What's your experience as a daily driver?

I’m strongly considering migrating to /e/ as my daily driver on my main phone (a OnePlus 6), but I’m still a bit worried about making the entire switch.
I’ve had an older build of /e/ on my OnePlus One for a while, so I know all the apps I want/need will work; I’ve migrated my contacts to my e.cloud account; I’m using non-google calendar, maps, drive, etc.; I don’t see any issues on the device page; and I’m comfortable flashing custom software on to phones. I see no reason why it wouldn’t work for me… but I’m still a bit hesitant.

Can anyone give me any reason why I shouldn’t make the switch? Or, can you give me your experience using the /e/ OS as your daily driver?

Thanks in advance!

I have been doing that on a couple of different small Sony devices [1] since at least June 2020 when I was running e-0.9-n-20200716-UNOFFICIAL-suzuran on a Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, through to my current Xperia XZ1 Compact which is currently running e-0.20-q-20211221-CUSTOM-lilac. I am very happy with it.

In the early days there were quite a lot of problems, but most have been fixed, and, for those that aren’t fixed, I have workarounds which are acceptable to me. Earlier problems which are now fixed include:

  • Not being to log in to my account in apps which use Google reCapcha. These included Strava app, and UK Guardian newspaper app. Both of these are now working in Q and R builds , and have been since around v0.18. (I don’t think they will work in nougat and I don’t know about oreo or pie.)
  • errr - there may have been a few more but I don’t recall :slight_smile:

One of the three banking apps I would use (the UK bank Smile’s app) won’t run in /e/OS (or any custom ROM that I know of) because the bootloader is unlocked. For internet banking with that account I have installed a launcher sort-cut to their website, which works fine. Apps from Nationwide and Triodos banks work with no problems.

I use a custom build because there are a number of apps - Mail, Message, Calendar, Notes, Micro - where I prefer to use the upstream apps from which /e/OS’s apps are forked, rather than /e/OS’s versions. I also have F-Droid and Aurora Store rather than /e/'s Apps (for reasons discussed at length in other forum posts :slight_smile: )

As I build the unofficial ROMs, it’s just as easy for me to make a custom ROM which exactly meets my requirements, rather than using the standard /e/OS and installing the apps I want. If I weren’t doing that, I think I would be happy using either a standard /e/OS ROM, or the LineageOS for MicroG ROM on which /e/OS is built.

In short, I can’t see any reason for you not to switch. Good luck!

1 Like

I’m fairly new to custom ROMs, having converted my Sony to /e/ in summer 2021. Before that, I always disabled, or attempted to disable, anything and everything related to Google on my Androids, and only used F-Droid (or sometimes Aurora store) for apps. So for me, the difference in experience is minimal, except that I no longer have to worry about being spied on by the operating system and Google Play Services. (/e/ uses micro-G as a replacement).

Note, though, that I’m probably not a typical smartphone user. For example, I would never use Google Maps or other services, I don’t do banking on my phone, I don’t use Google’s YouTube, I don’t use music streaming platforms (except internet radio), I don’t do gaming, and I don’t watch movies on tiny screens.

As always, I stick to open-source alternatives (OSMand+ for maps and navigation, drop-in FOSS replacements for messaging and email, etc.).

The only issue I’ve had with /e/OS is that if I shut down the phone while it’s on 4G, when I power up again I have to switch to 2G or 3G for a few seconds and then re-select 4G. I believe this is a LineageOS “bug,” as it’s the same with my Lineage-loaded devices (both Sonys). If not that, then it must be a Sony-specific issue.

Battery life is drastically improved, and there are way fewer background processes running (for my configuration). For a FOSS dévoté, the experience is refreshing and awesome. For someone who uses Google-dependent apps, probably not so much.

EDIT: One other issue. I found that MMS doesn’t work unless I use my mobile network’s DNS resolver. Trying to use a different DNS provider prevents MMS (and therefore, group messages) from sending or receiving. That problem may be specific to my mobile provider, though. I’m not sure. (And it would probably be the same with standard Android.)

1 Like

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! I’m going to commit and re-build my phone, making /e/ my daily driver.

I’ll check back in in a week or so and let you know how I’ve gone and what my experience has been like.

2 Likes