Closed Poll: Future Fairphone OS Development

I voted for option 2, but I strongly prefer an Android based OS like Cyanogenmod because of the variety of possibilities and compatibity to Android app stores.


I chose option 3, but what I meant is: Fairphone would do well to build a 100% free/open source Android on top of the “vanilla” Android Open Source Project stack.

Alternatively, option “2” might be an option with Ubuntu Touch or Replicant. But I’d very much like to see it become really 100% free and also not include any proprietary firmware.


I’d love to have Cyanogenmod as the standard OS especially for the WhisperPush feature. That way all Fairphoners would have a secure and free messaging service preinstalled.


This totally.

MAYBE in the future if Fairphone mentally takes up and there’s a need to do “better” than what is already out.

In the meantime, option 2 would be cool. Even if keeping 1 as an option after 2 would be even better I think.

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I’m primarily interested in option 1 because I’m heavily invested in the Android eco-structure and Fairphone coming with Android was one of my big reasons for purchasing. I’d be okay with a Cyanogenmod version so long as I still had access to all of the apps and widgets I’ve purchased but I’m a little concerned about the phone straying too far away from vanilla Android if it costs us access to things like the Play Store and Google Apps.


Giving the choice to the user would be best. I have a couple of paid androids apps (mainly games I don’t use) but I’d rather get rid of Google altogether than keep those…


I am frequently in discussions (and not at all sure myself about the best choice) concerning the values embedded in the fairphone project and the need to maintain control about my personal information. In my view of modern society, these are both very very critical issues.

My choice so far has been for an open source software smartphone (first a Nokia N900, and now a jolla). Both of them worked really well for me.

As a consequence, it seems to me totally obvious that sailfish (the open source jolla OS), which is being ported to more and more recent smartphones and tablets, should be the primary OS for the fairphone.

I realize this may need some design choices for chipsets and things (or driver development), and I cannot judge how large these problems are.

But I repeat: nothing seems to me more obvious than this.


Well im not sure Jolla should be THE primary OS yet, but i agree they are a good fit. Maybe Jollashould be included in the Poll and Firefox OS and Cyanogenmod seperated, because CM is still in the Android Ecosystem and you are free to install GApps, while Firefox OS is not. Btw: Currently i would prefer Firefox OS over Jolla.

The longer i think about it, i would prefer the following choices given it is unrealistic and not useful to develop an own operating system for Fairphone.

  1. Keep it as it is: Install a customized Launcher on top the offical Android supplied by Mediatek and focus on Android Platform updates like Kitkat (4.4) and L.
  2. Plain Open Source Vanilla Android!: Base Fairphone OS on AOSP project, eg. now customized additions by mediatek etc so we get the original android camera and no non-free apps preinstalled. This would require to customize the AOSP for dual-sim support. Fairphone OS Apps like the Launcher and Rest in Peace and third party apps might be preinstalled as long as open source and user-removable.
  3. Join Cyanogen: Provide and officially support Cyanogenmod builds for the Fairphone.
  4. Switch to Jolla/Firefox OS/Ubuntu: Provide only minimal support for Android as it is and prepare to switch to the Jolla OS.
  5. Community involvement!: Choose option 1 or 2 for offical releases and spare some developer time and resources to support third party community efforts to port Jolla, Ubuntu Touch, and/or Firefox OS to the Fairphone. Provide proven developers with web space and possibly financial support for improving this OSes on the Fairphone (search the web for bountysource). Provide factory images for easy reset to official firmware like with Google Nexus lineor Sony’s great tools fordevelopers / users of custom roms.

Let me just say that if Fairphone would switch away from an Android based OS (AOSP based or something like Cyanogenmod) then I can throw my phone in the garbage bin and buy a new one.
I’m just so heavily invested in Android right now that switching to a different OS would be a pain, especially if it’s an immature OS like Firefox OS.


I do absolutely agree with @Jerry.

Switching to a completely different plattform would be a pain for most of the users.

This kind of post is the reason why we should totally abandon “closed” solutions, especially Google. :confused:

Otherwise, things will NEVER change and evolve…


Closed or not, you’d have the same problem with any platform.
If you’d be totally invested in Firefox OS, then you couldn’t easily make the switch to something like Ubuntu Touch either. For starters, your apps simply wouldn’t work anymore.

Apps are just apps. If there’s a need on an OS, it will be filled by an app that does the same as another on another OS.

And if you willingly put everything somewhere, it’s your own fault anyway. Anyone should know that when they start investing somewhere.

Maybe start investing in apps that are on several OS. Maybe encourage that before being imprisoned in a unique shop…


I chose 2, but really, I don’t want any specific OS; i want the ability to choose my own. TBH I thought this was possible when I preordered my first edition fairphone; there were mentions of it but they have disappeared.

While I am pretty happy with my phone, and pretty happy with the 'fair’ness so far. I think fair could not only be supplier-side, but also to the users, and to me that means choice in software.

I really don’t care what the ‘default factory installed’ OS is, as long as I can replace it. I would probably either go for Jolla or Paranoid Android, but I’d certainly take a look at firefoxOS too.


Maybe start investing in apps that are on several OS. Maybe encourage that before being imprisoned in a unique shop…

I’m not imprisoned by Google. It’s just that the alternatives are in no way up to scruff compared to Google. Simply put, it’s not Google that’s so great for me, it’s all the others that suck so badly.

If Firefox OS is just as succesful and offers the same features and connectivity (cloud) options as Android, then I’d be happy to switch. Thing is, that day is a long ways from now and may not ever come. Once again, just look at how badly Microsoft are struggling, and they’re a big corporation with connections everywhere. Firefox OS is interesting to just a small niche of nerds and geeks so user adoption will be extremely limited, which leads to limited support by app developers.

I’m not afraid that the Facebooks, Twitters and Yahoo’s of this world won’t support an OS like Firefox OS, it’s the smaller companies whose primary market isn’t Internet that won’t adopt platforms like Firefox OS. Stuff like my banking app, my supermarket’s app, the various 2-step authenticator apps, the on-demand video viewing app of various television broadcasters here in the Netherlands, etc. Those apps won’t be ported to Firefox OS any time soon and I will miss those.

Sure I might be able to live without some of them, but it’s a great inconvenience. And even though Android is supported by 90% of the relevant app makers, I’m still miffed from time to time that some apps are available only for iOS.

I have all the good will in the world to make the step to a platform that’s more open like Firefox OS or Ubuntu Touch, but reality is that Android and iOS have such an enormous head start that the newcomers are just no match for them. There’s too many disadvantages to new and upcoming OS-es and the average consumer just won’t choose those because of that. And it’s broad consumer adoption that you need for broader appeal.

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem and maybe we should choose to be the eggs in order for there to be some chickens in the future, sure, but if Android fills my needs and I can be a big proud rooster, why should I?


Remember this is only a hypothetical question - FP aren’t about to jump from Android elsewhere, and I think if they ever intend to it would not be a forced solution. I think if Firefox OS or anything like that was to be ‘‘supported’’ I think it would mean that any users that wished to move could do, and that any that wished to stay on android also could do.

I’m heavily invested in android/google myself, but if there was an alternative on offer, I may well choose it even though it would be an inconvenience to lose out on certain apps etc.

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Basically what chiri said. :slight_smile:

I know of all those implications Jerry, all I asked is: putting yourself and your liberties in the hands of companies like Google or Facebook, is it worth it? Is the use of a couple random non mandatory applications worth it?

I think Android should be the stable base of the Fairphone, so consumers can use the phone which is well supported (number of apps and quality of apps).

I think it would be nice if Firefox OS would be supported too in the future, for the following reasons:

  • From what I have read so far Firefox OS is better on low level hardware than Android. This increases the chance of a Fairphone first edition phone to be useful, even after sevetal years (from users perspective). Combined with the repairability this makes a sustainable phone.
  • The open community, working on Firefox OS matches with the transparency of the Fairphone project.
  • More and more functionality comes in HTML5. Firefox OS is based on this, which could lead to less ‘vendor lock-in’.

However, I think that the project has quite a lot of steps to make so a stable base (Android) should not be adandoned. :smile:


Collaborate with various OS projects (AOSP, Cyanogenmod, Mozilla, others) to get it to boot.
When choosing internal hw, make sure it’s well documented and contains no binary blobs (especially if they are operating-system dependant).
Make it easy for people to install something else and for developers to port something else on the phone.
Don’t decide the OS for me please. Don’t waste time reinveinting the wheel and developing custom stuff.
Be the first smart company selling hardware to just focus on the hardware and let their customers decide what they will run on the phone.
Of course, choose a default sane option, stock android is OK.
You know better than me, most of the phones around, even if sold with different operating system are all the same stuff, with the big difference the design of the buttons :slight_smile:


I would really like to have FirefoxOS on FF, and could help improving compatibility when it is available, but I am completely unable to make FF support android 4.4 or to make MediaTek release the required source.

So I would like 1) for it brings support for android 4.4, currently required for FirefoxOS,
and I would appreciate 2) if it means support for FirefoxOS.
CyanogenMod based on Android 4.2 is useless to me.

So, I picked 2), but I do not feel the poll allowed me to make my will clear.

If sources are released (for KitKat), alternative OS will start flourishing all over the place.