I'm consdering a phone but

I am excited about the thought of a privacy phone, but concerned that some of my apps wont work as I rely extensively on my phone.

The apps are

  • Nationwide banking


-Starling bank




There are other minor ones such as Ryanair but the main ones are above. Can anyone adive is they will work?

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Well, first of all, Fairphone is NOT a privacy phone by default. You can make it a privacy phone by installing a custom ROM with respective privacy features, but you can do that with nearly every other phone as well. And second - WhatsApp and privacy? You’re kidding, aren’t you?


I didnt say WhatsApp was private, I said I use it extensively…
To install a ROM requires jailbreaking the device and potentially bricking it - hence my interest.

If you dont have an aswer thats fine, but log on to troll, really…

Sorry if I took you wrong, but my understanding of your question was, that you want to use Fairphone as a privacy phone. So my post was intended as an answer to this. And yes, I really think that using WhatsApp on a privacy phone isn’t a good idea. Trolling wasn’t ever my intention.


Unfortunately because of my work and travel and have few other options other than to use WhatsApp as it is the ‘go to’ for many.
That aside, the comms are more secure than 95% of the market, but I believe it tracks you on an ongoing basis and the backup isnt encrypted leaving the entire contents machine readable.
This is a dumb Q, but are there any other phones you know of that allow ‘semi-normal’ functionality and offer an escape from the Google ecosystem?

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I checked your list with Aurora Store, an alternative Play Store Client which tells right away whether Apps are dependent on Google services to work.

You didn’t say which authenticator exactly, and I didn’t see the Nationwide App (might be region-specific), but banking Apps don’t like to run without Google services as a rule of thumb.

Minding this disclaimer, everything you list is dependent on Google services to work.

If these Apps would be a nice to have for you, Fairphone have a partnership with the e foundation, which brings their /e/ OS to the table. It’s focussed on getting Google stuff off the phone, while still being Android and providing an Open Source component mimicking Google Services to let many Google-dependent Apps work, but there’s no guarantee for 100% of the time or at all.

If you really rely on Google-dependent Apps to work 100% you might want to look into a Custom ROM like LineageOS in connection with Google services installers like Open GApps (letting you limit the amount of Google services and Apps on the phone at least), and Google’s device registration for the use of Google Apps and services on non-certified Android OSes (to not endanger your Google account with violating TOS) … https://www.google.com/android/uncertified/


Fantastic - thank you very much for your help!

The ones above are key to my work (I think I might be able to change WhatsApp for open source - will need to check), especially the banking apps as I rarely use online services when not working (I live behind a laptop so try to avoid it when not working).
Google - yuk! Hence why I’m looking for other options

I’ll look into Lineage OS, although I suspect it may be a little immature yet. It is so difficulkt for new players to get into the market and the big boys have every turn blocked so if I can find a way to support them I will!

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A “privacy phone” and using WhatsApp is a contradiction in itself.

Best wishes,


yeah I know but sometimes…

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The Fairphone 3 ships with Google Play Services and Android 10 so all these apps should work just fine. It is just a regular Google-approved Android OS, after all.

There is the custom ROM /e/OS which instead uses microG, which is an Open Source partial reimplementation of Google Play Services. I assume you are talking about this because you are talking about a privacy phone and worried some apps won’t work. Fairphone supports installing different OSses and isn’t locked up to prevent that so there’s no jailbreaking involved: https://doc.e.foundation/devices/FP3/

On /e/OS, I can confirm WhatsApp works fine. The rest I haven’t tried. I do think however you would be better off asking about this on the /e/OS forum if you want to use /e/OS.

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I use the app Shelter on my phone to keep the app whatsapp away from the rest of the phone, as I can’t persuade the family to go to Signal.
Downloading through the Aurora Store, Shelter or through F-Droid.


Good idea – unless you need the work profile for work.

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I think I understand your intention. You want get away from the big players and so of course google. My advice to you would be to go with https://e.foundation/ for the start, if it can cover your needs. And then you should also read more about security, privacy… I can see a lack of knowledge, what isn’t something bad!

I can understand the others getting excited about whatsapp + privacy but it is really bad to just offend someone who may really don’t know that much. No one is born as techi.

For messaging I recommend you

Good luck and success :slight_smile:


It doesn’t …

The Apps which are key to @tosh124’s work might even work on /e/ at first, but due to the genuine Google services replaced with microG they might also fail to work at any given time due to changes in Google services.
And all /e/ can do about this then is shrugging their shoulders and update microG, how ever long this might take then.

This is no mere theory or fear-mongering, I’ve seen Google-dependent Apps fail for a while because of microG having to catch up with changes on Google’s side. Websites might be a workaround then, but not every App has a corresponding website usable on a smartphone, especially when it comes to banking.


Thanks very much for your help folks.

I have gone with /e/ and spent yesterday rooting an s7 edge and I’m now trying to load it - keeps failing with error 7, which is seemingly something to do with an ‘Asserts’ statement.
I have removed it and TWRP doesnt like the the recreated zip file…

In summary I am dipping my toe into the water to see if I can use the OS on a day-to-day basis, it may be 100% and whilst I can compromise in some areas there are others I cannot - so the proof of the pudding is in the eating - well it is if I get the OS loaded :smiley:


Well, I wish you the best of luck then, and may Google long refrain from breaking microG functions important for your work stuff :wink: .

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Thanks very much :slight_smile:

If it does so be it - I’ll use the phone as a second device - if I get lucky and the compromise isnt too great I’ll use it for my daily, either way its a win-win at the moment.

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Are we talking about this app (which is simply called ‘Authenticator’ when installed) or a different Authenticator?

There are multiple TOTP apps available on F-Droid which should work as a replacement for this app.


Thanks Albert I found those :slight_smile:

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