/E/ operating system in beta and ready to download for free, they are also selling it installed on refurbished Samsung smartphones.
Now you might be wondering why you should stray from an OS that has worked perfectly fine for you in the past. Well, there are two primary issues with Google – privacy and proprietary. With the army of Google trackers on websites, Google services such as YouTube and Gmail, and that Google Account on your smartphone tying all the loose ends together — you really don’t have much privacy on the mobile device level. Then there is the question of open source versus proprietary. As MicroG – developer of the /e/ libraries — states, “It’s a look but don’t touch” kind of open. The core of the Android OS is open source, but there are a growing array of libraries and APIs that hook the user into the Google world.
/e/ is an Android-based operating system where Google services and libraries have been removed and replaced by opensource MicroG ones. This reportedly allows /E/ phone users to use slightly tweaked Android apps from the /e/ app store. In addition, the app store also gives a report on what information the app is going to share./E/ can be downloaded directly off the company’s site – and they have a list of compatible phones. The /e/ platform uses the European Qwant instead of Google and their variant of the open-source NextCloud instead of Google Drive.
According to statcounter, Android OS has a whooping 76.23 percent of the global smartphone market with iOS having 22.17%. Below them, the next biggest share was held by the KiaOS with a tiny 0.59% share. And it’s not like there haven’t been a number of attempts to build a competitor. It’s FOSS listed seven alternatives in a recent article such as Ubuntu Touch and LineageOS. So as /E/ gets past the beta stage, we will see how it achieves acceptance — or not. But as Duval stated on his blog, “I think that, in the long run, Apple, Google, Facebook etc. business models are harmful for our economical and social environments.”