Closed Poll: Future Fairphone OS Development

Voted option 3, although I admit that it’s not very realistic at present. But in my opinion, software development should be appreciated (also monetarily, and not only by ‘thanks meters’), without the software being proprietary. So couldn’t option 3 be a continuation of the way Mozilla, Ubuntu and Fedora are created?

oh come on, 151 votes for a not Android OS? are you kidding me??? firefox os is the worst OS that human race could do! is worst than Windows phone! there are no apps on firefox os (or really limited)! why I should buy a 325€ smartphone if I can’t even use apps??? If in the end FairPhone will decide to use an OS not based on Android, it will determine the failure of this amazing project.

@demetrio - It’s an unofficial poll within the community. It doesn’t mean FP are going to do this, so don’t worry your FP isn’t going to be changing OS’s. Nobody is saying that you’d have to switch OS’s anyway, and the FP would continue to be able to run on Android as it does today :smile:

“i.e.” in the options should probably be “e.g.”, at least, that is how I read it. So those are just examples and not specific choices.

btw, what you claim to be ‘the worst OS ever’ is were android was a few years ago, and iOS was a few years before that; everything has to start somewhere, and it may end up surpassing the status quo (like ios and android did, arguably). Of course it’s a bad choice to release a phone without covering the magic what-80%-of-the-people-need bases, but ‘apps’ in general aren’t that (the idea behind this specific os is that there are unlimited ‘apps’; most ‘apps’ are really thin wrappers around websites anyway). But i’m getting off topic.

Given the closed-sourceness of the current stack (not android itself but parts of the hardware/drivers), I’d say Fairphone did not deliver on one of their promises. Maybe not the most important one, but still. However, in the same vein as my remark about firefoxOS; at least there is an effort and a vision, so I’m still on board. I think most of the voters voted for option 2 because of this, not because of any specific OS. (additional note, with AOSP, Android is open source, and so is the derived cyanogenmod, so either would fail under option two as well).

Personally, I’d rather see them add effort to something open source rather than putting it in yet another own launcher on android. But that’s just me, and the pro’s still outweigh the conns. But I am still assuming the mediatek issue will be resolved here :wink:

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@Chris_R es, I know is just an unofficial pol. Btw I can imagine that FP will take care on what their costumers want.
I’m just saying that is not a problem if fairphone will have ALSO the possibility to install other OS like Firefox, but is fundamental that android will be available (maybe as default OS) and not because I am scared from other OS,(I can just flash the amazing cm11 for our FP) but I’m just wondering: if we want to change the way how market produce smartphones (that should be the first aim of FP) is a great idea choose an OS that is not Android as default? Above us that just want a fair smartphone, how many others people will consider to buy a phone with Firefox OS? we want to rise awareness about how smartphone are made like respect of human rights in congo as well as in china, and so need to choose the best way on doing it! Using a not andoid os as default i think will take us further away from our goal

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I vote for Cyanogen or Ubuntu :slight_smile:

yes i would totally go for a Replicant powered Fairphone! you should think about it :smiley:

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I am adapting what I said some time ago in the previous forum:

I am a Fairphone’s convinced owner/user/contributor/advocate , and whereas I am quite happy with the ideals behing it and overall product quality, I am quite unsatisfied with some problems that are still pending since the very first moment and the slowliness in updating the OS (not to mention that it’s not possible to install another OS, as it was promised during the crowdunding process).

Most of these problems are related to the two factors: on the one hand the Operating System we are using now (which despite I like its launcher, aesthetics and how you fixed Google apps optional installation, I am not sure if it is worth it, since I don’t see any other differences with stock Android) and on the other hand (this is a guess, so I may be wrong) having a small team of experienced developers on the core. If I am right, these problems could be addressed by the following different approaches:

  1. Increase the number of senior developers focused on maintaining the OS (this will be even more important in the future and after the second batch of Fairphones is over, which means that if you double your team)
  2. Create a more community-oriented OS by attract and improving community’s contributions (it is not enough to have a repository which only contains part of the files and does not make an OS at all). I am not sure about how can Fairphone achieve that goal, but I guess they can try with some partnership /announcement on other developer sites (since I am afraid there are a few developers on Fairphone’s community right now), rewards policies…
  3. Get rid of this operating system and use another open-sourced one which has a wider community, user-base and experience (eg. Cyanogen mod). Current development could be transformed in widgets or apps to be used by Android community and staff members could join efforts with the community, turning Fairphone into a strong development pillar of another opensource project.

Please don’t get me wrong with this message: I don’t mean that all Fairphone has achieved so far in terms of Fairphone OS is rubbish and they should get rid of it the sooner the better: I do appreciate all the efforts and there are things that are very well done and you should be proud of. It’s just a matter of being practical. As I said, and as I am sure you already know, there is a real issue with the inhability of fixing problems in a reasonable time frame, and I wanted to propose more practical approaches.


I would love to be using an open sourced/community os… I don’t think it is absolutely necessary for FP to make their own if others tick a lot of ethically based boxes. In my opinion there are too many of the same thing being reproduced. Unless it will be twenty times better, resources should be channelled into another area.

Although… is there a way to change the current android/Google on my phone now? Any hi tech way to change it myself? I hate myself for using Google…

One of the main reasons why I bought a fairphone was that they claimed it would be ‘open’, and rooted, suggesting you could install whatever operating system you want. I am still pretty frustrated that this is not an option, and that it wasn’t communicated during the production of the first version…Those buying the second version probably knew in advance…
Looking at the votes and the amount of topics, comments, blogs etc. talking about this, I am certainly not the only user very frustrated about this

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from [about Fairphone page][1]:

Fairphone is a social enterprise working to create a fairer economy and change how things are made.

If one considers the phone as not mostly made of hardware, open source makes more sense that Android.

Hi @emmanuel,

Android is licenced under Apache 2.0 and GPLv2. Both OpenSource/Free Software licences.

Only hardware drivers are mostly closed source.



Hi @stojmas,
I probably misspoke; I should have said open source and community driven which, to me, sounds closer to changing how things are made than a customised Android.
The nub of the problem, indeed, is the non-openness of the hardware drivers.

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I wouldn’t like to cool people down on that one, but in the past I have bought the first, and to my knowledge single up to now, open-source phone from hardware down to software, drivers included: the OpenMoko (check wikipedia). It never reached a level actually workable, and was only barely useable even for sending phone calls. And it costed twice the FP cost.

After this I carefully followed various attempts, the last of which is the Jolla phone, not at all fair trade but OTOH fully open linux: by longly scanning their forums it became obvious they don’t even have a decent email reader at this time, and just zero applications.
Still, you can buy a Jolla today, or at least you could last year, for the comparison with FP numbers is striking: I remember their first series was 600 only, outperformed by a factor 20 by the single first FP1 batch.
To me they are out just for this reason: 600 vs more than 30000 users today, means they’ll never get any developers investing in apps.

So don’t get me misunderstood: I’m definitely for total independence from Google, but as far as I can see, it’s because FP stick to Android that they succeeded.
Which doesn’t prevent the company to support alternate OSes now they are afloat.

But I for one definitely would vote for continueing a baseline version with a minimal android compatibility, along with, potentially, alternate things.

Alternate things that will have zero applications, remember. I paid for trying.


As a developer, its generally not worth working supporting much less used platforms. Android and iOS, everything else is just for fun. I would go for Cyanogenmod or similar hack of Android.

Sailfish looks really interesting though - would definitely consider that as a platform for development.

Sailfish looks really interesting though - would definitely consider that as a platform for development.

Adamski: you are quite precisely illustrating my point above; you would consider Sailfish (the OS in the Jolla phones I described), but at this moment you, well, are waiting a bit.
Which is why anyone buying a Jolla phone today finds itself with just no apps, and I really stress: no apps, not even K9mail.
I’m not competent to elaborate on which alchemy brings in the “apps ecosystem” (apart just being big like Google or Apple), but my concern is, from OpenMoko to Jolla, their respective OSes never raised the ecosystem they definitely were worth.
Maybe, maybe, a port of Sailfish onto the FP would start things up. IFF the guys from Jolla… accept it (Sailfish is open, but why would Jolla support any question on porting it out of their company?)
But in the meanwhile, if you buy a Jolla phone you get an serious, and costly, smartphone with just nothing smart in it…

At least, for Fairphone, the small flock among us that really want to drive “with no Google Apps” do benefit from the fact 90% of the other buyers did buy a FP to run Android and the last Google Fart app on top of it.

If they weren’t here: Fairphone would just be dead in the water at this moment -having courageously built and sold 600 phones, like… who were they again?

Instead, they are alive and well, and they illustrate both a brand new crowdfunded way of changing things and how delicate it is to stay clear from the devil… but not too far…


I would be glod to buy a fairphone shipped with Firefox OS.

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Interestingly enough, Google reportedly tried to buy Cyanogenmod.


Interestingly enough, Google reportedly tried to buy Cyanogenmod1.

I would rather call this “frighteningly enough” :frowning:
I don’t have Cyanogenmod on my Fairphones but various protecting apps (AFWall+…) and my daily feeling is that avoiding all things personal sent to Google is a permanent fight…

Option 2 (cm) is similar to option 1 because it requires hardware support from the chipset maker. Option 3 would be useless (own os without 3rd party support). So the main problem here is that fair phone chose the wrong chipset manufacturer. If there will be ever a fairphone 2, make sure that the vendor tries to upstream their cpu support (including gpu!). Mediatek was the worst choice FP could do regarding this point. On the other hand, it likely was the cheapest.
Another point to take care of is to open up the schematics of the phone. Ok, this may be hard, but doable I think. You already did more impossible things :-).
You could just reuse some of the open platforms already available and focus on the supply chain.