Berlin (dpa / tmn) - The waiver of apps and services from Google has been enforced by the USA for the latest top smartphones from the Chinese Huawei group.
Other manufacturers such as Fairphone voluntarily do without Google services in the Android operating system, at least for certain models. After all, there are a number of consumers who do not want to be part of the global Google universe with their smartphones.
So far, the Dutch manufacturer Fairphone, which is aimed at particularly environmentally conscious customers, has only used the usual Android operating system, including all Google services, in its mobile phones. However, some Fairphone customers who attach great importance to data protection did not feel comfortable with the idea that their device sends a lot of data to Google, including usage statistics and location data.
Although you can restrict the majority of these transmissions in the depths of Google settings, you cannot achieve complete Google abstinence.
Android alternative for Google skeptics
For Google skeptics, the company now has a model without Google services in its range, the Fairphone 3 with the «/ e /» operating system. The non-profit foundation “e Foundation” switched to this bulky name for their Android version because the original project name “eelo” was legally protected as a trademark and could no longer be used.
"/ E /" was developed from the Android branch LinageOS. LinageOS is also available for a number of smartphones from Samsung, HTC and other manufacturers as a replacement for the Android with all Google services. At Fairphone you get the package ready for use without having to worry about a technically tricky installation of the operating system.
Fairphone advertises «/ e /» as an open source operating system that offers an environment to protect users' privacy from the outset. In fact, the user data on the smartphone and in the cloud remain private by default. There are no unwanted data flows. In addition, users also save battery power and bandwidth because the smartphone does not constantly contact the servers of various advertising service providers.
Practical with smaller smears
But how do you get along without the Google services? In the practical test, it works amazingly well. With some functions such as image management, keyboard and file browser, you have to deal with the standard Android components with which you are already familiar. Instead of Google Maps, the MagicEarth application from General Magic was preinstalled, which is based on the OpenStreetMap project.
With other important apps, the “e Foundation” also managed to find useful alternatives to Google Android. The browser is based on the proven Chromium project and only dispenses with the sync functions of the Chrome app from conventional Android. In addition, an integrated ad blocker ensures that ads are not displayed and advertising trackers are rejected.
You have to make smaller cuts with the camera app. You can also take HDR and panorama pictures. However, the software does not offer AI support for spectacular night shots or portrait photos with an artificially defocused background, with which the top smartphones from manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei and Apple always impress their users.
Apps are not installed in the «/ e /» Fairphone model from conventional Google devices from the Google Play Store, but from a separate store of the «e Foundation», the «e Store». If the offer of the “e-store” is not sufficient, you can also install additional stores such as F-Droid, which offers open source apps. The bottom line is that you get along with «/ e /» surprisingly well. Fairphone charges 479 euros for the Model 3 with «/ e /».
About "/ e /"