The OS and the differences to /e/
The German news magazine Golem.de has tested CalycOS. (German)
It’s currently only available for Pixel devices, but they thionk of supporting other devices.
As an /e/ alternative (I’d call it like this), the Golem.de review seems to praise it for being:
- easy to use for an average user
- it has integrated Seedvault, i.e. a backup solution as easy as Googles own backup, but encrypted and into your own Nextcloud, USB device or others. A feature /e/ does not yet have.
- it allows to lock the bootloader etc. for security reasons after flashing
- you get updates once a month
- optional microG and Aurora Store installation at first start, so the user can decide whether to use some Google Play store apps at least – or don’t even use microG. The auto-update in Aurora Store e.g. also does not fully work in /e/ yet.
- supports F-Droid and automatic updates thanks to F-Droid privileged extension. /e/ also does not have this (yet). It does not even install F-Droid.
- it has integrated many more minor privacy features like regulating internet access for apps, a display of the permissions used by apps and a panic button by integrating the ripple app. It also suggests privacy-sensitive apps by default at installation time.
IMHO, and this is fully subjective(!), /e/ is also a OS, which heavily promotes their own services (their own Nextcloud, „eCloud“ etc.) and all linked to their own /e/ account. They also have their own app store, which mixes free and proprietary (Google Play Store) apps and pulls them from some other source. Again see e.g. their Golem.de review. (German)
That’s not to say /e/ would be a bad choice – there are threads discussing other downsites of /e/, but having an alternative from a non-profit organisation that does some things differently sounds like a good thing too, in any case actually.
There are also some more fundamental, but technical differences, because eOS is AFAIK based on LineageOS, while CalyxOS is not, as far as I see.
BTW sorry for linking so many German sources.
What is stopping us/missing
Actually, someone already asked in their issue tracker whether the FP3 could be supported and they even said, they „talked about it” already.
The only thing they see missing is Android 10, which we now have (the question has been asked two months ago, so before the FP3+), and timely updates. Also, they see a loophole in the security of the FP3 with EDL flashing mode, which I’m not sure how that works in detail, but maybe could also be a solvable problem on Fairphone’s side?
What to do now…
So what would be fantastic IMHO is another partnership or cooperation between Fairphone and the Calyx Institute.
What I would suggest if you also want that: Upvote the linked CalyxOS issue for FP3 support and in the next custom OS poll from Fairphone vote for CalyxOS. (The last time the poll was done in a time, where CalyxOS was still in development. It has only really been released as v1.0 in September this year.)