Android 10/Q stable or 11/R beta for productive FP3+ !?

I’m currently setting up a new Fairphone 3+ for my mom. On this phone updates should work without any problems and it should get the latest security fixes as long as the FP3+ is supported by /e/OS.
(and yes, it must run /e/OS because my mom doens’t trust Google either :wink: )

So I’m getting to this question:
Should I install /e/OS Android-10/Q stable or /e/OS Android-11/R dev-beta?


/e/OS Android-10/Q stable would have the advantage of minimum technical problems for system updates in the coming month. So system updates could be done automatically without the need of my presence.
But I fear that I may need to invest a lot of work to switch the phone to /e/OS Android-11/R as soon as it’s stable for the FP3+. (e. g. by doing a wipe and reinstalling everything…)
Or else the phone won’t get any more security updates as soon as /e/OS Android-10/Q will be phased out for the FP3+.

On the other hand I could install /e/OS Android-11/R dev-beta right now. In that case I should supervise every system update in the next month and may need to rollback to a TWRP backup in case something breaks. But I’m hoping, that I can easily flash the phone from dev to stable as soon as /e/OS Android-11 gets there.
(a brief test migrating from /e/OS Android-10/Q dev to stable without wipe on the FP3+ worked fine)


In the end it boils down to these three detailed questions:

  • When will /e/OS Android-11/R stable be available for the FP3+?
  • Will the migration (without wipe) from /e/OS Android-10/Q stable to Android-11/R stable more risky that the migration from Android-11/R dev to stable?
  • When will /e/OS Android-10/Q stable be phased out for the FP3+?




As a test I flashed the FP3+ from /e/OS Android-10/Q stable to /e/OS Android-11/R dev beta without a wipe.

TWRP didn’t asked for the PIN and showed only encrypted filenames in /sdcard/.
/e/OS Android-11/Q dev beta didn’t boot.
And e/OS recovery suggested me to do a factory reset, deleting all data.
(I tested /e/OS Android-11/Q dev before with a wipe, which worked fine)


What’s happening here?
Is there anything blocking the /e/OS Android-11/R dev beta kernel from decrypting the files?

Before I flashed the phone from dev to stable, which worked fine without a wipe.
Will switching (without wipe) between Android-11/R dev beta and stable work on the FP3+?
And will migrating from /e/OS Android-10/Q stable to 11/Q stable work without wipe on the FP3+?
(once /e/OS Android-11/R stable is there for the FP3+)


After flashing back to /e/OS Android-10/Q stable the data was accessible again (from TWRP and /e/OS also booted).
But disabling the PIN didn’t help to make an upgrade to /e/OS Android-11/R dev beta possible.

The only workaround was to make a TWRP backup before flashing 11/R dev beta, doing a wipe after flashing and restoring the backup. But this may not work for apps using that “secure storage” stuff like banking TAN apps (PSD2). And it’s only possible when the bootloader isn’t locked which may degrade the encryption for some files like the stored wireless passwords.
System UI isn’t working!
No status bar, no navigation buttons.
(I’d say that this is an extraordinary bad result of a major version upgrade. I made a lot of Android version upgrades between 4 an 9 on different phones using LineageOS. And most of them resulted in just very minor problems. Why are major Android upgrades so much harder with /e/OS!?)

Hi @kolAflash you are drawing attention to a lot of judgement calls!

Everyone’s Mom is different! – but you do not really want call-outs (or do you !? )

There is no difficulty here for me – just go for stable!

That might be wrong. How much does it matter ? Will you be wrong both ways ?

i feel I am getting well off-topic already.

We cannot rely on TWRP backups to transition Android upgrades. Why would your Mom really want Android 11? I am using it now – plan to return to Q tomorrow.

The phone is really for my mom. Actually I thought about replacing “my mom” by something like “a non technical user”. But my fingers didn’t like to type so much letters :slight_smile:
By the way, my dad, who is a “non technical user” too, already has a FP3+. But he prefers the stock ROM.


Hmm, I’m not sure what you’re trying to tell me.
I think none of these choices is wrong. But one might cause me more future work than the other. And I’m simply trying to get a good clue which choice that might be.


Absolute consent! The TWRP backup was just a test to gain some insights in why I can’t upgrade 10 to 11 without wipe.


It’s not about Android 10 or 11, but about what I pointed out in my initial post:

Android-10 will stop receiving updates some when. And that will probably be before Android-11 will stop receiving updates.

Sure, I was lumping a lot of things together (unhelpfully to you, agreed) while you are asking for details. In my defense, I covered the idea that 10 stable is nicely in its maturity curve for a non-tech-user, while 11 beta dev, is an infant presenting the possibility of need of attention at totally unknown and unpredictable points.

The upside of 11 beta dev, is that you won’t be involved in the headache of a backup and upgrade for a longer time. /e/ has found a need right now to join the obsolescence brigade – it was never part of their philosophy – non manufacturer updates can generally be added ongoing for a long time.

I think the most non-tech-users should get gentle training not to be scared of a backup, but to just do it out of habit, in the sure and certain knowledge that the machine might fail one day!

(Backups used to go to paper tape. There is no reason that a backup should be in the exact same format as the original)

Perhaps others can give you more guidance on your very reasonable more technical points.