Murena & /e/OS roadmap for 2023 and beyond

This year marks the 5th year since I started the /e/OS project! And we have gone from a few articles about the initial intention to a smartphone OS and a private cloud used by tens of thousands of users.

/e/OS has become the leading daily-driver OS for everyone who wants to keep full control of their personal data without sacrificing usability. Of course, we could slow down the development since the product has reached a very high level of usability with /e/OS V1 release last year. But we believe we can go even further!

Practical, ethical and sustainable

On one hand, we need to continue polishing the OS and the cloud to make it a growing option for the “mass market.” On the other hand, we believe that the world is at a crossroads on many aspects:

  • climate change poses a highly challenging situation, making the need for more sustainable technologies absolutely crucial for our future
  • the brutal rise of Large Language Models such as GPT4 is going to impact our lives to a point we probably cannot even imagine. This makes it even more important to build digital products and services that offer maximum guarantees in terms of protection of human values. In other words, “ethics” is necessarily going to be a rising aspect to consider.

Our values: privacy, facts over claims, sustainability, are going to remain the key drivers for the development of /e/OS and the Murena cloud in the coming years.

Polish & new features

In terms of product features, one key aspect is ensuring compatibility with mainstream mobile applications. As many know, Google is deploying considerable efforts to undermine the natural compatibility of mobile apps with Android-AOSP. Without the Google Play Services layer, many applications will simply not work. This has been a problem with SafetyNet until now, and it’s getting worse with their new “Play Integrity” APIs. Until these practices get regulated (and we are working with others to make this happen), we will have to put a lot of development work into ensuring full compatibility while offering a fully open-source and privacy-safe mobile operating system.

Murena smartphones with /e/OS have locked bootloader and safetynet pass.

This year, we are going to extend the enhanced compatibility work we have introduced into the Murena devices sold at murena.com to most /e/OS-compatible devices (as known as “dev” and soon “community” devices)!

Two key aspects of /e/OS are “deGoogling” and privacy, so we will continue to put effort into ensuring that, by default, no or very few personal data can naturally leak to big tech companies.

Regarding specific features, we will not list everything, but here are some highlights:

  • /e/OS’ own synchronization service, eDrive, will be refactored to become faster, more efficient, and more reliable.

  • BlissLauncher is currently being completely rewritten to offer a better experience and allow full support for tablets.

  • /e/OS’ much-loved Advanced Privacy module will continue to improve and will likely be released as a standalone app to help non-/e/OS Android users keep control of application trackers and get rid of ads.

  • we are finally going to integrate the long-awaited voice recognition feature.

  • we will introduce a backup service and a new battery-saver feature (could be postponed to 2024).

  • a new feature called “Memories” is going to become the default picture management at murena.io, replacing the current rough picture and video gallery.

  • Murena.io will also benefit from performance improvements, and we are still working on adding End-to-End Encryption, although it’s a long-term project.

  • some family plans and a professional workspace will also be added to Murena.io (might be postponed to 2024).


Murena.io will soon feature “Memories” a brand new picture management and editing feature.

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/e/OS’ new BlissLauncher: smoother, widgets on any view…

New Murena smartphones… and tablets?

This year, we have already introduced the Murena Pixel 5 refurbished, which has been welcomed as a salutary initiative to deGoogle even Google smartphones.


Stay tuned!

And we are also going to introduce two new smartphones this year:

  • The Murena Two will have custom hardware features that, combined with /e/OS, will make it the perfect product for customers who seriously care about privacy.
  • The Murena ************* is going to be a flagship product that will likely be enjoyed by everyone who cares about sustainability.

Last but not least, we are seriously considering the release of a Murena tablet, but it’s not clear yet which hardware feature mix will be the best choice for it.

Stay tuned!

— Gaël Duval, May 19th 2023

(This article was originally posted on medium)

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone

35 Likes

Yes, yes, yes! I just switched over to a Google Pixel 6a (no /e/ support, yet), and I dearly miss the ability to set a fake location and block the trackers! (I was a very happy Sony Xperia XA2 user running /e/OS for just over three years.) I use a VPN anyway, so the masked IP address is already taken care of.

Bring it on/out! :hourglass_flowing_sand:

(PS. It would also be super-duper if we could access the App Lounge as well. G :eye: :eye: gle are now severely limiting access via Aurora Store, so any alternative access would be most welcome. But that is obviously a separate issue.)

3 Likes

Thanks for spelling out the /e/ mission so clearly once again! This really reaffirmed me in thinking that I am supporting just the right mission :slight_smile:

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Very glad to read this :+1: … any hints when that could be available?

I have been dreaming about a /e/OS tablet for a while, if you release a test device with /e/OS preinstalled for collecting first user feedbacks, please contact me (it goes without saying that I will pay for the device and the shipment, and I will be pleased to support, as far as I can)

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Once we have shortlisted a device and start the testing, we will definitely require testers. Will share details once we reach that stage.

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Thanks for the update, looking forward to a decent backup service, this is a feature that is seriously missing at the moment.

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Could this bring more if not all Nextcloud plugins/apps available at least for paying users, including possiblity of Universal Push for nextcloud for those who prefer use that at apps which supports it?

Also would need (if available) Miro like whiteboard option with shareable links etc. And so far been bit unclear what is future direction and should I continue to use or change to NextCloud for being able to decide what can be used…

Hello.
Look nice and desirable !
But are there also plans to really help users that are actually “sacrificing usability” because of long unresolved bugs ? Like this one, active on several flagship phones (like S9/S9+) since 10 months (R1.2), probably due to microG no more correctly implementing the GPS API of G.PlayServices and thus making a few apps unusable : https://gitlab.e.foundation/e/backlog/-/issues/5984 ?
Should these users get back to Google and abandon their privacy, or else abandon their “let’s make these smartphones last as long as possible” wishes, and buy a new phone ?
Wha’s the current real state of collaboration with microG, which seems to me a crucial component for /e/-OS present and future ?
Thanks.

Fine presentation.
I say Happy 5th Anniversary, wish us the best chef.

I have a thought specifically about privacy, quoting ‘brutal rise of LLM’ or ‘Our values: privacy, facts over claims’ and even ‘Two key aspects of /e/OS are “deGoogling” and privacy’.
So this build of digital products and services that offer maximum guarantees in terms of protection of human values can means that /e/ would have the vocation to become some sort of WHO dedicated to telecommunication networks for vulnerable populations ?

Hey,
nice to hear. Iam very glad using e os on my fp4.
Plans seems to be very nice with a clear structure!

Few questions:

  1. how about the gallery app? With the default app i cant create folders, just from the File manager. Will it be replaced or updated to integrate that feature?

  2. Same question to the default task app. The synchronization with subtask doenst fit 100% to the murena.io webpage because they are just written down as text in the description of the task. It works better with the task.org app. Are there any plans on the roadmap for changing/upgrading?

I always prefer default apps:)

Thanks for the great work!

That would be a great achievement, but would first need support & funding from big orgs such as UNO, etc.

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I would donate with joy if I see a clear formulation in that regard.

Enjoying e os for several months on my Teracube 2e. I use, support and enjoy murena.io and look forward to that tablet.

After the update to Android 12 I’ve experienced a lot of issues with the top status bar, both in terms of actual bugs and removal of certain features (like the widget to control the volume). I’m really glad that you are re-working on this launcher and would be extremely grateful to see this addressed, if at all possible.

For what is worth, I think 8" tablets are the perfect size: easy on the eyes to read and watch videos from at arms length, lightweight, portable and comfortable to hold even with one hand.
A perhaps unpopular opinion nowadays: please include 3.5mm jack for headphones!

In any case, thanks for all the great work :+1:

I am really looking forward to see what kind of phones you will introduce :slightly_smiling_face:

In regards to the tablet, I would love for you to go for a model with a high-quality IPS panel rather than OLED, so I can use it for longer. When using a tablet, I mostly read and consume entertainment for longer periods than on my phone, so UI elements would easily become visible over time on an OLED. Unfortunately, microLED is not a viable alternative yet </3

Thanks for sharing the 2023 roadmap, and really looking forward to seeing all of these new features coming!

Is there also a kind of “MCO” roadmap (French for Maintien en Condition Opérationnelle) for important bug correction that the /e/ staff will particularly spend time on this year?

That would also be very interesting to know! :blush: