Closed Poll: Future Fairphone OS Development

I read the following on this website:

I don’t know the technology/software which lies behind HTML5 web apps, so I don’t know if the article is valid.

I’m not quite sure why people have such a problem with Android. What are people afraid of? And why would Firefox OS be any better?

This is a bit offtopic, but i continue anyway. I used a Firefox OS device while waiting for the Faitrphone and i was pleased with the performance. It is not comparable to Firefox Web Apps.
Most apps i just worked as advertised except for the “WhatsApp” stuff. they are all a bit hacky because there is no offical WhatsApp for Firefox OS.
I also like the look and feel of the OS – it is not only for cheap phones.

While Androids Core is Open Source, most apps are not. Services like Google Play and Cloud Messaging (used for push messages, for example for instant messaging, stuff like TextSecure etc) and all Google Apps are completly closed source and controlled by Google alone. Aside from that, most manufactures install additional non-free software as well. Because Android is designed to be “augmented” by Google proprietary services, if you try to keep away from Google it is less useful -a lot less apps etc.

Firefox OS on the other hand is completly open source*. When i used a Firefox OS device, i could download some sourcecode, use some tools (all open source) and four hours laters, i had build and installed Firefox OS myself (completely from source) on my on PC. And i had all services like Mozilla Location and Push Messaging, Firefox Market, etc. - there was no difference in apps etc.

This is why i think for people who care about Open Source, Firefox OS is “better”. The other aspect is that some people are afraid that Google has gained too much “power” over our data and lives.

(* not the drivers sadly)

It seems a bit of a hollow argument so far. You can choose to stick with open source apps on Android as well (granted, it’s not a really good option quality wise) but the thing is, open source doesn’t automatically mean ‘good’, nor does it mean ‘fair’ (whatever that may mean), nor does it mean ‘safe’ (as long as you haven’t completely audited and compiled the code that’s being executed on your device yourself).

There also seems to be a general “Google is bad” vibe with a lot of people. Why is this? Privacy concerns?

Privacy concerns is one, certainly. Tendency to silo is another. Centralized control a third, especially given the country it’s from. But all of those wouldn’t be that much of a problem if you were not locked in, if you had the choice at any time to step away, or to group together and take the software in another direction (or: pay somebody to do that). Having people forced into one specific set of software is not good for the long-term quality of it. The only option left is to get another phone, which would be a shame, since the phone itself is quite nice, and there really is no reason to tightly couple it to one specific OS.

It did not try to argue scientifically, it is more a “gut feeling”. You what people prefer about Firefox OS this is what i tried to answer to. You are right about security, but i did not want to get into that discussion, but on firefox os, i could try to audit the code ;-).

All the best


good idea, I support. To do that, we would have to make the Fairphone guys aware of our desire. Thats why I opened the ‘hey, let us have sailfish’ thread, to ask for supporters. Did not work. But there are at least two.
I wonder if Fairphone has already considered (officially) supporting alternative OSes for the FP. Apparently over 120 people think they should.

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Personally i think, it is extremely vital, that Fairphone an live up to it’s promises and enable multi-os support for the next edition (If possible the current editions as well).
Because only if you are able to decide which os and version you have on your phone, you really have a factor against planned obsolescense. Especially the multi-os compatability was something I always emphasized when I talked about the Fairphone project and what many people I talked with thought to be important as well.

I know It’s not easy, but that’s about the only thing I’m really disappointed with the current model and what definitely has to be resolved in the next one.


It is not exactly fully Open Source, neither is it stable yet (means dont use it yet), but have you seen this link ?

This guy is really awsome, and _keesj from the fairphone team is providing a very good support !
I think there is hope :wink:


That is pretty awesome. Could you be so kind to open a new thread for this?


That is great news. But it begs the question: if XDA hobbyists can do this, why can’t Fairphone do it?


The answer lays in the word ‘XDA hobbyists’. The ‘XDA hobbyists’ don’t get paid for their work.

You have to appreciate as well the development lifecycle that goes into supporting ‘official’ releases too.

Joe does a good job of explaining things in this article

I definitely would prefer an OS fully separate from Google (i. e., choice 3), but after costly failed attempts with OpenMoko and Blackberry, and a detailed examination of the ongoing Meego, I’m very pessimistic. Let’s vote Open Source already…

Having been a user of open source software for many years and following the communities, I do not think that #3 is a viable option. On the other hand what #2 really means in my mind is that future fairphones should be build using components with as open specs as possible, making it possible today to run cyagenmod or other alternative versions of android, using something different, as jolla, firefoxos or ubuntu touch (or whatever their phone OS is called) but also making it possible for anyone interested now, or later, to start making their own OS. In my opinion, having a phone with hardware that is as open as possible is also important for the environmental impact of the phone, as it makes it possible to maintain an OS for current hardware also in a few years when then contemporary OS and apps possible are too demaning for the phones made today. (I really get furious over the boot loader lock on the old Sony xperia I am using at the moment, the phone is filled with crapware from sony that makes it impossible to install the apps I want and need - having a phone with closed hardware ends up in the same way a few years down the road)


We can’t just decide to use a fairphone os or worst the Firefox os!
I’m going to explain this in few points:
1)you need to know that android is open source
2)even if you think that Firefox community is cool, well, their phone (that you can buy on their website) is built at foxconn exactly as all the other smartphones makers.
3) Firefox os doesn’t support most of the games and apps that you are using on android, first of all WhatsApp
4)if you don’t want to be tracked in any way from Google you can just don’t use the play stores (is not a big deal, really )

So I’m totally ok with cyanogenmod or any other version of android but if we start to produce a smartphone without android we will sell phone just to a little niche of people, and we will never achieve our goal: change the way how phones are made in all the market!


Exactly! What people want is apps - apps for buying train tickets, using their bank,or playing that new cool game. Which means that a phone that does not support either android apps or iphone apps (HAHAHA, dream on!) will only be sold to very few people. (I should know, I have been using a Nokia N900 a few years, a great phone, but pretty frustrating not to be able to use the apps that “everybody” are using.
I think I have heard that Sailfish/Jolla is able to run a vm that can run android apps.If that is transparent, that sounds like a great thing - but for Fairphone to develop a new OS seems not like a possible project - a close cooperation with those who does would be great and also probably extend the usable life of Fairphone phones.

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Is there a need to choose between #2 and #3? If the hardware specific kernel mods etc are available to the OSS community then they can be used by multiple coexisting, or even cooperating, projects.

I voted for #2 because I think this is the OS which should come preinstalled: it’s more practical for most people due to the large number of Android apps that already exist. However there’s no reason a custom Fairphone OS can’t exist too.

Surely part of openness is being able to choose which OS you run on your phone?


Actually, not just a community developed open source OS, but an explicit commitment to Software Freedom would be welcome :slight_smile:

Hi, I am a new FP user and would like to emphasize the need to keep the newbies like myself on board. Although I have some stone-age linux experience, I am very much hesitating to experiment with the OS of a Smartphone which I am (shame on me) still struggling to master.
So, for those who like to experiment, there should be an option to do so, but for the newbies and people who do not earn their living with mobile technology, there should be an option to have Android updates in a reasonable schedule to ensure long-term usability of the phone.
All the best,