Come with us to explore /e/ is a Google-free LineageOS fork for several Android devices
There are many reasons why free and open source software is great. It allows someone to take a project and evolve it into something else that they see fit. Naturally, they have to follow the proper licenses that come with those projects, but when done right we can get software projects like /e/. /e/ is a fork of LineageOS that aims to be completely free of everything Google. Not only that, but there are a number of goals the developer has in mind for /e/ that more people feel are vital to a mobile operating system. This week it has been announced that the first beta of /e/ is now available for a limited number of devices (linked down below).
The original idea of /e/ came from Gaël Duval, an open source advocate, last year when he wrote a series of articles titled “Leaving Apple & Google. . .” It was in this series of articles when he announced that a new smartphone OS was currently being planned. The new mobile operating system had three goals including:
- Be free from Google (no Google services, no Google search, no Google Play store, etc.)
- Be far more respectful of user’s data privacy
- Be attractive enough so that Mom and Dad, children and friends would enjoy using it even if they aren’t technophiles or geeks
It’s been a year and now the first beta of /e/ is available to the public. As mentioned, /e/ is a Google-free fork of LineageOS with this first beta being based on version 14.1. The ROM comes bundled with microG by default with the Mozilla Network Location Provider backend so location functionality will work even without GPS. The mail app is forked from K9 mail, the SMS app is Signal, the default chat app is Telegram (or you can use Signal), there’s a weather app, a note-taking app, a tasks app, and a map app (that, unfortunately, isn’t open source yet.) The account manager allows you to choose a single /e/ account for all services. The search engine is a fork of Searx, but Qwant and DuckDuckGo are available alternatives in the default browser (LineageOS’ Jelly.)
Depending on the addition of more build servers and more contributors who can maintain or port to specific devices, they are hoping to see the list of supported devices grow. Speaking of, here is the official list of devices that can test out this first beta of /e/ right now.
- G5 (International) – “h850”
- Mi 5s – “capricorn”
- Mi 5s Plus – “natrium”
- Redmi 3S/3X – “land”
- Redmi Note 4 – “mido”
Here are some screenshots provided by the developers:
And here some more images which have been provided by @onlyninja on our Telegram group:
The developers are working on changing the DNS server from Google’s and bringing up the ROM to the LineageOS 15.1 (Android 8.1 Oreo) base.
Download links of the first beta build of /e/ for supported devices
Source: Hacker Noon
Source : /e/ is a Google-free LineageOS fork for several Android devices
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