/e/ experience on Moto Z Play

First post, first experience of /e/ - a bit of feedback.

By no means a linux or smartphone expert, I have however been a bit obsessive over the years about escaping the GAFA hegemony and have previously installed various ROMs on my faithful LG Nexus 4, including Ubuntu, Firefox and AOSP. Then I dropped my Nexus in a car-park and smashed it forever. A few years passed. I got over it.

A couple of weeks ago a friend told me about /e/ and I decided to install it on a Moto Z Play. Here’s how it went.

The installation process was horrible. I had forgotten about TWRP, ADB, Android SDK, drivers, rooting, recovery, wiping, backing up, terrible warnings about bricking your 'phone and so on. I realise installing a ROM is not for the faint-hearted but just finding an up to date guide was a challenge. The /e/ guide was not much help.

First impressions of /e/ were good but I really didn’t like Bliss so I changed it and then went about installing my other apps and, to my great delight, pretty much everything works ! The gestures, (twist/chop), turn on the camera and torch and I really didn’t expect that. Battery life is excellent. The whole phone is fast and smooth.

For the standard stuff, I already used Fastmail for mail, Fruux for Calendar and Contacts and NextCloud for storage and document editing. Hooking CalDav to the native /e/ Contacts and Calendar app in /e/ was really easy and the NextCloud app appears to be stable.

Things that don’t work : I had to find the apk’s for Bunq and CIC, (my banks), which is risky. I can’t log in to Guardian (news) for some reason. WiFi hotspot doesn’t work at all. But the biggest problem for me is the App app. It is the only app that crashes and it crashes a lot, (really a lot), the home-screen is meaningless to me, I can’t find a list of my installed apps anywhere, I can’t filter apps in a way that would be useful to me, (by security for example, or even alphabetical), and I ended up installing FDroid instead and looking up security info on Exodus. The App app is, IMHO, /e/'s weak spot.

But all in all I have no regrets. Thanks !

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