Questions concerning release and impact of the 1.8.5 update

OK, so I can read on FP’s support pages that the 1.8.5 update is available and can be installed manually. Since I haven’t got the time for fiddling with a manual update, even less so when reading that some FP users have encountered problems when trying to regain access to Google Play Store, I have a few questions:

  1. When will the 1.8.5 update be available through the FP Update app?
  2. If I update using the Update app (when available), how will that affect my present setup? Will I lose settings, data, installed apps? Or it is just the familiar Playstore reinstall that is needed?
  3. I’ve already done the unified partition upgrade and updated to 1.8 before it was withdrawn. I have no problems whatsoever with my phone’s functionality. Are there any reasons why I should do the update (important bug/security fixes)? The release notes given in the Software update v1.8.5 log obviously refers to changes from 1.6, not from 1.8, so it is really impossible to understand what has happened between 1.8 and 1.8.5.
  4. I was among those who hated the new launcher, so I immediately installed the old one from the Playstore. Could this create a conflict if updating to 1.8.5 so that I ought to uninstall it first?

Grateful for informed information (which, IMHO already ought to be found on the support pages, at least concerning the first three questions).


I think you are probably more interested in infor from Fairphone directly, but i answer some of you questions anyway to my knowledge.

  1. It will not affect your data apart from Google reinstall. Since you are on 1.8 already, you might loose your laucher and homescreen settings. The usual rules apply: You should make a backup before you update. I did not :blush: .

  2. Hard to answer: It will give you the old icon layout with smaller icons. Many seem to prefer that. I liked the bigger icons better. The Updater seems to work a lot more stable and there is a bunch of security settings. I have not had any problems with 1.8.5 apart from Play Services not working directly after install (i fixed it with deleting and reinstalling WhatsApp).

  3. Good question, i guess not.

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Thanks for that :smile:
Some questions remain, but maybe (hopefully) I can expect more information come Monday.

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Apparently not :worried: At least not on Monday morning (till 10.20 am)

I must say that FP’s information to users/customers leaves quite a lot to wish for. In the announcement “New software update Kola Nut version 1.8.5” (dated 29 April) I can read that “We expect to have everything ready by the end of next week” (i.e. 8 May or so).
The update was made available 13 May, but only for manual install. There is still no information at all telling us whether (and if so, when) the update will be accessible via the FP Updater app.

OK, so I updated manually which was uneventful, nothing disappeared, reinstalling the Play Store went smoothly. I had to reactivate XPosed, but that was expected.

However, I consider myself a fairly experienced ‘updater’, having installed and set up a number of Linux distros over the years. I can well imagine that a lot of FP users doesn’t feel very comfortable with having to navigate through the recovery mode menus.

In my opinion the FP team ought to update their support pages immediately, and preferably post something here in the forum as well. Release notes clearly stating changes from 1.8 to 1.8.5 would also be highly appreciated.

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  1. The update will launch tomorrow (19th of May) you should get notified by mail later today.

  2. @ben his answer is pretty accurate, no data or settings should get lost, if you run the early Kola Nut update (with the KitKat launcher) you will loose your homescreen icons again because it is not included in 1.8.5. :[
    You can of course always install a third party app launcher if you prefer that.
    And you will need to re-install the app store again

  3. Extra bug fixes and security updates have been made in 1.8.5 compared to 1.8, so yeah updating is recommended!

  4. 1.8.5 will have the same launcher as 1.6 (not sure which version you are currently running).

If you run into installation issues we have also made some interactive tutorials that might help troubleshoot!


May I suggest that this information is clearly stated e.g in the update tutorial?

Also, when browsing through the update tutorial it is evident that it aims at those users who are still on the 1.6 (Cherry) version, as can be seen from the screenshot displaying the FP Updater menu in the Pre-Update section. This may confuse those who previously updated to 1.8.

I’d still appreciate some more details on this.

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@Nur, this might be some interesting feedback for you.
@anon12454812 might be able to give some more details on the software, unfortunately I am not in the loop on this one. :]

quoting from this post (which I don’t know why it reports today date, having read it at least last week :confused: )

Security fixes were applied for the following issues: CVE-2013-6272,
CVE-2014-6041, CVE-2014-7911, CVE-2014-8507, CVE-2014-8609 and
CVE-2014-8610. Also, the following Android security fixes have been
integrated: ANDROID-8219321, ANDROID-8476102, ANDROID-8617715,
ANDROID-9695860, ANDROID-9950697, ANDROID-10148349 and ANDROID-10227498.

Yes, I’ve seen that. But since other novelties listed on that page were included in the original 1…8 update (e.g. the new updater, disabling GPS EPO downloading) I suspect that quite a few of the security/bug fixes were included there as well (the CVE issues are all from 2013 and 2014).

Well, during beta test program I never heard of security fixes so for me they’re as new as for you :smile:
while other functions/fixes were provided in beta versions.
The CVEs are old because they are bugs present in JellyBean versions of Android which are not fixed by Google in versions older than KitKat, so I assume they are present since 2013-2014 as per their announcement.
Bye! :smile:

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I updated manually from 1.8 to 1.8.5. Everything went fine. I had to reinstall Google Apps and to reconfigure the homescreen. I was surprised that my fairphone is running faster with 1.8.5 than before with 1.8. So I can recommend the update from 1.8 to 1.8.5.

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  • why I can’t find anything in the changelog or Tuturial about the ICON size at the homescreen for the new 1.8.5 (and connected to this also raises the question, if the homescreen will be deleted or restored after update 1.6 -> 1.8.5)? (only @ben gave an educated guess)
  • what stands behind the “Pre-update Kola Nut 1.8.5” ? No explanation is available in tutorial, why this is neccassary…
  • in contrast to what was stated in the past, is this now correct?:
    I can First) update 1.6 --> 1.8.5 Second) Install "Unified Storage Update 1.8.5"
    Is this correct? I remember that FP support said we have FIRST to apply the storage update before getting the 1.8.5 update

@fairwolf: what you mean with “faster”? Is this connected with the used CPU clocking?

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I guess the changelog describes the changes from 1.6 to 1.8.5 and “ignores” the withdrawn 1.8.

Upgrading from 1.6 to 1.8.5 should not mess with your launcher as both versions use the same launcher.

I’m not sure what you are talking about. Maybe about the first update step wich is updating the “updater app”? This step ensures a better update process because the updater app is greatly improved.

Yes afaik this is correct, it was not possible with 1.8 but 1.8.5 lets you do a storage upgrade again.

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When we first released 1.8 Kola Nut we included a new launcher (the KitKat launcher).
We got a lot of bad feedback about this (especially because of losing the home screen settings and the icon size)
This is why it has been decided to not include it in the final Kola Nut update (1.8.5).

So my answer would be:
1.6 -> 1.8.5 = Not losing any home screen settings (still using the 1.6 original Jelly Bean launcher)
1.8 -> 1.8.5 = You will need to reconfigure your home screen apps and the 1.6 launcher is back (no Kit Kat launcher)

In the Pre-update you only update the Fairphone updater app, there are some fixes made in the updater app and we hope to see less failed update installations this way.

If you are running 1.6 Cherry you would:

  1. Update the Fairphone updater app (pre-update)
  2. Update the Fairphone to 1.8.5 Kola Nut
  3. Perform the Storage Upgrade (Also please make a thorough backup because the storage upgrade will flush your phone)
  4. Reinstall the app store (optional of course :])

@paulakreuzer, @Techaddict : Thanks for all your helpful answers!

  • at least in the changelog of 1.8.5 should be a note “the following things are not included anymore in the update due to complications / user feedback of 1.8.:
    1.) Icon size does not change anymore (and therefore there is no loss of homescreens)
    2.) In contrast to 1.8. it will be possible again to install a special “Unified Storage Update 1.8.5” after installing KolaNut 1.8.5
    3.) whats about the battery 14%-problem?
    4.) …”

Maybe you can also answer to my question which I posted as a new thread about BackUp and UnifiedStorageUpdate?
Cheers, Robert

I think the confusion is due to the fact (as it seems) that all information posted on the support pages (including the tutorials) presupposes that users update from 1.6 to 1.8.5. For those of us who upgraded to 1.8 before that update was withdraw (probably a minority but maybe not negligible), information is either lacking or, seemingly, redundant. Those who were happy with the KitKat-inspired launcher of 1.8 will lose all apps pasted on their screen. And the Pre-update part is probably unnecessary if you already installed 1.8 (with the new updater app), but I’m not sure about that one.

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As far as i know, there have been some updates to the Fairphone Updater between 1.8 and 1.8.5.


@ben: yes, of course, you’re right - adding the Play Store installer for instance. Forgot about that one.

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Faster means for example the page rendering in some apps and scrolling.

It is not related to CPU Clock speed limits?
E.g. I am using SetCPU to limit CPU only to 497-754MHz in normal using conditions to save battery (and rarely see srolling artifacts). Without CPU limit (4x1209MHz) I never saw any srolling artifacts…
What I want to say: I can’t imagine that FP crew modified the software for better speed in terms of scrolling etc…Also it is not noted in the changelog. Maybe it is just connected with your “fresh” install of the OS…?!
Or you missed to notice a perfomance decrease from 1.6 --> 1.8 and now are back in “normal” speed with 1.8.5?
Who knows… Cheers, Robert