on a mobile web page. However, most mobile web pages are not that well developed, because they are not really invested in that much anymore with all resources going to apps… sad story.

I would agree that it is important to choose the values to fight for and not fight on to many at once.

I have high hopes for Firefox OS. I watch there development closely and i think for the next or the Fairphone after that, they might be ready for a consumer device priced at Fairphone level. It still misses essential apps for many, for example good Offline Maps, WhatsApp (i hate them for not providing and API like Telegram does!) and more. For, local transport with DB Navigator and Mobile Tickets is one of the thinks i would miss.

You can use Android without installing Google Apps. This somehow cuts you away from a large part of the Android Ecosystem, but still leaves you with a lot more options for third party apps compared to Jolla and Firefox OS.

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I believe the Firefox OS with free (like freedom) drivers is better!

Currently, I prefer choose to support an OS which respects my private life than a mobile phone which contributes the sustainable development. I have bought the ZTE Open C in France under Firefox OS and unfortunately not the Fairphone under Android.

But if have both in the same device, that would be wonderful!

Thanks a lot!

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I moved 5 posts to an existing topic: “Insufficient memory”, though there is 12gb on the phone memory

An open OS would be fine. However, it should be compatible with the largest number of apps. Therefore, IMO the best solution would be something like CyanogenMod.

Have y’all heard about Always Innovating OS?
It’s an open source operating system that runs on a beaglebone black (open source hardware) and gives you the option to switch between different operating systems (AIOS, Android, Ubuntu and Chrome OS)
My dream for the Fairphone would be to have the option to switch between Replicant, Firefox OS, Ubuntu and Sailfish.


While I voted for the development of an Open Source OS like Firefox here, I’d originally wanted to ask about Windows 8 (or 9 or 10 for that matter). Would it be possible to let the user/buyer choose, which OS he or she wants? I’d quite like a Windows Fairphone … Then again, if FF or the like were GOOD options, I’m sure I’d like them, too, or prefer them. I’m just not too happy with Android.

Theoretically speaking, yes it’s possible. For the existing FairPhone (FP1/FP1U) it’s nearly impossible. For future FairPhones, we’ll have to see if they allow other OSes to be installed, but even if it does, Windows is not a likely option because it’s a proprietary platform.

While booting windows and linux in parallel is no problem on desktop PCs, it’s much harder on phones. Windows on phones requires a special proprietary boot loader and has limitations on the hardware which can be used. So this would boil down to designing a Windows phone (with all the hardware requirements and limitations) where you’ll have the choice to run linux on it. You would have more choice regarding hardware if you choose a x86 based solution instead of ARM, but still, windows would dictate the hardware to be used - so you will get one additionally choice in OS and loose all choices regarding hardware (how many different windows phone platforms are our there - only ONE AFAIK, based on a Snapdragon design). So essentially, IMO, you can delete Windows from the OS choice. Maybe in the future, you can use a hw emulator running on the phone OS which emulates the hw Windows requires if you really want it. You can run a desktop x86 windows on your phone already today using an x86 emulator.

Good to hear that (and thanks for the link). I guess I was only asking about Windows because I’m familiar with it. I’ve only just heard about Sailfish. On their homepage it pretty much looks like Windows. Nice. In the process, I stumbled upon Geekphone. They say with that you can switch between OS. I suppose that should be nice for a future Fairphone.

some infos about “Google Isn’t Fixing Some Old Android Bugs” issue.

Also see the discussion over there, about Google not patching a security vulnerability of the Android base.

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As for Firefox OS, I guess there’s no point in putting too much effort into it right now, given how little widespread it it right now. However, supporting CyanogenMod on FF seems to be a rather interesting approach - it’s made for rooted devices and offers interesting features only available in the most recent versions of Google’s stock android.

I voted for following the development with Google not lightheartedly but 'cause the Fairphone should be a long living device, it makes sense not to invest doubly in softworks. The very moment, Google will not support the Fairphone hardware any longer, it’s the time to switch to an other OS-supplier. Right now we have a rooted system already.

Any one has considered or tried Tizen OS on FP?