Latest news [11-07-2017] and FAQ - Fairphone 1 KitKat 4.4.4 update

That depends on the app, of course.

And for most apps it would certainly be possible to maintain backwards compatibility with old Android versions.

But it is way more easy to e.g. only support the Material Design (so Lollipop and up) - you wouldn’t need to add a Holo design or use the Android Support Library.
The permission system on Marshmallow and up is another example where having to support a wide range of old versions makes apps way more complex than they need to be.

If I were to make an app, I would try to support KitKat to Nougat (simply because they are the currently supported versions).


Sadly yes, that’s true. I would say 4…4 (KitKat) is still relevant.


I don’t. I didn’t give away money to support a project, I paid for a product that I want to keep using (and which I chose according to my beliefs in fairness and sustainability).
If my money made developping FP2 possible, that’s fine by me as long as I have what I paid for : a long-lasting phone.
I don’t have the money to buy a new phone every 3 years, especially when FP2 is 200€ more than FP1, and even if I had, that is not what FairPhone advertised.


The sad truth is, that common smartphone are designed to last only about two years.

One the one hand, Fairphone promised a long lasting phone and they are struggling to do so.
On the other hand, the FP1 is already older than three years and is therefore actually over lasting common phones by 50% livespan and they still keep efford to update the software though. For the first generation of a product, made by people who didn’t had a clue in beforehand this is not nothing.


8 posts were split to a new topic: Fairphone 1 end of life options (newsletter)

A post was merged into an existing topic: Fairphone 1 end of life options (newsletter)

My question might be a bit off-topic, but here it is: I’ve read that an unofficial FP1 4.4 OS does already exist, and is working well, bluetooth included.

I have the feeling that there is some non-said thing going on here. It looks too good to be true, when we see the difficulties that Fairphone encounters in achieving the same result officially.

So where is the catch with this unofficial 4.4 OS? Is there some blurred licensing issue conveniently pushed under the carpet? Is there some magic non-opensource blob included, that Fairphone can not use? Or maybe some features from the original FP1 had to be disabled to achieve a stable OS? Some other thing?

Or is Fairphone just too perfectionist and insisting on shipping some new feature that is hell to get right?

Please do not take this as a critic against Fairphone. I know how hard they work to support the FP1, and how exceptional that is!


I think you are talking about the KitKat port by @chrmhoffmann?

It is indeed not possible for Fairphone to encourage that build because FP1’s software is not open source. @chrmhoffmann’s build is compiled from many different unofficial sources he found around the web.

Regarding your feature hypothesis: The reason that Fairphone hasn’t released a new alpha build for a while is simply that it doesn’t boot. :frowning:


It’s working about as well as Fairphone’s build. I don’t recall if bluetooth worked fine, though. It did have newer Android (4.4.4) with security updates up to May 2016.

Sure, as otherwise it would work worse than the last official Fairphone OS (1.8.7)!

Though my arrogant opinion is that these top 2 bugs are minor issues¹, and having Android 4.4.4 with latest security updates would outweigh them :relieved:

¹ well, at least battery level drops, as it’s just the algorithm showing battery level, not actual battery life.


That’s unfortunate, as it is quite the whole point! :wink:

I’m not so sure… Note the word “new” in “new feature”, in my message.

Wow! That’s big news. Such an important distinction should definitely be more public. While I understand how imperfect reporting can be unnerving to some users, some users won’t care; I wouldn’t.
There’s still the unreliable bluetooth, though…

According to my experience Bluetooth is unreliable and does work worse than it should.
But it is better than 1.8.7. I wouldn’t consider this a reason to halt the upgrade. (But solving it afterwards would be nice.)

I’m currently using the alpha. But if one thing were to prevent me from upgrading it would be the battery level bug.
Yes, the phone lasts as long as usual but you can’t trust the percentage. If I didn’t carry an external battery pack all day this would be a big issue for me.


The unofficial 4.4 OS is weird. Yes, it works.
But we don’t know where the parts came from. @chrmhoffmann is unlikely to have access to all of the source code.
This ROM is a normal Android 4.4.4 (with all bugfixes applied) and a combination of various binary blobs found on the internet.

I would say yes. (But I’m not a lawyer.)

But there’s another problem:
If you read @jftr’s posts you know that one of the big problems in porting Android to the FP1 is the Mediatek code intertwined with the normal Android code.
@chrmhoffmann doesn’t have access to this code.
So even though the security fixes have been applied to the Android code,
the Mediatek specific things are old (some even from older Android versions). We don’t know what bugs and holes are in them.

I don’t think so.

I would say yes. I would release the pre3 as-is to all customers and solve the remaining problems in future updates. But that’s just me. I’m glad not to have make this decision.

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As said above, at the moment there is no new build that even boots. You can however download the latest alpha here. It’s been made public for everyone a while back.

That doesn’t contradict what I said?

Thank you @YtvwlD for those explanations. You helped me decide that next bootable update, be it alpha, beta, or final (one can always hope), should make it to the FP1 at home :slight_smile:
The unofficial version, however, won’t ever do it for me.


I overread that you where talking about pre3. Still, Fairphone isn’t too perfectionist. At the moment @jftr is simply working on making 4.4.4 bootable. So there is no fancy new feature involved.

Also, pre3 is released to all customers, it is just not available through the FP updater.


Hello, in the opening of this thread I read about the two issues with 4.4.4. (Bluetooth does not work reliably with all the devices, and the battery level also keeps dropping unexpectedly.)

That’s really funny, I don’t need Android 4.4.4 Kit Kat for these issues. They´re accompanying me since 3 years. In the meantime, I’ve got the impression that’s quite normal.
My second impression also is a bit strange. I received a mail from Fairphone that says my Fairphone is almost at the end of its life cycle. After three years - that’s extremely fair! It contradicts the company philosophy. On the other hand the update for the FP1 lasts and lasts. It seems as if the first customers (the useful idiots) are forced to buy the FP2.

FYI, referring to your second impression:


Yes, and behind Mediatek Android code, there’s modem baseband firmware, which nobody has access to and probably contains security holes.

If you want to be safe, use :telephone_receiver: :cold_sweat:


A post was split to a new topic: FP1 crashes all the time