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New blog post: Looking for an open operating system at Mobile World Congress 2015

Hi guys!

Did you see this blog post:

What do you think about it?

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Well, this is a very complicated choice if Fairphone tends to stick with only one official OS.
Coming from various “alternative” experiences (OpenMoko, Maemo), I can see the most difficult part is to let average users (read it as “not nerds nor hackers”) to be comfortable with those ecosystems and with missing apps (given that an ecosystem different than iOS and Android will end with missing “standard” apps like banking, public transport, maps, navigation, and so on) unless there is a way to permit well-known ecosystems’ apps running on the “non-standard” ecosystem.
Just an example to clarify this: on my Nokia N900 I was looking for a navigation app,
and I at first bought the Maemo version of Sygic Mobile, but Sygic ended its support
(even the maps updates!) when Maemo became unsupported from Nokia;
as an FOSS advocate I tried to get comfortable with Navit, which I consider a very well done software but it is very difficult to use for not hacker users, its UI is very poor compared to other navigation apps and difficult to use and its turn-by-turn indications are sometimes terrible and prone to errors during driving!
Ok, you can say “you’re a developer! Do your part and try to get the program better”, yes I could, but I don’t have so much time to do so and I’m very sorry for this, but the current state of the art of this project will avoid users of alternative platforms to have a simple navigation software.
If I could choose one of the options mentioned in the post, I would prefer Jolla Sailfish, because (correct me if I’m wrong) it seems the only one able to run Android apps in its environment, so users missing apps in Jolla ecosystem could find them in Android’s one.
I can’t say anything about Firefox OS but I fear it could remain a niche OS (like Maemo) only for hackers and I don’t like Ubuntu’s way of forcing user choices in a “Microsoft-like” way (like they do on desktop).
Please consider these as personal opinions and don’t open flame wars :wink:
Bye!

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As I said in the blog comments:

Please, don’t forget OmniROM http://omnirom.org/ It seems a good alternative to CyanogenMOD due to they are becoming more themselves and not the community http://polr.me/1cz

In any case, I think all of them would be great SO to have on my next FP :wink: As much free as possible, of course.

That said, apparently there’s a huge discussion into its comment that I have to read about open hardware. It goes to far from my knowledge :laughing:

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Check out Replicant OS - it is Android with all the non-free (proprietry) stuff removed. As far as I can tell the biggest problem is that there isn’t any non-free GPS drivers. If Fairphone could help with either the development or to put pressure on manufacturers to produce free drivers then everyone would be happy.
Jolla looks interesting but as they concede Sailfish includes the following on their website “Although we encourage you to develop our Software to make it better, we cannot allow such development, modifying or any harmful interaction with the version of our Software distributed integrated in a product. This is because the integration version includes proprietary components from third parties who do not allow it.”

Personally, I hope that on the new FP2 it will be possible to install other OS. But, I also believe this is a niche requirement for hackers, thinkers and other nerds. I believe that the new FP2 definitely must support Android as well, in order to be compatible with a big range of other systems and devices (endless list).
However, I truly hope that the new FP2 will be based on hardware with available drivers that will let the community develop alternative Android versions and maybe even other OS, like Ubuntu, Firefox OS, etc.
I look forward to see the specifications of the new FP2 :smile:

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