Could someone confirm that the following configuration would work:
official Fairphone OS, newest update
no Google Account
blocked Google Services (as far as possible)
OTA-Updates for Fairphone OS
Most articles in this vein quickly discussed using /e/ or LineageOS. I am considering this option, but want an alternative that is fully supported by Fairphone.
FYI I have no google account, never had one so I just set the phone up without and if I want an app I look for the non google appstore options either from the service a tv or new s channel or Firefox or download from apkpure etc.
I initially installed /e/ on my new FP3, to get rid of the google-stuff (incl. the services in background, which are always communicating with “mother Alphabet”, even no Gapp is used… Then there was a developer decision at the /e/ team, not to support covid19 apps (for privacy reasons) what made me come back to FP OS with google services.
Since then I use FP OS without active google account. I deactivated ALL Gapps and installed f-droid and aurora store (which gives you access to ALL apps in the google play store). The last OTA from 07/12/2020 was applied without any problem.
I didn’t follow all the discussions on the /e/ forum about the Covid 19 apps. There were a few very vocal community members who were strictly against those apps and the accompanying API in /e/ which made the /e/ team take quite long in reaching a final decision, but the latest update v0.13 supports contact tracing by installing an additional system app to please both groups of people.
Well, the thing is, if you modify things on your phone this much, you probably won’t get any support from Fairphone anymore either. Seeing what you want I’d suggest just trying /e/ or Lineage and if you don’t like it switching back to the official Fairphone OS. While Fairphone of course can’t support /e/ or Lineage, your setup will be a lot more common and thus give you more changes of the communities being able to help out.
It may be that as long as you re-install the standard supplied Android then it is unreasonable for support to deal with any complaint as they could not replicate the issue without doing a full overwrite of the OS, which I imagine they would do if the phone had to be sent back to the factory, so the installation of a different OS doesn’t void the warranty but you won’t get standard support with a different one ~ makes sense.
The Play Store is not only there for you to install additional Apps, it manages pre-installed Google Apps and services on the phone, too. You don’t need a Google account for it to manage what’s already there.
The topic I linked to was started because it was observed that if you simply deactivated Google Apps to use alternative ones, the Google Apps would be reactivated automatically, hence the topic title. Then a way was established in which Google Apps could be deactivated permanently, so the topic became more of a degoogling topic later on, as you can see at the point which I linked to.
Warranty should not be affected, even if there are clauses vague enough to perhaps apply (e.g. “Usage of Product other than its normal and customary manner”), but I can’t see Fairphone risking bad press with such a move. Also, they have an official partnership with an alternative OS supplier (e foundation).
As long as you have Fairphone OS installed, you should be good.
And as long as you can reinstall Fairphone OS to get back into vendor-supported territory coming from an alternative OS, you should be good, too.
I suspect in the end, when there’s software trouble which can’t be remedied quickly with something they have in their knowledge base, support will bring up a factory reset or reinstalling the OS either way.
Have you found away to transfer your stored keys of the Exposure Notification to /e/? I am considering to switch back but I not willing to lose all my stored keys and then miss an important warning or lose ability to warn others.