/e/ is a Google-free LineageOS fork for several devices from Google, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and others

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:

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.

Essential Phone

Fairphone

Google

HTC

Huawei

LeEco

LG

Motorola

OnePlus

Samsung

Xiaomi

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

About author

Doug Lynch

When I am passionate about something, I go all in and thrive on having my finger on the pulse of what is happening in that industry. This has transitioned over the years from PCs and video games, but for close to a decade now all of my attention has gone toward smartphones and Android.

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