LineageOS and GrapheneOS are phone operating systems that run on top of the core open source Android system (AOSP) to provide your phone with added function and privacy/security. They are both very good and secure options for your phone. Although other similar alternatives exist, LineageOS is perhaps the most popular while GrapheneOS is recommended by none other than computer intelligence expert Edward Snowden. One of the key differences between these two operating systems is that GrapheneOS will only run on Pixel phones while LineageOS runs on a wider variety of phones (although certainly not all).
The main ones that come out of the box are (you can add more):
- FM Radio
You can add many more apps to your phone via one of the free android app stores (eg. f-droid which is already on your phone). You can also find many apps on sites such as apkpure and apkmirror (download the apk file and install with the press of a button - very simple). When you download apk files it is important that you do so from a reputable site such as apkpure and apkmirror. In the event you must have an app that is only available on Google Play - there is a way to acquire it without logging into Google and giving away your identity! Install Aurora - it is just like the Google Play Store. Aurora gets the apps for you from the Google Play Store and puts them on your phone (without you having to log in to Google). Think of Aurora as the 'middle man' that keeps your identify private.
Your new phone does come with an email client and there are also many others to choose from. Stay away from adding Gmail (as Google cannot be trusted). Some examples are:
- K-9 Mail
- Go to the apkpure site on your phone (m.apkpure.com)
- Search the wide variety of apps available on the site
- Select the app you need and press the "download APK" button (the file will be downloaded to your phone)
- On your phone navigate to your download folder (eg. via the File app), locate the apk file that was downloaded and install by pressing on the file
- Once it has installed you can delete the apk file from your download folder
There is a messaging app on the phone. You can add others as well, for example:
The simple answer is - do not log in to Google on your phone. This means no more Google Play Store or any Google apps that require you to log in to a Google account. Instead of using the Play Store, get your apps from F-Droid or sites such as apkpure and apkmirror or via the aurora app (which gets apps for you from the Google Play Store without you having to login to an account).
There are a couple of ways to move your contacts to your new phone. If your old phone has a memory card and your contacts are saved there and your new phone has a slot for a memory card then you can simply move your memory card from phone to phone. If this is not the case (and it often isn't) then you can take the following approach:
- From the menu of the Contacts app on your old phone go to Settings -> Export (from there you can save your contacts.vcf file).
- Send or copy this file to your new phone (eg. email it to your new phone).
- On your new phone, receive and save the file somewhere on your phone.
- From the menu of the Contacts app on your new phone go to Settings -> Import (from there you can specify the saved contacts.vcf file).
*** UPDATE ***
This is a good thing. Do not login to gmail or youtube or anything else Google-related on your phone. If you have added your gmail account to K-9 or logged in any other way on your phone you should probably remove that from your phone in order to ensure privacy. As a second step you had best also check to ensure your your device is not connected to your Google account in any way. This is done by logging into your Google account on your computer and disconnecting your device from there if it is listed (login to google account on pc, go to security, go to your devices section, select your degoogled phone (if it is there) and disconnect/signout).
If you are moving from an iPhone to an Android phone you need to take a few steps to ensure your messaging works as needed.
Before removing SIM card from iPhone
- on your iPhone go to Settings
- tap Messages
- set iMessage to Off
If you are in any group chats with friends who have iPhones you will need to start a new group.
If you are using a LineageOS de-googled phone there are actually new updates every week that come available (you don't need to upgrade every week). In order to update, do the following:
- go to Settings > System > Advanced > Updater
- click on 'download' for the most recent update (wait for the download to complete)
- click on 'install' (this will appear after the download is complete, the install process will take a number of minutes to complete)
- reboot phone
One of the best solutions for this is a program called KDE Connect (which you can download/install to your phone from F-Droid). KDE Connect allows you to share/copy data between your Android phone and computer. You can also view and respond to phone notifications from your computer. Find information on KDE Connect at https://kdeconnect.kde.org
Yes, you can order a Pixel 3a or 3aXL with Ubuntu Touch (Linux).