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Which OS to install in an old FP2 before giving it to a non-tech person

Hey all,

I just bought the FP3 which works great (at last a good battery life, yeah!) and my good old FP2 is going to end up being my father’s first smartphone.

I was wondering which OS I could install for him knowing:

  • he is no tech specialist at all,
  • he primarily wants to take and send pictures with the smartphone, but I think he will enjoy having a smartphone for doing whatever he normally does on a computer (emails, bank account management, browsing the web, watching YouTube videos…),
  • I’ll buy him a new battery and new bottom module (because it’s not under guarantee anymore and the microphone just died - again),
  • He has no Gmail address (only a Yahoo! Mail account), doesn’t use Facebook (no account),
  • The phone had problems receiving SMS when offline (no reception when back online), and it seems not to be a SIM card issue because I’ve tested it in another phone.

I thought about giving a go to Lineage OS or FPOOS for him for privacy purposes and maybe a decent battery life, knowing how poor it is on FP2 with FPOS… But as I said he’s no tech specialist at all (I’ll have to explain him how Android works) and I’m afraid I won’t be able to help him with updates in case of trouble (I can’t visit him regularly as he lives far from me), and last but not least, I don’t know these two OSes at all (I switched from FPOS’s Android 7 on my FP2 to classic Android 9 on my FP3).

The good news is he will take it at Christmas, so I have time to try a few things out…

So what would you advise me to do for him? Knowing I could also just perform a classic hard reset and keep it on FPOS, which I know well…

As you are the go-to guy he will turn to for help, even if remotely, just stick with what you know I’d say.

I mean, you can hardly install Fairphone Open OS or LineageOS and send him on his way to wherever you are not around in person on a daily basis, and say “Oh, by the way, even though I installed this for you, I don’t know much about it apart from that it’s an idealistic choice. Perhaps I can’t help you when there’s trouble, perhaps nobody around you can, but isn’t it interesting? I like it. Have fun!” :slight_smile:

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Seen like this it seems obvious, but I was more specifically wondering about the system’s stability and assuming it would be quite similar to FPOS in most points, especially I have 3 months to try it out and get used to it myself… Unless it’s very hard to reinstall FPOS from Lineage OS or FPOOS in case it would reveal itself to be to troublesome?

How does he send his pictures?

Probably MMS/emails, why?

I was wondering if there was any need for him to install apps that do not come with Fairphone Open OS from the start. To me Fairphone Open OS (or LineageOS) seems less troublesome if you have no Google account and never need new apps.

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It isn’t hard to reinstall the Fairphone 2.

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Given a similar situation recently, I went for a compromise: LineageOS with fdroid privileged extension to ensure that updates hapen automatically, and Aurora Store in case the person wants non-free apps (at least those which do not need google services).

bank account management

I think this could make a big difference. I have read that some banking apps are a hassle under non-Google variants of Android.

edit PS: make sure to set lineageos update interval to once a month, I assume any “non-tech person” does not want to be bothered with an update every day :wink:

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Given that your own Fairphone 3 has Android 9, LineageOS (Android 9) on the FP2 might resemble more what you use yourself now than FPOS and FPOOS (Android 7).

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What about bugs and other software issues? Are there known main problems known to remain on FPOOS or Lineage OS?

Sorry to bring this up, but just to make sure: Do you know how to backup and restore an OS in TWRP? I’m asking because that is an excellent method to change between different OSes much more easily than to erase and re-install them (no need for connecting it to a computer).

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I have already reinstalled the entire FPOS once (with a computer), when it was erased -but not my personal data- from a failing update (made through the Updater app, though), so I think I could handle it, I know it asked me for a place where the OS was in the phone’s memory or SD card (and the file wasn’t there, hence the need of a computer)… I guess I could learn from the FP’s support page tutorials and wikis posted here as well in case of problem…

What I mean is that if you know how to use TWRP to backup and restore an OS, you can easily change between all these OSes (the versions are newer now) without a computer (and quicker):

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I guess I can download all these OS installation files and then switch easily as long as they are on a SD card (or even in the internal memory), isn’t it ?

Well, the first installations of FPOS and FPOOS must be done using a computer (fastboot etc.). LineageOS can be installed without a computer, if my memory is right. But there are a few things to know … if you want, I can ask my “teacher” :wink: if he is willing to explain everything to you (in French).

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Side note … TWRP does screenshots with the same button combination as Android :wink: .

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… and they end up in a “pictures” folder, too?

The OTA install files for Fairphone Open OS can be installed via TWRP, too.
Fairphone just stopped releasing complete OTA install files for Fairphone OS since it went Android 7, so Fairphone OS would need an install via computer first.

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Why not, I’d like to give a try with these OSes, thanks !

I will let you know if he is willing to :angel:

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