For a Better Camera on deGoogled Operating Systems

Hey everyone,

with Fairphone upgrading the feature set of its camera with every new phone, people using operating systems like /e/OS and CalyxOS are largely being left behind.

Features like full resolution (48MP) and likely also the new (virtual?) video stabilization are not available. The list goes on. That’s because the stock camera app cannot be implemented due to licensing problems. Devs from CalyxOS, for instance, have stated that they’d happily include it, but their hands are tied right now.

Relying on problematic software like this is a trend that will continue if we don’t give feedback. Let’s make our voices heard to ensure that Fairphone lives up to its ambitious goal: tech that does the maximum good it can, with minimum trade-offs.

You can send a support request and use the following text (or, better yet, write your own!).

Hi there,

I have some feedback that I was hoping could be forwarded to the teams responsible for camera and open source development:

Fairphone highlights free and open source software as part of their mission to provide a fair phone.

While Fairphone has obviously done some laudable work as a smartphone company in this area (working with the e foundation to launch the murena smartphone, giving projects like /e/OS and CalyxOS access to testing devices etc.), there’s some core parts missing in the experience.

One of those is that the full spectrum of camera features is only available on the stock OS. I’ve heard that the e foundation has already been in touch about this, but that there were difficulties with intellectual property in regards to the software implemented for the camera features.

I think choosing an operating system that heavily relies on free software shouldn’t make the experience worse. Fairphone is all about making tech that does the maximum good with a minimal trade-off in usability, so I believe this is in line with your mission.

The ideal solution in my eyes would be more transparency. For example, you could add a public missing features tracker to the code.fairphone.com site. It could be similar to the support article that tracks general defects with the phone (https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us/articles/9831446296849-Fairphone-4-Public-Issue-Tracker), with the difference being that it’d track feature sets not available to free software projects. This woud let the community know a) that Fairphone is aware of these imperfections and b) how progress is going (e.g. “we open sourced the camera stack”, or “we’re in negotiations with the IP holder to allow alternative operating systems to use it”).

Thanks for taking the time to read!

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Good idea!

Btw for forum formatting on your post, you can add > to the empty lines too, so your template appears as one citation instead of multiple.

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Glad you like it! And thanks for the suggestion :smiley:

Did you already get an answer of the Fairphone team?
I want to buy a fp5 but I want to use it with Iode OS, u dont want to buy it when I can’t use the official camera app with custom roms

Unfortunately not, the ideas have been “forwarded” :frowning:

Do share with your friends and send a request yourself if you haven’t already, every voice counts!

“We will make sure to forward these ideas internally. If this is something we would take into consideration for the future or if we would like to ask some more questions, someone from the relevant department will reach out to you.”

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I just switched to a Fairphone 5 with /e/os (I’ve been using this os for a while now). Having an official camera app would be a tremendous step up for alternative operating systems, this is a blocker for many users. Thanks for raising this to the team.

The Fairphone 4 has just received a “revolutionary” camera update, which makes the Fairphone feel like it has “a whole new camera”!

Unfortunately, there’s been no word on making this available to users of deGoogled Operating Systems like Lineage OS, /e/OS, iodeOS, CalyxOS, DivestOS, etc.

I know that there’s plenty of people using Fairphones not running stock Android. Let’s make our voices heard and, if you’ve already done so, share this in the respective community forums or your friends! Please take the time to send a short email to customer support as explained above.

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Have you seen this (the final link in the reply) – not official, but worth a try:

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Install fails :disappointed_relieved: (the package installer just crashes)

From other forum posts it appears that the package name of the Fairphone camera (com.fp.camera) is different to the camera app I have currently installed, so it doesn’t appear like something I can fix…

Even if I did get it to install, this thread shows that tinkering is required, requiring an adb command and a custom APK to preview images. I’m really hoping for an official fix on Fairphone’s side…

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ok, good to know. The only FP4 I have at hand here runs Fairphone OS, so I could not test the apk. – Well, I did try on two FP3s (one running Fairphone OS, the other /e/OS) and got an incompatibility message, but given the FP3 is indeed a different device, I took that as not so surprising …

I got the same experience as @jazzforlife :frowning:

I have no problem with running adb commands etc. to get this working, but I would definitely feel better about it if there were clear steps somewhere… :sweat_smile:

adb is a bit more verbose in its output:

adb: failed to install FPCamera.v7.00.04.0007.4.0.apk: Failure [INSTALL_FAILED_MISSING_SHARED_LIBRARY: Reconciliation failed...: Reconcile failed: Package com.fp.camera requires unavailable native shared library libtctcameraalgo_jni.tct.so; failing!]

Seems like they shipped a new library that’s obviously (probably) not in any of the custom ROMs yet. I’ll retest once Calyx pulls in the latest blobs. If that doesn’t fix it the other possibilty would be to create a Magisk module that bundles that library, but I’m moving away from Magisk so I’d like to avoid that.

I’m not sure what you mean, having a working camera app doesn’t depend on the package name. I have several camera apps installed that are all fully functional.

The adb command is a one-time thing and the workaround for Google Photos shouldn’t be required anymore since the latest FPCamera removed that requirement (tested on a FP4 running stock FPOS and the app now works just fine with Google Photos deactivated).

In case people don’t trust my upload (which is absolutely fair), the .apk can also be extracted from the latest factory images since those are already available.

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Has anyone ever tried to install the previous official FP camera app on a custom rom? Did this ever work? I’m curious, never thought of it.

I know that with pixels and grapheneOS you actually can install the official pixel cam app from the sandboxed play store, with all functionality. That’s pretty neat.

It would be great if Fairphone made their Apps available on F-Droid or at least the Play Store, so users of /e/ and other custom roms would have the possibility to get the Fairphone apps (via aurora). Right now, the only Fairphone app I can see is the “fairbuds” app.

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Guess the topic linked above will give some hints.

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The previous version mostly worked just fine with the workarounds mentioned before, but there weren’t a lot of reasons to use it since it was worse than most of the alternatives (especially GCam).
Now it might actually be usable, I kind of like the more muted / natural colors it produces.

You don’t even need real play services for that, the official GCam works on other ROMs (like CalyxOS) as well if you have a Pixel (and probably microG enabled).

If this really is just a question of missing proprietary blobs, that’d be awesome!

I just meant that the package names might conflict with each other, if they were called the same.

Here is a good tutorial how to extract fpcamera app and other things from original fp images.

I already brought the missing native library topic to the calyx matrix chat.
And it looks like they will include that library.
They already added TP29 to there repository, but I hope the library will be included before next release. I am eager to test the new camera app.
Or is there some other easy way to install the new camera app?

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Great to see @inubu you have informed CalyxOS and they already have updated their repo :ok_hand:

I am confused though, when this patch is incorporated in the next update of non-Google OS (such as CalyxOS), will it improve any camera app installed or is it targeting only the FP Camera app?

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Hello!

Thanks to the fairphone team for the update and their different philosophy.
But I haven’t understand how to get the update? I’m running /e/ on my FP4. Can I get the update too? And how?
Thanks for helping!

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Moved your post here, please read above

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