Hi, I’m Porru, new user of /e/OS!
I have been looking for a (more) free Android ROM for some years but at the beginning it seemed not so easy. Also, LineageOS seemed not so free as I would like. So I installed /e/, knowing two friends who bought a phone with it:
- One with a good experience, he is sysadmin.
- The other with a really bad experience with a lot of bugs and problems, which no one seems to know how to solve.
So I decided to install /e/ and try it out by myself. I obtained a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 X and installed on it. I had to install TWRP and I also had some other problems, but finally I managed to get it working on a day; I’m GNU/Linux user for some years and I have people near who knew about installing custom ROMs.
Device: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 X
ROM: /e/ Mido
The installing experience was enough easy, doing it half following the guides on /e/ and LineageOS, and half with the experiences of my familiars.
The way I installed the image was:
- Puting the .zip file into a SD card and putting it into the phone
- Entering in TWRP, deleting previous data on the inner memory (
Wipe) and clicking
Install > Select Storage > SD card > .zip file
The installation went without any problem.
I liked the initial configuration with clear messages and only necessary configuration. I did not use an /e/ account and all went as expected.
The aesthetic and workflow of the system was better that I would expect, so I was so impressed!
However, there were some tiny bugs and strange (unexpected) configurations. That was what I would expect on a quite new project as ungoogled android is. But as said, those problems were much fewer than I thinked about.
I’ll deepen on those problems in the section named Problems
Graphical environment (Bliss Launcher)
Previously to install /e/OS I thought it would have a tipical Androidish appearance, but what I found was an iOS-type one. This was quite annoying at the beginning, as I expected and wanted an Androidish appearance.
Here I’ll treat a doubt about graphical environments, on how to understand and work with graphical environments on Android.
I also have some doubts about Bliss Launcher, such as moving or deleting widgets.
Synchronization with Disroot account
As I mentioned before, I didn’t use an /e/ account, but yes a Disroot one. My intention is to replace my previous Google account (with contact, calendar… sync) and to take benefit of the other Disroot services.
I had a tiny problem with Mail app and a Disroot accoun and a bigger one, without solution since now, with Tasks.
The other synchronized apps (calendar, contacts…) went as expected, no problem.
I knew about this characteristic of /e/OS previous to installing it, so it was no such a surprise for me. As more other users, I would like to be able to uninstall preinstalled apps (but this can’t be done unless using TWRP).
Anyway, I got a great surprise with the Recording app, which can record screecasts!!
The bad experience I had with Maps (Magic Earth): it is not opensource!! It is proprietary and free of charge software, according to https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Magic_Earth.
In addition, probably as it is not opensource, it’s not available on so many languages, which is so a pitty for little languages.
I would prefer to have
OsmAnd as default maps app, which is opensource and translatable. Also, it has so many features and configurations that it can be configured by default (as a fork) to be more user friendly.
As well, I did not liked that the Browser app had Google Search as default searching engine. In my opinion, it would be more consequent to set as default DuckDuckGo or StartPage, or any other.
I had no major problems or upsets with all other apps
After configuring a bit and using /e/OS for nearly two weeks, I’m really happy.
I’m starting to get used to the appearance and to the workflow. There are, for sure, some tiny problems; but that’s totally understandable and necessary to improve.
Also I’m glad to have such a good community here!
These are not problems per se, but unexpected behaviours and configurations for new users.
Camera opens with Power Button
This configuration was by default on my /e/OS: Camera opens when pushing power button some times.
My problem was that that button does not function as expected, so pressing it only one time opened the camera, this way not being able to unblock the phone.
Settings > Gestures > Open Camera
This is a rough route, I don’t use English locales
Camera unexpected GUI
There are some camera GUI configurations which may result excessive to average user, most of us coming from Google’s Android or iOS:
- Show Time, Free memory, Battery and ISO
Camera > Settings (upper right gear) > Camera preview...
- Zoom slider
Camera > Settings (upper right gear) > On screen GUI... > Show zoom slider control
Unable to make Screnshots
At beginning, there’s no apparently way to make screenshots on /e/OS. No power+volume buttons, no three-finger gestures.
So it must be configured manually:
Settings > Buttons > Power Button > Poweroff Menu > Screenshot
This is an rough route, I don’t use English locales
In my case, as I wrote down before, the power button does not function well, so it is very difficult and tedious for me making screenshots.
Is there any other way to take screenshots?
Synchronization with Disroot
This problem is not directly connected with /e/, but with Disroot and K9Mail:
When adding a new Disroot account on K9Mail, writing address and password, it returns this error:
Username or password incorrect
The solution is pretty simple:
- Manual setup
Change IMAP server:
Change SMTP server:
Doing this (removing prefixes) you should have a good configuration.
On the app named
Tasks on /e/OS, forked from OpenTasks, I cannot manage to add a non-/e/ synchronized account. I see no option to add such an account.
I tried to install the original OpenTasks, but is not possible as the system understands Tasks as Opentasks. And as far as I know it is not possible to remove preinstalled apps (on a for-user way).
I had a problem with the song view mode, as it closed always I opened it, if denied microphone permission to Music App. This was a problem that a friend had also on their device.
Anyway, it’s now solved on this topic:
I found some bugs, both linked to Camera:
Camera options from drop-down menu:
Record videooptions to the drop-down menu.
- Tap one of them.
- Camera will appear correctly, but the drop-down menu will be showed, and horizontally.
From Camera to window-selection view:
- Open Camera.
- Tap the corresponding button (most of times hardware’s left one) to open window-selection view.
- Such view will be displayed horizontally, with no way to turn it vertical.
This seems to be happening on Open Camera for at least 3 years, also on Google’s Android: https://sourceforge.net/p/opencamera/tickets/70/
Graphical Environments, Launchers…
Using GNU/Linux distros, it’s known that one can change the graphical environment (GNOME, KDE, MATE, Cinnamon…): the distro will remain same on the root, but the appearance will be changed.
Is it possible to understand this matter on the same way for Android? Are “Launchers” the equivalent to GE/DE on GNU/Linux distros?
Here are some doubts I have about the default graphical environment:
Is it possible to modify the appearance?
- Can the most-left page, where the
Widgetsare, be deleted?
- Is it possible to move widgets to another pages else than the most-left one?
- Can the most-left page, where the
When adding app icons to a folder, one can move those folders, but is it possible to move the app icons inside the folder?
Another doubts I had were how to hide app icons, whether there was an Androidish menu and how to put app icons where user wants, not in completion order; but I finally deduced that it was the expected behaviour of Bliss Launcher.
When power button does not function well it is difficult to take screenshots.
Is there any other way to take screenshots?
I’m a dedicated contributor to free software, both reporting bugs and problems and proponing features, but most of all translating projects.
For translating, as Android environment is not on my knowledge for proponing features, I have two main doubts. Both /e/OS and most of the default apps on it are forks of other projects, so there is my doubt about which project contribute to.
- If I want to translate the System, such as the Settings:
- If I want to translate SMS app, forked from QKSMS:
- If I want to translate Tasks app, forked from OpenTasks:
- If I want to translate Camera app, forked from OpenCamera:
The main doubt, so, is whether to translate the original project or the fork.
That was all!
Thanks for all the work this community does!
Amon kaj Liberecon