Fairphone Open OS roadmap discussion

No, no, no. MicroG doesn’t recreate anything googly like openGapps. They create fully FLOSS apps & services that don’t need Google at all. They just name some of the packages the same as the Google packages so they can easily implement them into Android.

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The goal for the security fixes is to align the different release as much as possible. This allows us to perform less build specific testing and align the feature set.


Hello all! My first post on this forum.

I would like to be able to do the following easily (in that order):

  1. Install FOSSOS (yay! open source :heart_eyes:)
  2. Root it so that I can make myself at home (installing classical unix utilities, firewalls, etc)
  3. Install a minimal openGAPPS in my -now- controlled environment where I know that Google services and any other apps from the playstore won’t reach the internet without my consent and only for specific domains. (+ thanks to root, have the hability to spoof all data that is being fed to them [/trollface]).
  4. Having security fixes as soon as available on AOSP

Then i will finally enjoy a device I own at 100% from both hardware and software point of view :relieved:

I did steps 1 and 2, but the recovery don’t let me install pico openGAPPS because of signature verification it seems ("/tmp/update_binary (no such file or directory)", error status 255) on both adb sideload and from SD card. I don’t know how to circumvent this, and there is not yet a functional TRWP for the FP2. But i’m not in a ruch to use the FP2 as main phone so I can keep on fiddling/waiting.


It looks like that will all be possible. Except:

Since google code is closed you can never be 100% sure that they don’t have ways to even circumvent restrictions made by root-apps.

So are you going to use the “Android Patchday” known as Android Security Level AFAIK to fix security issues in a monthly cycle? I’d also love to see some progress in merging or reviewing community pulls, as there are quite a few, see https://code.fairphone.com/gerrit/#/q/status:open. What is your plan here?

I definitely vote for F-Droid as a preinstalled app store (perhaps even preinstalled as system app to make updates more smooth via the privileged extension).

What about new features or Android version update plans for the open source version? Do the plans differ compared to the Google-version of your OS?


Thanks for this effort. But please make it more clear, that we are not talking about anything 100% open source or FLOSS here since all the firmware blobs are part of the release as well. It is just “more” open source, in the same sense like Fairphone is more fair but does not meet important criteria of the FSF or other organizations striving for things which are really open. Users do NOT gain full ownership of the device, they just gain more ownership - so please don’t use the term “full” here as it’s really misleading (what can also be seen from some posts in this thread btw).

I doubt it’s legally okay to include opengapps, and I don’t see much sense in preinstalling it - people who want the google apps can stick with the regular FairphoneOS. Or what’s the point in using FP-OSOS apart from getting root? Same for “microG” - I assume that using it violates some Google terms of service.

Talking about features, one thing I would like to have changed by default is the DNS, so all requests sent from the FP2 would not go through Google’s DNS servers. Another feature I would like (also for the regular release) is a prompt for split passphrases for protecting the encryption key and the lockscreen without the need for additional apps here.

We should keep in mind though that the more FP-OSOS diverts from stock Android, the more difficult it will be come to upgrade to future Android versions later as all these customizings will need to be ported as well. Therefore, I opt for keeping the system as close to AOSP as possible, with only the bare minimum of really important changes being made. This would greatly enhance the ability to provide security updates in a timely manner.

And talking about being open - this has been discussed in other places on the forum already - some people of the community would love the software development processes to be more open with things like easily accessible commit log (like cmxlog for OmniROM / Cyanogenmod) or an open issue tracker (even just with read acceess would be a huge benefit, as the community could see what issues are currently being worked on).



It would be misleading if they said “we will” and not “we want to”. There is nothing wrong about the sentence imo.

Why would Google TOS apply for a Google free OS?

Imo there definitely is. If you say you help someone to gain full ownership to me it means that if the person accepts the help offer, you will be able to provide the person instructions or whatever to gain full ownership. But at the moment you can’t! So imo it’s not fair to talk about full ownership, you can only talk about more ownership.

Since I believe that we are not lawyers, it makes no sense to discuss such aspects to me. I don’t think Fairphone is in need of this kind of big marketing claims with small hidden footnotes. The point is that any statements which are prone to be interpreted wrong should be avoided.

They don’t. But if you access Google services through any APIs which are not public and meant to be accessed only by using proprietary Google software, I assume you are violating these terms. I’m too lazy though to read through them and looking for proof there - it’s just an assumption.

Yes, keep it minimal to allow for frequent security related updates. But maybe there is merrit in adding a widget or something to point to a carefully curated list of “must have” apps from F-Droid (e.g. K9, DavDroid, …)?


As war as I know


I see, that was my misunderstanding of how microG works then. Thanks for point this out.

I disagree. I think we should not pre-install applications which can be easily installed afterwards.

  1. The users want to get rid of Google. I don’t think they want other “bloatware” pre-installed.
  2. What if the user wants another browser/e-mail client/media player than the pre-installed?
  3. What if the user doesn’t want to read e-mails/play music on his/her Fairphone 2 at all?
  4. Pre-installing a browser/e-mail client/media player remind me of Microsoft who bundles Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player with Windows. Chances of other browsers/media players were severely reduced by the bundling.

Maybe a wizard like Microsoft’s Browser Choice Window could be considerable: The wizard offers different browsers/e-mail clients/media players/… for installation, maybe also with a recommendation for one of it.


Is it possible for an OS to pre-install user apps (so not as system apps)?
If so than I think there should be apps preinstalled for every basic function, but I agree: As little System Apps as possible. (F-Droid, microg, keyboard)


I have to totally agree with you. In my Opinion Security Updates are most Important.

That would be a great Solution, but I think it would be too complex to create this and port it to newer Android Versions.

It would be good for unexperienced Users to have pre installed Apps for E-Mail, Music etc. but maybe casual Users are not the the targeted Audience? Most People who want to use Fairphone OSOS would be more experienced Users, so maybe the only pre installed App should be F-Droid? But some other Changes and Additions could be done.

But IF more Apps get pre installed, they should be easy to uninstall.

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That’s why I made the distinction between user apps and system apps.

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And I just wanted to agree with you.


I agree with you guys as well. I think it would be a good thing to have a set of user apps installed, that can be used easily and cover most basic functions (people will be disappointed if they cant even play music with their new flashy smartphone…). But they should also be uninstallable easily for those users that like to replace them with other apps.

I dont know your exact definition of “functional” but for me the TWRP works perfectly fine :slight_smile:

Hi there

great, but who’s working in the release of the release ? Joking, but when grosso mode is that due to be released? Thanks


@Bru the MR2 release (the first major release since the release of the phone) has been long due and we would have liked to release that version much earlier. We are plan to start release candidate testing next week for the GMS builds(waiting CTS and GTS test results). The result of those tests will influence when we release the GMS and Fairphone OSOS release. Some code changes related to root have not yet made it to the code.fairphone.com

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We have been playing with the idea to indeed offer a suggested apps functionality (you can find some traces here at the end of the document).

There where still a few problems and questions we needed to answer before we where able to release such an app I will name a few here:
-We would like to also be able to add Paying (but fair) apps but don’t know how to do this yet. In the era of the cloud you can not purely rely on you phone for you privacy but also need the infrastructure to be present in a sustainable ($$$) way
-Some apps we consider fundamental have in recent Android releases been replaced by Google proprietary apps (The camera app for example) and other apps that remain on the system (like the mail app) are basically abandoned and alternatives like k9-mail are way better. The problem here is how to not push apps to the users (e.g. how to offer them as proper alternatives while living without them is also not a great thing to do.).
-We need the community to be involved as it is very hard as company to say “Firefox” is what you need/want (your input here)…

We made a list (also based on the content of the forum) with needed apps and their “good” alternatives. Sometimes we considered that there was no app nice/good enough as a replacement. I those cases we wonder how Fairphone can help improving the usability of those apps in such a way that we don’t need to spend to much time on this:P