I just wanted to share my little story on how I found out about /e/ and why I think it’s the best solution right now for ungoogled Android devices.
First some words on my device:
I chose the Xiaomi Mi A1 last year to be my daily driver because I wanted to have a phone which receives regular security updates and at least one or two OS upgrades. The phone shouldn’t be too expensive and as a plus should be supported by LineageOS/Cyanogen.
After doing some research I came across the Google Android One program and found the Mi A1 as the cheapest available Android One phone. I don’t remember if LineageOS already supported the phone at that time, but luckily it’s now one of the supported devices.
I was really happy with the device itself so I decided to keep it for the upcoming years.
Now what about Google and privacy etc:
I’m a long term Google user. My oldest GMail-Account exists for 17 years and I was even working for a subcontractor of the company some years ago. I was almost always ok with their “do no evil” policy but this changed over time.
As they are now one of the largest data miners worldwide with the user as the product I decided I have to do something about my Google usage.
Second I wanted to get away from Google on my phone. Sounds easy, but isn’t. Apple is no alternative and I need some of the apps only available in the Google or Apple ecosystems. I played around with LineageOS and tried to get MicroG running, but failed. So I stayed with LineageOS but still had the Google services and Play Store running.
Not what I wanted, but no way around it.
At least I thought there was no way.
But then, out of nothing: /e/
I was surfing around the internet and read some topics on a german IT security blog. Then there was a link and there another link and another link. That’s how I found /e/.
It’s just a week or two, the /e/ apps store was already there and I did some research on the availability of apps I need. Almost everything was already available. Great.
So as /e/ is based on LineageOS I thought: “Let’s give it try” and installed it right away. It’s good to have some knowledge in flashing devices before you do so but for me it was nothing special. (I have to admit I didn’t read the full instructions which lead to another full day of work to get the device running, but that’s another story).
Unfortunately the build I installed came with a bug in the apps store, but the bug was fixed the next day with an OTA update.
So right now I’m really happy with a working device, no issues at all and a great user experience using the /e/ services.
Just waiting for a paid option to have some more GBs for photos and stuff.
If you have any questions, just ask.