Update V1.8 was there a beta test?

I would like to now: Did you have a beta test for this version 1.8 with selected users before releasing it to all users? Didn’t you got feedbacks about all the bugs and problems which are in this version which are reported now?


Yes, I’ve been running v1.8 since this was posted on XDA on the 28th Nov.

I don’t think the issues running the update were experienced - however I have today indicated that the problem seems to be caused by the Fairphone Updater app which seems to run when WiFi is connected and seems to be blocking the gapps widget running (possibly because it’s been integrated into the updater). But again, that didn’t happen when I updated previously but had that issue today when I’ve run through it again.

If I understand your answer correctly the beta testers didn’t notice the problems which are reported now by “normal” users? Quite strange…

Yes, because the beta tester did not use the Fairphone Updater app (but installed the ROM manually). As @Chris_R suggests, the issues could be caused by this app.

Edit: There were also some phones, which were shipped with Fairphone OS 1.7 pre-installed. These also did not have to use the Fairphone updater app.

Sorry - this is definitely not a “beta test” when the testers are using an other way to upgrade.


Yeah, I appreciate that, an oversight in my response :smile:

Definitely something they should try to explore fully for next time

Many years I was a beta tester for a very known company - I really know what beta test means…


Maybe you can share your experience and help Fairphone with initiating a beta test phase for future OS versions?


Why not. I never read a notice in this forum that they are searching for beta testers… As the software it seems to be also a “closed” circle…


@Marco could you comment on this, please?

I’ve updated via the normal Fairphone updater and I’m experiencing none of the reported problems :slight_smile: I’ve updated today.


No I had no problems either, it seems the majority of problems are caused by not following instructions about reinstalling google apps, every update has brought a slew of posts complaining about google apps disappearing and apps force closing and Fiarphone are (unfairly in my opinion) getting flak for it.

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It is unfair too to subject the people they didn’t have read the update instructions. But this is a very usual procedure from hotlines: users are too stupid…

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It might be a usual procedure from hotlines, but it’s not unfair to tell the people to read the instructions (RTFM :wink:), that’s what they are made for.
It was a strange thing to see, that after installing the system update and after seeing the system to update a lot of apps automaticly that there are further updates necessary, but when I did them, everything worked. Only the lost homescreens are odd, but as I understand, it had nothing to do with the update but with the updater, so it wasn’t noticed during beta test.


You are mixing up two different things: It is not unfair to tell to read the instructions - but It is unfair to subject useres they didn’t read them.

Very strange “beta test” which doesn’t test the update process.


Do those who rise the RTFM argument ( @Roland768 ; @Reid_Sommerville ) really say that the update instruction included the following:

“If you, when trying to reinstall the play store, get the message that Fairphone is updating in the background, then you should…”


If so, it must have been put there in the smallest print available.

And the instructions contained no information about how to handle/tweak the new app launcher, nor that the home screen had to be set up from scratch.

We are taking all your feedback into account to improve the software dev, testing, and general update process.

I see one particular issue that you mention that is a bug and should not be happening, the message:

“If you, when trying to reinstall the play store, get the message that Fairphone is updating in the background, then you should…”

We are working to see what is happening there - and other posts explain the workaround is:

Open the Fairphone updater app and close it again, now the google apps installation should run if you hit the installer

But other issues like re-installing Google Apps or the keyboard not working (because user needs to re-install app store) - are issues that will occur with every update because Google Apps needs to be re-installed with every update. A very annoying thing for the user experience, indeed.

I see the other issue coming up on the forums is that people are missing all apps and shortcuts on their home screens. This happens because an entirely new launcher/home screen comes with this update. It was intentional. We communicated this in our owners email - so I’m interested what advice you have for how we can better communicate this (even now: should we ‘warn’ owners now to keep track/make a written record of the layout of their home screens before they do the update?) I’m open to suggestions please!

As for issues like the icons being too big, that was a decision as I understand it to make the look and feel look more like Android 4.4 KitKat. This was done by our UI/UX and software dev partners, Kwamecorp. Of course FP team members also approved it, but I want to emphasize it was intentional. I think my colleague @anon12454812 can best explain the reasoning there.

All in all, I’m also unhappy how stressful the update is for users. Each update is a mix of making sure we communicate the process and making sure the actual software behaves. I speak for the team in saying we’re sorry to cause headaches or even lost hours of trying to get the software up and running.

We’re listening to all your feedback and making sure it’s fed back into our process next time. We’re also finding solutions to immediate problems this week. Again, I’d like to apologize for problems you’re experiencing from the update. Thanks for your patience as we sort this out.

In an even more proactive sense, you’ll see we have four job vacancies for building our Android software team. Too late now, but hopefully good news to show we are building up the team to improve in the future.


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Thanks for your input - but there are two points which are not clear to me:

  1. The decision with the big icons I really don’t understand. Why should anything be
    pretending? Fairphone has Android 4.2.2. Why should it look like
  2. The software partner should develop a software which Fairphone
    orders. Why can this software partner decide what do do? Did you
    ever ask the users (also in this forum) to make these changes? I think

Personally, I couldn’t foresee that a new launcher/home screen meant that my old home screen setup would disappear. With hindsight I realise that this was a perfectly logical outcome, but since I never before had replaced the default launcher (and I confess that I hadn’t even a very clear idea of what ‘launcher’ signifies) it was an unexpected experience.
A ‘better’ (or more exhaustive/informative) way of communicating this change would have been to state exactly what would happen: namely that you after update would have to start with a blank home screen (this has now been added to the ‘update log’ website, thanks) and also how it could be expanded - and preferably that the start screen (after restart/reboot) would no longer be the centre one but the leftmost one.

For me, the issue was not the size of the icons but that the new launcher is limited to 5x4 positions while the older allows 6x4. I guess (although I’m not sure) that this won’t change even if one resizes the individual app icons?

…is of course well-known by first batch owners that have performed updates before. But for 2nd batch owners it might be different - especially that not only the app store but also the keyboard is dependent on a reinstall.

What also could have been stated more clearly is that repartitioning can’t be done after upgrading to 1.8. No problem for me, I’ve already done it, but possibly there are other owners that now realise that they have to downgrade if they want to make the change.


Three people including myself took the time to post the solution in the main thread within an hour of the update being announced, way before the angry people started posting.

regarding there being no information that the home screen had to be set up from scratch, I read that in the very first email direct from fairphone about the software update where it said

“*Please note: Due to the new format of the launcher, this update will erase the icon shortcuts on your Home screen. You can easily put your icons back after you complete the update.
For a list of interactive tutorials, search on our new self-help tool.”

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