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

Please continue to work on the new release. There is one app I need which requires Android 4.4. I don’t care about Bluetooth so much.
I love my Fairphone and I want to use it some more years, pleae.
Best regards and have a wonderful Christmas time!
Wolfgang
from Germany

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Yes, it does. Unfortunately there can always be instabilities (in terms of the connection), but it’s worth a try.

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So … will it be before Christmas?

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That probably depends what you mean by “speed up”… I don’t expect my FP1 to work like in the very beginning after the update. But right now each app I’m using crashes several times a day, and the screen regularly stops responding for several seconds. That’s what I’m expecting the update to fix, and this, in a way, speeds up the phone…

Lee, do you still have both the “internal storage” and the “phone storage”? If so, I strongly recommend to upgrade to a unified partition (“storage upgrade”). You might need to do a hard reset if your FP1 is too crammed for the storage upgrade. Find the appropriate instructions for the storage upgrade here. Before everything else, you should backup your data.

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Christmas has come, but no update for my beloveds FP1. This means to say goodbeye, because my new gadgets come with apps that need a newer Android version. I used it 3 years now and only bought a new battery after two years. I really would love to continue using it, but if newer apps I have to use don’t even run I have no choice. :cry:

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As I’ve already written there’s another option.

Yes, I’m not happy with Fairphone missing almost all their deadlines. But that’s no reason to throw a working phone away.

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The choice to buy a Fairphone cannot only be based on owning a phone for a short while and then getting rid of it when my “new gadgets” and “apps” don’t work anymore. While, we could wish that the Fairphone is updated beyond its original OS so that it is truly long lasting, the real position should be to not “need” new gadgets and new apps.

If I believe in ending child labour, conflicts in places that are caught up in the supply chain, and better labour conditions, then the choice would be to insist that gadget makers and app makers support devises such as Fairphone. That is true sustainability, and true support for a better world.

We can’t have and eat the cake at the same time.

Having said that, Fairphone should come clean with the current product (Fairphne 2), and prominently state on their front page that the devise may not be upgradable beyond Android 5.1. Otherwise it is misleading to buyers.

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Hi there,

first I want to appreciate the efforts the FP-team makes, to bring up a software update for the FP1.
But isn’t there any awareness of the battery drops seems to be an older issue, since me and other users experience this problem since the update to 1.8 (e.g. here: https://forum.fairphone.com/t/battery-lifetime-decreased-since-update-v1-8/).
So I wonder, how the internal communications works and I also wonder, why the communication to customers is also not the greatest (i.e. I found this forum entry by chance while the official information was announcing an software update in the last quarter of 2016 only one week before this one started - already very unrealistic, right?).
Already in June 2015 I reported such behaviour to the support and also that charging was a problem from time to time (like here: https://forum.fairphone.com/t/charging-does-not-work-properly/) and unfortunately the support did not learn from the users experiences: otherwise they have shipped me a new battery - because my one bloated finally a month ago. Might it be that one of the first signs for a faulty battery might be the charging issue (which I would express more abstractly that charging with 1 A was not possible, whereas a lower current, i.e. 800 mA, was still accepted by the battery). It’s a pity, that I had to pay the price (at least that of a battery) that the support did not put such information together and I did not have the time to find the right forum entries…
So it seems to me that intransparency seems to be growing with the growing size of the community/corporation - would be worth to investigate this from the standpoint of sociology, psychology and economy… :wink:
Anyway: Merry Christmas!

Tobias :slight_smile:

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Dear Fairphone Team
As a original crowdfunding supporter and first generation Fairphone owner I have to tell you that I’m very disappointed in you.
The only possible explanation that you’re not providing a Kitkat update after all these months is that you simply don’t care. It has become very obvious that you simply want all of us to get a new Fairphone 2. This completely contradicts the idea of the original Fairphone campaign and you are aware of that. This also explains the total lack of transparency regarding this issue.
I really need a phone with an up do date operating system as more and more apps don’t support my outdated Android version anymore.
I was really convinced that you would behave different from other companies but you proved me wrong. You don’t seem to care about the sustainable use of old phones and even less about transparent open communication.
This is why you’re about to lose a customer, fan and supporter…

They should rather put an information there stating what they have already said a month ago:

I understand your frustration about the lack of official communications for FP1(U)-owners. There hasn’t been another newsletter about the release of Android 4.4.4 Kitkat for FP1 and if I wouldn’t be a moderator / beta tester I probably wouldn’t know myself about the difficulties. A friend keeps asking me when the update will be ready, as he never goes to this forum.

I’ve been running the alpha version of the Kitkat update and the third iteration (“pre3”, released on 23.11.2016), still has the same bugs as outlined above:

If you need Android Kitkat badly for your apps / gadgets to work, you should consider joining the test group:

Other than the issues I quoted above it is very stable.

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A Marshmallow version for the Fairphone 2 is already in the works and announced.

There is another reason: They want to make sure that the upgrade is actually stable. It doesn’t make much sense to release an upgrade which makes problems at the users.

I think Fairphone should make available the upgrade optionally - at the user’s risk and with a list of known and unfixed issues. Some users maybe want to use their new gadgets and apps, even if they encounter some other little problems.

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Well I don’t think they promote this option outside the Forum, but it does exist:

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@mcr, @jodahe I don’t think you are being fair (no pun intended). The issues you mention are real and we all feel that the android ecosystem is failing on the OS update department. However, Fairphone is actually trying to do something about it! Being critical is of course allowed, but it is important this remains fair, constructive, and is based on facts. Can you name me one other manufacturer that is actively supporting a phone that has its last unit ordered almost two a years ago (February 2015)? You should also realize that Fairphone is just but the last link in the very long and interdependent chain of sub-suppliers. With much smaller production runs than other manufactures, Fairphone’s leverage with those sub-suppliers is limited. Note that drivers for the smart phone chipsets are anything but open source, and chip manufacturers don’t care at all at supporting their older platforms with the necessary driver updates. The fact that Fairphone is being able to still support the FP1 is already an anomaly within the Android market. However, it is doing that alone (without the support of the chipset manufacturers and those who wrote the drivers in the first place), and you can simply not expect of Fairphone to single handed fix all the Android OS update problems for just a few devices in the blink of an eye. These things take time and as a Fairphone owning family (we have the FP1U and FP2) I fully understand and respect the time it takes for Fairphone developers to release stable, well tested, and solid OS updates.

Regarding transparency, sure, maybe Fairphone could improve its communication. However, nothing here comes as a surprise to me. All I see is a brave and principled manufacturer who is actually trying to improve the smartphone business single handed and one step at the time. Considering the following resources you simply can not claim that crucial information is missing because it simply isn’t:



And of course this forum thread is the living proof that Fairphone is aware of the understandable frustrations of its customers due to the slow update process.

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You are missing an important point; one that has swayed me to buy another phone: Security. A phone is not just a gadget, it is an important and powerful tool for most peoples private and professional lives. In this context, it is important to remember that the power must be handled responsibly. While I’ll agree that most of the updates we see to computers’ (including phones) operating systems are a vessel for the “March Of The Gadgets”, they do regularly include security updates decreasing the likelyhood of hacking. Also, there is no shortage of media coverage of actual hacking taking place, including many incidents which could have been prevented if users had updated their software. As such, the longer you wait to update your apps and o/s, the greater risk you expose yourself to. Until you actually discover that you have been hacked, it will be a matter of gut feeling: My gut has told me that the time has come, and I “need” those security updates.

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Yes, I’m with you.
Security updates are very important.

But luckily, KitKat is still receiving all of them.

But - as I’ve already written - this is just a short-term solution.

In the long run, we are going to need Lollipop (or even better: Marshmallow) to keep up with security fixes.

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It looks like fairphone is nothing better than Samsung and equal companies. Strategy is: to sell every 2 years a new telephone. Fair means for them only a sales feature but not reality. We have to buy it all 2 years new so no resources are saved. The got the big Prices for the fairphone 2 but in two years we have to buy fairphone 3 because the OS isn´t compatible to the actual Apps. But be sure there is nobody in Company fairphone who reads the post, they are only interested in publicity for fairphone 2. THAT IS NOT FAIR!

While I agree that neither the FP1 nor the FP2 are a phone that I would consider fair, the FP1 was the most fair phone available in the at the time I bought it (which was more than three years ago). And the FP2 is a big leap forward with its modular design.

I have too admit that I felt a bit betrayed, too, when they announced the FP2 only a year later. And it wasn’t really a help that this forum went crazy after the release. I still haven’t read most of the posts from this time.

But from the distance of another two (?) years, I begin to understand what they are doing and why. At least, I hope so.

While I would certainly say that Fairphone failed in comparison to my (too high?) hopes and expectations, they did great things - more than I have learned about any other manufacturer. This is a start - and I hope they can do better.

(@anon90052001 if you are reading this:
Hire more people to work on the software!)

In the end, I’m glad to own one of the first Fairphones ever made. But at the current price (and specifications - that phone is almost two years old!) I wouldn’t buy a FP2. (And my FP1 is still working.)

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Hi there,

Is there a place where we can follow the progression of update to 4.4, please ?
it’s not to play PokemonGo (I really don’t care…) but to use a bank app (N26)…

Thank you very much for keeping us informed as soon as you can :wink:

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An overview would be great, but I don’t know an up-to-date one.

If you don’t want to wait, you could either apply as tester or use the unofficial one.

Regarding N26 - well, you may want to watch this talk.

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