Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Sep 2015 15:13 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

For the past few years, we've been in a relatively healthy balance when it comes to our smartphones. Both Apple and Google provided us with relatively decent platforms that were pretty straightforward to use, provided us with interesting and useful functionality, and at mostly decent price points. In return, we accepted a certain amount of lock-in, a certain lack of control over our devices and the software platforms running on them. I felt comfortable with this trade-off, whether I was using an iPhone or an Android phone at the time.

Recently, however, I've been feeling like this balance in iOS and Android is tipping - and not in the right direction. The users' interests have taken a decided backseat to corporate interests, and the user experiences of the two platforms in question have, consequently, suffered, and I see little in the future to counteract this development

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At least Android has "distros"
by Licaon_Kter on Fri 4th Sep 2015 20:25 UTC
Licaon_Kter
Member since:
2010-03-19

I'm doing the no-GoogleServices dance now.

It started not by choice but I was rather pushed here, see while I do understand that my Xperia Sola is old and that this port of CM is patched to hell and back by amateurs to work on my 512Mb RAM ( really 384Mb usable ) piece of 2012 dual core STE marvell of a device, having GoogleServices doing NOTHING but eating my battery day after day after day was too much.
Normally one would have "screen on" for 70% and all the other apps added up to 100%, but noooo, kill all apps, thinking I should be fine and use it for voice and sms only to end up with the phone on low battery 6 hours later, GoogleServices running 70% of the time God knows why for on a 2G active, no data, no Wifi, no bluetooth whatsoever.

Cool story bro you say but what next...

Well, I put CM 12.1, and gosh, skipped GoogleApps, grabbed F-Droid and look at that, plenty of apps there, plenty of apps on github, plenty of apps mirrored from the PlayStore that don't need GoogleServices to run. Oh and the free memory went from <100Mb to >150Mb with no app open, really? Yes, the first app to be installed is AFWall, and each new app will be blocked there after install, so many apps request internet connections and so few actually do something for me with it.

Switching to F-Droid might not be for all, it depends on your closed app usage mostly, say if you are all in Google(Drive/Mail/Keep/Hangouts/whatevercloudsomething) then it will be tricky.

I'm still looking for the perfect Google Keep replacement where OmniNotes might be it, but you can't sync that data nowhere private (yet) so meh, then NoNonsense Notes has a sync to SD card that could be it but there are some niggles here and there.

The AOSP mail client has come a long way, it's fine for me.

Hangouts is messy, at least text, it still acts like a XMPP server but whoknows for how long, you can send messages ( Conversations, Xabber, ChatSecure etc ) and get them if online, but you can't see missed messages. The voice/video parts I did not study yet.


Anyway, TL;DR Android still offers the possibility to get some more freedom today. If Google decides to close its version even more there are others ( CM, MIUI, OEMs ) that can fork it and devices will still run.

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