We’re getting closer and closer to the Android 7 release
But before we bring the update to thousands of Fairphone 2 owners, we hope to get feedback from you, our amazing community.
This is an open call to anyone who wants to test the Android 7 Release Candidate for Fairphone 2.
We currently have a release candidate ready, and if you want to help, your insights are very important for helping us make a better, more reliable software. We want to continue expanding the successful cooperation between our developers and the community
What is the plan?
The plan is simple: test the release candidate and if the results are positive then we can have liftoff and share the version with all Fairphone 2 owners.
Who is this open call for?
Anyone can apply, but we are specifically looking for people who:
Own a Fairphone 2
Can explain Fairphone updates to their 8-year-old nephew
Have a backup of their data before testing
Want to support Fairphone in their journey to fairer electronics
Android 7 brings many changes. Not everyone might like all these changes. Additionally, there are some known issues which will be addressed in future maintenance releases.
You need to consider if you mind the changes in Android 7 and can live with the known problems because switching back from Android 7 to Android 6 is only possible by wiping all data from the phone. That means any data you would like to keep needs to be transferred manually when going back to Android 6.
It will be a normal update available through the Updater. You will need to enable beta mode (instructions are available in the posts announcing testing releases in the beta forum). Once that is done, the update will show up in your Updater where you can chose to install it.
Going back from Android 7 to Android 6 is only possible by wiping the phone. You will need to wipe your phone and manually transfer data.
We encourage everyone to backup their data before applying any update. This is especially true for pre-release software. These backups need to be used to manually restore your data if you choose to go back to Android 6.
That said, we have gone through several iterations of internal and beta testing already. This release candidate is the result of these tests and we are planning to release this version to the public if no new major bugs show up (which we do not expect to happen).
Of course, there are many changes between Android 6 and Android 7. There will be differences and not all users will like all changes. If you hate the changes so much that you would like to go back to Android 6, you will need to start with a fresh installation and manually transfer your backups.
This is valid in that we announced this post today. We have been testing beta releases with community members for a long time already so we are not actually starting on a Friday.
But, yes, you are right: announcing this today might attract more people with less experience and we won’t be as responsive to questions during the weekend.
The good thing is, we don’t force anyone to update. You can join the beta program and enable beta mode without actually having to change anything on your phone. It will always take a conscious step to install the newest software (e.g. by pressing the Install button in the updater).
Is it possible to go from the release candidate to the official update, when you release it? I’m interested in trying it out, but don’t want to be a beta tester in the future and don’t want to wipe my phone/data to transfer to the official build
Don’t you fear releasing the current beta / RC to the public might cause quite a bit of frustration and support requests? I’m thinking of people who won’t be able to turn their phone off or on any more or whose battery will be flat after watching a short video.
Beta testers are aware that they will face some issues, but delaying the public release until the top voted bugs are fixed might be a good idea. Just my two cents.
Getting Android 7 out now with some known bugs, hoping they would manage afterwards to quickly fix the bugs which have no known workaround at least …
Or tending to security updates for Android 6 again, delaying Android 7 to who knows when …
There would probably be some flak to take either way, so … it seems they simply made a decision.
The same version 18.09.1 is also available for Fairphone Open. However, we do not call it a release candidate, because it is missing features unique to Fairphone Open. Most and foremost, it is missing superuser which we still need to get to work nicely.
Yes, that is totally possible. It will not be necessary to wipe data to go from Android 7 beta to Android 7 stable. In the best case, this release candidate will be the official update in a few weeks.
Opting out of the beta is always possible by disabling beta mode in the updater.
Good point. I added a disclaimer to the post above linking to the known issues.
No, we use the same baseband version we used on Android 6.
I think it’s a very good idea to publish the call for testing outside the beta forum group. It’s still a limit group of people who are reading this, the warning and downsides are clear and the application process makes sure nobody installs this version by accident.
Getting feedback before the real public release for everyone through the updater can help to make a real stable first release of Android 7 on Fairphone.
Bugs. There’s nothing that annoys us more. And as luck would have it, we found one that delayed the launch of Android 7 on the Fairphone 2. But stay strong! The good news is we found it before the public release - some extra work for us is better than a bad upgrade experience for you, so we’re taking it as a blessing in disguise (but if you’re interested in getting to know more about our beta program, you can read the latest in our forum). After all, we owe this to you, and the amazing things you continue to achieve as a community; from crowdfunding a fairer future to being Fairphone Angels to sparking conversation about a better world just by taking out your phone. Thank you, one and all.