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/e/ Pie is out for FP2

Nice to hear that, my FP2 is slowing day by day. I hope that this kind of mod is quite fast, what are the impressions compared to FP Open?

/e/ is still beta currently.
This didn’t really show until only recently, when they went on a UI ego trip which resulted in the following chain of events …

So … still teething problems, but apart from that unfortunate episode /e/ works rather well overall, I currently use it on a Fairphone 2 and a Fairphone 3 … I somehow dodged installing those troublesome updates, luckily.

No bugs or trying out things is a tough ask in the whole Android realm, even with stock OSes. If you yourself are happy with LineageOS/microG on the Fairphone 2, why not just stick with that.

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How about those two apps? If they are available with /e/, I will install /e/ on my own FP2, but for the other one, I’d rather not take the beta state.
And thank you for your detailed answer!

I can confirm that DB Navigator App works fine in /e/ OS.
Regarding IngDiba App you refer to Ing banking to go?
Some banking apps work with /e/ OS, some don’t. Here at least some Ing App is mentioned to work.

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BTW, there now is a topic on the /e/ forum where people list app compatibility: https://community.e.foundation/t/editable-list-of-apps-that-work-or-do-not-work-with-microg/21151?u=ingo_fp_angel

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Hi fellow (current and future ;)) /e/ users. I decided to give /e/ a try yesterday and wanted to let you know about my experience and ask a few questions as well. I’ll start with the questions, as I guess this post will be a bit lengthy, but hopefully my experience report will be useful for some people contemplating a switch.

So, Questions (I have a FP2, and /e/'s default “Bliss” launcher):

  • On the Widget page, I tells me to “tap to set up weather” but nothing happens. I can add an additional weather widget (based on the stock “Weather”-App, which works but us also somewhat useless as it does not tell a forecast) but the initial widget stays there, seems irremovable, and keeps asking to “tap to set up weather”
  • In /e/ “Apps” (‘their app store’): Is there a way to see what is the source of the App? Some apps have different versions for PlayStore and F-Droid and I would prefer to get the F-Droid version (E.g. OsmAnd~ will give free maps if installed from F-Droid). Or do I have to install F-Droid seperately for this?
  • speakin of maps: From what I read there was supposed to me a Maps App? Did they remove it or am I missing something?
  • There is an issue with microG that prevents a proper Signal account registration and thus Signal again falls back into the ‘websocket’ operation. Apparently the issue is fixed in microG 0.2.11 – does anybody have a feeling when to expect this upgraded in /e/? (The fact that microG is completely properly set up was actually my main reason to give /e/ a try :rofl:)
  • The minimum brightness is WAAAAYYYY too bright. Much more so than at the very beginning in FP Open. It is so bright that I can read the screen easily in daylight (which tells you how blinding it is in a room with no lights) :frowning: – anybody else has this and can it be fixed?
  • In “Tasks” I can set a due date for tasks -> can this be used to send me Reminder notifications?
  • In UnifiedNlp settings: I seem to remember that I had to download/keep up to date some lists of signal towers/WiFi maps when I used it in FP Open. Now there is no such option. It only says “2 Backends configured” and one is “Mozilla Location Service”, and the other “Nominatim” but no real options (lists, country codes etc.). Am I missing something? Will it work anywhere in the world?

… and my installation protocol, maybe this is useful for people who want to give it a try as well (check the links and don’t rely on my info! ;))

  1. Backup Apps
  • I backed up the user data of every relevant App individually (leaving out things like maps, which can be downloaded again): Contacts, Signal (which finally properly backs up everything incl. group messages!), ToDo-Lists, Podcast metadata (listened episoded, subscriptions), Photos/Movies + OpenCamera folder, …
  1. reinstalled TWRP (which was removed by the last FP Open update)
    (in Linux:)
  • sudo apt-get install android-tools-fastboot
  • sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb
  • activate USB debugging in the developper settings of your phone
  • test whether phone is recognized by adb: adb devices
    • if not, you might have to add it’s ID to ~/.android/adb_usb.ini – see here
  • reboot into bootloader: adb reboot bootloader
    • phone will show black screen with FP logo and blue LED will blink slowly
  • test again if connection works: sudo fastboot devices
  • flash TWRP: sudo fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.4.0-0-FP2.img (replace version number accordingly, also for this command to work, the .img file needs to be in your current working directory of the terminal)
  • reboot by sudo fastboot reboot
    • I had some issues making TWRP not being overwritten by the stock android recovery – supposedly it should help to press VOLUME UP while sending this command and keeping it pressed during reboot. This allowed me to boot into TWRP but it still was not permanent. I had to additionally do “Reboot” > “Recovery” from within TWRP and then confirm the query about whether to allow it to make changes (to avoid TWRP being overwritten).
  1. TWRP Backup
  • I found this later, might be useful next time :wink:
  • remember to back up to SD and ideally copy the backup to the PC to be on the safe side
  1. Flash /e/
  • from here with some small modifications necessary:
    • Download the /e/ install package that you’d like to install from here.
      https://images.ecloud.global/dev/FP2/
    • If you aren’t already in recovery mode, reboot into recovery mode:
      adb reboot recovery
    • [Optional: Tap the Backup button to create a backup. Make sure the backup is created in the external sdcard or copy it onto your computer as the internal storage will be formatted.] -> see above!
    • Go back to return to main menu, then tap Wipe.
    • Now tap Format Data and continue with the formatting process. This will remove encryption as well as delete all files stored on the internal storage.
    • Return to the previous menu and tap Advanced Wipe.
    • Select the Cache and System partitions to be wiped and then Swipe to Wipe.
    • THIS DID NOT WORK FOR ME: Sideload the /e/ .zip package:
      • On the device, select “Advanced”, “ADB Sideload”, then swipe to begin sideload.
      • On the host machine, sideload the package using:
        adb sideload filename.zip
        [apparently the signature verification is based on certificates which again rely on TWRP 3.2.3.0 being used (don’t quote me on that! :stuck_out_tongue: )]
    • INSTEAD I HAD TO: push the .zip file to the phone:
      adb push filename.zip /external_sd/ (that was the name of my sd in the file browser… it might be /sdcard/ for you; also, you could copy it anywhere but i guess sd makes sense)
    • Via Install in TWRP: browse to the .zip file location, select it for installation with unchecked signature verification (you already checked the MD5/SHA 256 sum on your PC after downloading the .zip file, right? :wink: )
    • Once installation has finished, return to the main menu, tap Reboot, and then System
  1. Copy back necessary data from backups
  • dep. on the individual apps, but maybe this will be relevant for many: for Signal make sure to follow their instructions precisely since you cannot play back the backup later. That is, copy the backup back to the phone before starting the Signal app again on the new system.

Overall quite smooth process just annoying as usual that I had to gather all the pieces of information from all over the net + FP-Forum, so again, maybe this is useful and let me know whether we should maybe polish this a bit to make it a guide. Pinging @paulakreuzer in case :wink:

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just my 80 cents: I used /e/ for months, but I returned to FP-OS, because the developers and parts of the /e/-community obviously have a difficult point of view, about the importance of the freedom of choice to use a “corona-warning-app”. We (the /e/ users) had to wait for weeks, to get a full functional version of the microG infrastructure, to get the warn apps running. I live in Belgium - a well known covid19 hot spot. I can’t wait for further discussion which last for weeks.
Now I’m back to stock (v54), deactivated all google-stuff, refused the google account login, installed f-droid app, aurora app store and tracker control. Feels good so far - even my covid19 app works.
Don’t get me wrong: the /e/ project is a good idea and I installed /e/-OS the first day, I got my new FP3. But the fundamentalist discussions about data security and freedom of choice have destroyed my patience for this project.

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For me the stock weather widget show a 4 days forecast.

Probably the F-Droid OsmAnd~ will be used when you select “Show only open-source apps” in Apps settings.

Yes, it disappeared for me too, from time to time (depending on the OS version). But actually I hardly noticed it because I prefer osmand anyway.

A current microG version is expected with the next upgrade. Because of problems with the latest releases this is currently delayed to mid November (well, that’s the expected date, but not sure…)

Just checked. Same here (that minimum is not really dark). It hasn’t always been like that but I didn’t notice lately because I’m ok with automatic and medium brightness.

Well, same options here. For me location service is working fine. But obviously I haven’t checked everywhere in the world.

Yes, feel free to create your backup and install documentation as a new topic in the Guides category. I can make it a wiki then.

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Hi jme,
thanks for your post.
I am using /e/ too. The very first thing I did was ditching the Bliss Launcher and install another one, from F-Droid. Btw, I installed the F-Droid store seperately, and Aurora also, and disabled the /e/ store (which uses apkpure, if I remember right).

Cheers!

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Cleanapk.org :wink:

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disabled the /e/ store

thanks! how did you do that? I honestly do not like the fact that I cannot uninstall any of the Apps that they have by default. It’s a good selection but why don’t they give the user a choice to change sth.? Now I have 2 browsers, 2 App stores, 2 music players, 2 “message” apps in parallel :confused:

@Volker – thanks a lot!

For me the stock weather widget show a 4 days forecast.

Did you sing into an account in the stock weather app (i.e. “Create an account” in the OpenWeatherMap"-settings)?

…Maps…

I just saw in the 0.12 release notes that it was a bug that Maps did not appear on some phones.

A current microG version is expected with the next upgrade

well… it’s not in 0.12 :confused:
I am considering to patch it in to be able to use the exposure notification API. Does anybody have experiences with that? Does this clash with the next OTA update?

I haven’t checked everywhere in the world.

:rofl:

I would still be curious about the way UnifiedNlp works – does anybody know more? Does it need Internet connection to understand the cell tower and WiFi data? B/c, as I wrote above, they way it (apparently) used to work is that you download long, huge lists … but then it worked offline. This would be important to know when going where you might choose not to get mobile data but still want to use the phone for offline navigation.

And does anybody recall what is the “extra degoogleing” they did, compared to Lineage OS? I think that I read sth. along those lines but I am not sure. I am still contemplating whether to switch to LOS, b/c I do not appreciate the unremovable Apps and their weird move to make notifications disappear from the (ha!) notification bar.

Yes, feel free to create your backup and install documentation as a new topic in the Guides category. I can make it a wiki then.

OK, will do :slight_smile:

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Installation guide done – might still benefit from some polishing:)

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No, I didn’t. When I go to the settings of the weather widget there’s “OpenWeatherMap” as source configured (maybe I did this some time and ago and this makes the difference?).

Yes, it’s still announced for mid of November as I mentioned last time (and the update came earlier). But sad that it is not there yet.

/e/ is e.g. not using the google servers to check a hotspot configuration (reachability of “internet”). But the main focus of /e/ is not to squeeze out the last bit of google code from LineageOS but to offer a privacy friendly OS to non-tech-savvy people.

Thanks for the guide!

Which launcher do you use? Bliss is not easy to tame. In my launcher, I just hid the /e/ store app.
But you can uninstall the /e/ apps with adb:
adb shell pm uninstall -k --user 0 foundation.e.apps (I think it’s this command). You can find all of them in the /e/ forum.

Hope this helps!

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yes, bliss. I actually like the launcher (yes, obviously iOS-“inspired” and VERY restrictive with the layout options) but this is regardless of the default apps, right? just hiding the store would not help against potential “conflicts” between their app store and F-Droid (thinking about updates)?

Thanks for the link to the /e/ forum. I am contemplating whether to stick with /e/ and work around their restrictions (using such “drastic” measures) or switch to LOS after all. That is also why I asked about the “further degoogleing” of /e/.

You can just deny internet access for “apps” if you’re concerned here.

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I don’t have any conflicts — but the /e/ store has no internet access on my phone (thanks AFWall!)
And I think on the /e/ forum you can find more information about the degoogeling.

Cheers!

AFWall is good. But not really needed in this case. You can just remove internet permission in the app settings of any app.

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Just to mention: to simply disable network access, you can do it in App info→Mobile Data and Wifi→Disable network access. No need for AFWall for simple network disabling (of course I understand if AFWall suits your needs better).

Edit: @Volker was a minute faster :wink:

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Hi Volker, sorry to reply so late, I waited to travel more to see how the DB Streckenagent works. The “Ing banking to go” app works fine in Lineage_MicroG as well, now that I lost my reservations in using Aurora store. I can see how busy you are replying and helping everywhere in this forum - THANK YOU! The same can be said for AnotherElk, I will mention it to him separately.

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