Future Android version for the Fairphone 1 / 1U

In response to van’s question: indeed, each person will probably have a different definition of “soon enough”. Personally, I would hope to see Fairphone updated to KitKat by January 2015 (which by the way is 14 months after the release of Android 4.4.0, and 6 months after the release of the current version 4.4.4) - although sooner is always better of course. If the update still isn’t forthcoming by that time, I think I will look for another device as a primary phone, unfortunately …

Not updating to a newer Android version starts to sound like planned obsolescence eh? :wink:

Anyway, I’m hopeful, considering the cyanogenmod breakthrough. Bluetooth doesn’t work with it yet but give it some time and they’ll figure that out as well.

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I don’t think they planned it, but other than that: let’s hope the Fairphone staff are quite aware of the bitter irony of this particular situation …

The CM breakthrough is very good news indeed (also because it shows that technically, it is perfectly possible). However, the fact that there may be a good alternative custom ROM at some point in the future does not absolve Fairphone itself from providing us with official Android updates for at least a few years. It’s great that we may have the option to install a different ROM, but we shouldn’t have to switch to an unsupported ROM just to have an already long-available current version of Android. Or at least not now: the unofficial ROM-route would be quite acceptable in 5 years time (but will any hobby developer still be interested in a 5-year old device then ??) but for the first 2-3 years Fairphone should provide official upgrades!

That is definitely true ! And I think that also if other people are now saying they are happy enough with this version at the moment, they will be disappointed in just an year… so even if won’t be possible have a pure android kit Kat, seems to be possible have the cyanogenmod 11! Fairphone should be willing to develop a cyanogenmod 11 without bugs for us, in this way they also will achieve their promise to let us choose which operating system using.

Most of you already said it much better than me. But I am going to say it anyway:

Keeping the operating system up to date most definitely prolongs the usefulness and viability of a smartphone. If the Fairphone does not receive an OS upgrade (or alternate firmware) within the next year or so it will be just as obsolete and disposable as all those other disposable phones being shat out by other manufacturers.

I say this having had first-hand experience. My first smartphone was a Motorola Milestone. I absolutely loved the design and feel of the phone but to be fair it was already considered dated by the time I bought it. I had a good first year with it, but as time progressed it kept getting slower and slower. Some apps outright refused to run on Android 2.1, others ran too slow to be of any use. After an agonizing few months of uncertainty (for a while it seemed that the Milestone would stay at 2.1) Motorola finally released the 2.2 firmware. The improvements were marginal however.

Skip ahead a few months and I was just about ready to ditch my phone for a new one. It was just too slow to be of any use with most apps not even supporting 2.2 anymore. A friend of mine insisted that I try Cyanogenmod and so I did. The result was nothing short of amazing. It now ran Android 2.3.7, this might not seem like much but kernel improvements made the phone much faster. Not being hampered by the shit the vendor put in helped as well. Using Cyanogenmod, I got another 2(!) years out of the phone before the touchscreen finally gave up.

Now I own a Fairphone, and to be honest I am a little disappointed. Android 4.2.2, no cyanogenmod, no Firefox OS. Perhaps I should have done my research, doubts were already raised about the alternate firmware issue back when I ordered. Perhaps I just hoped those issues would sort themselves out.

Those were my two cents. Does anyone have a link to an official roadmap for future firmware versions, or a reaction of the Fairphone crew? At the very least someone should have said something tangible about this stuff? Maybe I missed it.

Also relevant; major security issue in standard Android browser: http://tweakers.net/nieuws/98479/oudere-android-versies-zijn-vatbaar-voor-ernstige-privacybug.html (Dutch)



There has been some effort concerning cyanogen mod + android 4.4: Cyanogenmod 11 for Fairphone FP1(U) Install guide + experiences

I have downloaded it but not tried yet. Sounds very promising, we should support the developer financially!

Yes I read about that, very promising indeed. The thread mentioned some problems with the dual sim feature. Shame, since that is my favourite feature. I might try it in the future though!

That, however, does not take away the responsibility of the Fairphone crew to provide regualr updates and enable alternate firmware by providing the relevant software. If they truly want to make a phone that will last they musn’t stop at the hardware, that’s what I wanted to illustrate with my previous post.


i know the Fairphone Software team is not the “biggest” one.
When i bought my Fairphone I really hoped that they will communicate more.
More as 'its done when its done’
If they like to ship a update to 4.4 end this year they should have a update plan. New version - testing / programming the fairphone software - alpha - beta - update…

It would be nice to tell us more about this topic. So we can deside what we do.


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@Noxorius - unfortunately that’s an over simplification of the problem. To develop a 4.4 release the FP need the support of outside organisations such as the chipset manufacturer. At the moment this support is being given to large producers, and it’s more of an ‘if’ than a ‘when’ for FP getting support from Mediatek to implement a release.

This support article was updated last week to give a bit more info on the current outlook for a 4.4 release


The new version (CM 11 M10) carries some updates for multisim suppport (see changelog) maybe that will be able to provide full dualsim support for Fairphone. Any feedback on that would be great!

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bought a micro-sized Arduino Bluetooth Low Energy shield, but alas, its only compatible with Android 4.3+ (!!), :-/

So, i tested CM 11 M10 Multisim features with 2 sim cards. What I was able to test was: Data Connection with Sim Card 1, Calls and SMS with Sim Card 2. No flaws with that.


Cool! I might give it a try later this week. Don’t have a lot of spare time right now.

I would like to see an update to Android 4.3 or 4.4 since you can use app opts there.

In 4.2 there is no possibility to take away or grant rights of apps but I love the idea of controlling my apps.

I like to have an update to any version above 4.3 to have official support for Bluetooth 4.0 LE in the Android API. Any app for new bluetooth gadget will require an minimal Android version (4.3) and can’t be installed from Play Store.

From point of security I prefer to have the latest available Androind version.


My most important app is Nokia Here+ Maps. Actually I’m using an almost broken Nokia Symbian N8 with Nokia Maps. Till now Nokia Here+ Maps was only available for MS/WP and that is for me a nogo.

Nokia Here+ Maps has been released recently for Samsung Galaxy, but I would like to avoid Samsung because of all the bloatware.

Nokia Here+ Maps has been announced by the end of the year for other Android devices, but it should be Android 4.3 (or maybe 4.4 - can’t remember for now)

When Nokia Here+ Maps can be used on a Fairphone, that’s my next smartphone because it fits also my other pre-requisites (removeable battery, FM-radio, …)

So, I’m really hoping for a newer Android version on the Fairphone !

Nokia Here for Android is running on my Fairphone (Android 4.2 Jelly Bean).
It works verry good!

I downloaded the app on this site:

Surely it’s Android 4.2, isn’t it? :wink:

Yes, you are right :smile:
I meant Android 4.2.2

Thanks for that Android version confirmation.

However, In the meanwhile I’ve been reading about the many problems there are with the Fairphone GPS : GPS does not work , so I doubt if I should buy one :frowning: A pitty as it seems to have everything on board I need / want