I am Franz-Xaver Geiger and I’m a developer at Fairphone. My main project is getting Android 4.4 to the Fairphone 1.
Thursday 13 october you can Ask Me Anything
Here is a little background about me in order to get us started:
Longevity is at the core of Fairphone’s mission and I hope my work on Fairphone 1 will help increasing lifetime and value of the phone.
Fairphone’s idea and mission has intrigued me since the day I first heard of it some time when the organisation was still in its infancy. Working towards a fairer world is deeply ingrained in this company and I am delighted to get the opportunity to contribute.
My background is in Computer Science and Political Science which lets me appreciate both the societal and ethical aspects of Fairphone’s goal, as well as the technical side of the operation.
I will answer any questions you have to the best of my possibilities and with the help from @Douwe who will be helping me to keep the discussion organized.
Some basic guidelines to manage expectations:
- This is live, so it might take some time for us to read your question and come back.
- Discourse auto-refreshes the screen, so no need for reloading yourself.
- Allow room for others and only ask a second question if you feel others have had their turn as well.
- If you see someone else asked the same question: upvote it by clicking on the little heart!
- The stuff I know most about is about the Fairphone 1 and how to port Android 4.4 to it.
- But you can also ask about my personal life, sports and how I like my sushi.
Looking forward to do the second Fairphone AMA!
This topic is now open to receive your questions.
Nice to have you here answering questions!
I confess to using my FP1U mostly for listening to music (and, to a lesser extent, for timing my tooth-brushing ). I’m also a bit obsessed with maximizing my battery cycles (whenever I need to charge a second time in a week count me devastated! ;)). So I am curious if you can tell a bit about any performance improvements Android 4.4 KitKat delivers in general, but especially with regard to the default MUSIC app and with regard to energy-efficiency.
Hi - I’m wondering whether there is yet a predicted date for the launch of a 4.4 update. Thanks for any info.
Hi Franz-Xaver and Douwe, with the KitKat based OS, will I still need XPosed and GravityBox? I think i installed those once for gps related reasons. Would like to keep XPrivacy though. Can I use Titanium Backup for all my apps in the upgrading process or will I have to install everythin anew?
Wow, one week of battery life is quite exceptional already.
Android KitKat does bring a low-power feature for audio playback (search for “Even more features” in this overview). This might help squeezing out a little more battery life in your particular use case. However, I doubt that you can get any noticeable improvement on top of one week of battery life.
Thanks, I’m looking forward to trying it out!
P. S.: Exhibits A (2015) and B (2016)
Hey @nomisye, the short answer is no. Last time we announced September. Obviously we failed to deliver on that and are very sorry about it. This time we do not want to give promises we might not be able to fulfill.
Currently we are in the process of testing our new operating system. During these tests some problems showed up that we definitely want to iron out before releasing anything to all our beloved Fairphone 1 users. Next to some smaller issues, the two major issues are that Bluetooth does not work reliably with all devices and that battery level is dropping unexpectedly.
This essentially means that we would worsen the user experience on Fairphone 1 devices. I hope all of us agree that we should first figure those out and release afterwards.
We do make continuous progress and do not want to let anyone stand in the dark. That is, why after the AMA, we will make a FAQ to be posted on the forum and will extend and update this FAQ with new information as it comes out.
Anyone who desperately wants to have KitKat running on their Fairphone 1, can join our group of testers.
Hi Franz, I read there have been issues with Bluetooth when using the cyogenmod with 4.4 are there any issues you are running into that point towards compatibility issues with andriod wear or just bluetooth headphones?
Also, thank you for working on this update! Do you have a personal goal/expectation on when you think you’ll be done with 4.4?
Hi Franz-Xaver, we know that Fairhphone tries to be fair to the Chinese workers, reading payment, working hours etc. How fair is Fairphone to it’s own workers in the headoffice?
The group of testers is closed, so we cannot join
Whether you need to install XPosed depends on how much you want to customize the software on your Fairphone. You already mention different reasons to install it; XPosed is a great framework that offers - next to XPrivacy and GPS improvements - many ways to customize Android.
The Android we release will definitely be good enough for daily use, but we won’t be able to integrate all the features that XPosed offers. To the contrary: We rather want to stick to the standard features that come with Android, because those are most useful for all our users. For people that do want to extend functionality or alter the user interface, we enable root by default. I think this brings the best experience to all our users: A solid and stable base for everyone and the possibility to build on top of that for those who want more.
As already mentioned, the phone will be rooted by default. That also enables Titanium Backup. I don’t see a reason why you would need to reinstall all your apps manually
Whenever someone asks ‘How Fair is the Fairphone?’, we normally reply with ‘What do you think is Fair?’. So, my initial response here would to do almost the same… What do you think is fair?
But I won’t be so boring, and just say that Fairphone employees are rewarded for their work according to Dutch law; which means proper payment, enough holidays, normal working hours etc. etc. Next to that we offer Dutch classes, Bootcamp and Yoga sessions and have fairtrade and organic food and drinks at the office. There is a team of three people constantly looking out for the welfare of the workers (the People Team) and they have regular interviews and talks with everyone to know how they are doing. They also organise outings, borrels and sometimes parties (like for Christmas.).
Overall I am very happy to work here and feel well looked after. But maybe you have more in mind when you asked this question?
do you plan to forward port 4.4 to the FP2?
This is because there are many functions of 4.4 that I really miss on my FP2
Thank you in advance, bye!
I do not know about the bluetooth issues with Cyanogenmod. But I can tell you about the issues our testers and we encountered with the current alpha releases.
Connecting to all kind of devices (headphones, fitness trackers, etc) works. Unfortunately, the connection is not stable though. Sometimes it is dropped and FP1 does not reliably reconnect to the bluetooth device.
We do not have tested Android Wear specifically. Do you own an Android watch and would like to help us testing it? If so, please register for testing and mention Android Wear.
My personal goal was July
Since we failed to deliver during September, my personal goal is to fix stuff as fast as possible and release as soon as possible. But believe me, I don’t want to work on it until I retire but rather finish this project before
Really? I don’t see that here (anymore)
What good to hear. When I visit Fairphone I felt very welcome and found the office inspiring.
the first two lines, i quote: "No more testers needed
Due to overwhelming response we now have enough testers and it is no longer possible to apply."
ahum I just removed the (closed) tags and that sentence . Thank you for notifying me
I actually bought a moto 360 (1) few weeks back. I’d love to help you guys out!
about the Bluetooth problems I want to ask if you are working on the problem with the GPS Tom Tom GO. To give the real time traffic situation the Tom Tom connect via Tethering Bluethoot to the phone and download the data’s. At the beginning my tom tom GO 500 (2 years old) cannont connect with the Fariphone’s bluetooth, with Kola Nut the connection is stable but is still impossible for the Tom Tom Go to download the data’s. When I try to do that the fariphone is still asking everytime to allow Tom Tom to access to the Access Points.
For work I drive a lot and I use very often the Tom Tom real time traffic to avoid the traffic jam and road problems, please evaluate to work also on this problem.