Just ordered a Fairphone 4 in the UK, preparing to de-Google

After my nearly-7-year-old Fairphone 2 has decided it doesn’t want anyone to hear me speak when I phone out or they phone in (and no, it’s not due to accidentally pressing mute with my ear on the screen, and taking out the bottom module, cleaning the contacts and microphone made no difference), I’ve ordered a Fairphone 4 from Your Co-op.

I successfully de-Googled my old Fairphone 2 (A non-techie person's mostly successful move to Fairphone Open OS (but can't get a couple of apps to install)). I would like to get my new Fairphone 4 Google-free from the outset if possible, but don’t know if it’s trickier to do so with the newer phone. (Yes I know in theory I could have bought a pre-de-Googled phone from Murena).

Phone Co-op’s website refers to the phone having Android 11 (Fairphone 4 | 128GB Handset Only | Your Co-op mobile)

How easy is it for a techno-numptie like me to instal e/OS from the get-go? Info about Fairphone FP4 - FP4

Any top tips?

Have a look at the website of Murena at the list for devices.
There you can find documentation for the Fairphone 4.
If you have questions about the installation you can ask here of at easy-installation section of Murena.
Just remember to tag your post with FP4.

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I recently got me a FP4 and installed CalyxOS on it. It’s a complete no-brainer: just follow the helpful step-by-step instructions from Calyx. An idiot could do it. I know, I did.

Thanks O.o for the reference to Calyx. I will give it a go.

First problem is getting the back off the new phone, to see if the SIM is in and remove it. Not as easy as on my old Fairphone 2. Yes, I know there’s a diagram in the leaflet in the box but it seems a little stiff.

Have a look at Ifixit for removing the back cover. There you can find detailed instructions.
I highly recommend the instructions on Ifixit.

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Thanks guys. I wouldn’t say installing Calyx was easy - I needed quite a lot of help from my techie spouse, but got there in the end. Now fighting Aurora Store “Oops. This account is rate limited” to try and get some apps installed.

I hope this information can help:

Google has been throttling anonymous logins and disabled search for anonymous sessions for quite some time now.

Here’s the workaround:

  • Install Open Link With from F-Droid.

  • Open the Aurora Store app, click on Anonymous

  • If the app says “Requesting new session” then silently fails, try clicking on Anonymous again (or exiting and restarting the app) repeatedly until the store opens.

  • If the app doesn’t look like it’s even trying to log in, stop the app and clear its cache.

  • If the curent stable version of Aurora Store stops being able to get an anonymous session completely no matter how hard you try, try to install the latest nightly build. It happens as Google breaks Aurora on purpose on a regular basis.

  • Once Aurora Store has a valid anonymous session open, go to the Google Play Store with your browser, find the app you need, open the app’s page.

  • Click once on the app’s logo on the left to get redirected to the shareable URL

  • Click on the hamburger menu > Share > Open Link With > Open with Aurora Store: that should take you to the app’s page in the Aurora Store, where you’ll finally find the install button.

Tested on Android 7, 8, 10 and 13.

It is a complete pain in the backside but it’s the only method I’ve found that works reliably to get around Google’s annoyances. That’s the sort of thing you have to do in 2023 to install software, sadly…

Beware that only Firefox-based browsers offer the “Open in app” option that allows this trick to work. IodéOS comes with Firefox: that’s why the instructions work for them.

The Chromium-based browser that comes in CalyxOS does not have that option: even if you enable Aurora to open Google Play Store links, there’s no way to transition back to Aurora from Chromium. You need the share and Open Link With trick with Chromium.

Of course, you can also install Firefox Mobile (or better. Mull) as an alternative browser in CalyxOS.

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