What's the best bad option?

I’m quite happy with /e/ OS, both on my S9 and S9+. I think they are both excellent devices that suit my needs (micro SD, good camera, plenty of accessories available for them), and I’m happy to have an OS that has minimal bloat and I feel good about using and not that it’s constantly broadcasting my information.

That said, I do have worries. I’m already having to use the Aurora Store to facilitate my banking. It sounds like there are going to be changes to how Android apps are distributed going forward (I have no doubt the devs are working on contingencies for this, but still). WiFi Calling and Texting doesn’t work, which can impact my phone’s usefulness. Not every network works with /e/. And there are simply quirks that one must be aware of using a custom ROM. Any one of these issues, or others, could potentially cause a situation where it simply isn’t practical to use an /e/ device, even if it’s the best option out there for many reasons.

With that in mind I think a question worth asking is: if tomorrow, /e/ were to become unusable for any reason (from a micro or macro standpoint), what is the best bad option? What settings in Android should be enabled or disabled to best protect privacy? Does one manufacturer better protect privacy than others? Is Apple the “least terrible?”

I’m not asking because I’m looking to change - purchasing my daily driver S9+ and my backup device S9 was not trivial - but I think it would be beneficial for all to know what to look for in the event that one needs to run out to Best Buy tomorrow to purchase a workable phone.

Looking forward to everyone’s thoughts!

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

You can always try to use the stock Android OS for your device sensibly …

In my opinion, LineageOS for microG. If /e/ did not exist, that is what I would be using. /e/ is pretty much LineageOS for microG with,

  • forks of some Open Source apps to replace ‘standard’ apps (Calendar, Dialler, Message) so that /e/ can apply their own ‘look and feel’, and to remove some Google links (though I don’t know what Google links existed in the upstreams)
  • added some synchronisation functionality, including Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Tasks, Email (though not documents and files) by building in forks of the NextCloud Sync and Notes apps, and the K-9 Mail app
  • their own Launcher
  • their own App store
  • their own version on MicroG GmsCore, with the exposure notification framework removed, and bugs added in the code to enable it.

I would use LineageOS for microG plus

  • the ‘upstreams’ of the forked apps instead of /e/'s forks, which don’t - in my opinion - add very much except bugs ;), and which lack some of the upstream functionality (SMS Backup & Restore, multiple accounts in Notes, graceful handling of multiple email accounts)
  • NextCloud sync client
  • F-Droid, the F-droid privileged extension, and Aurora Store instead of Apps
  • A ‘proper’ Android launcher, e.g. LawnChair, Omega, Open Launcher, Trebuchet (which I believe is the ‘built-in’ browser in LineageOS) instead of Bliss
  • The official MicroG GmsCore from the MicroG F-Droid

On my own ‘daily driver’ device (a Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact), I run a custom build which is pretty much that, and it works very well for me. I couldn’t have made it without the work that /e have done though, which is why I expend some time and effort on supporting /e/ and maintaining the official /e/ ROMs for a couple of Sony Devices

A phone that is officially supported by Lineage OS, and therefore by LineageOS for microG


Good suggestions for sure. I’m certainly interested in figuring out the most “practical” way to run Android- I can’t abandon Google entirely as I have a large amount of movies purchased there, but I certainly want to minimize the amount of info I don’t consciously share with them.
Been blocking trackers/ads/malware with ProtonVPN, it seems to make a slight difference but I didn’t know if it was all encompassing